17:0368(57)CA - HHS, SSA, and Office of Hearings and Appeals, Region II and AFGE Local 1760 -- 1985 FLRAdec CA



[ v17 p368 ]
17:0368(57)CA
The decision of the Authority follows:


 17 FLRA No. 57
 
 DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN
 SERVICES, SOCIAL SECURITY
 ADMINISTRATION, AND OFFICE OF
 HEARINGS AND APPEALS, REGION II
 Respondent
 
 and
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
 EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 1760, AFL-CIO
 Charging Party
 
                                            Case No. 2-CA-20324
 
                            DECISION AND ORDER
 
    This matter is before the Authority pursuant to the Regional
 Director's "Order Transferring Case to the Federal Labor Relations
 Authority" in accordance with section 2429.1(a) of the Authority's Rules
 and Regulations.
 
    Upon consideration of the entire record in this case, including the
 stipulation of facts, accompanying exhibits, and the parties'
 contentions, the Authority finds:
 
    The complaint alleges that the Respondent violated section 7116(a)(1)
 and (5) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the
 Statute) when it failed and refused to negotiate over the ground rules
 for impact and implementation bargaining concerning two
 management-proposed changes in conditions of employment.
 
    The record reflects that the parties met on November 12, 1981, to
 commence impact and implementation negotiations concerning the opening
 of a New Bronx Hearing Office and the relocation of the Syracuse Hearing
 Office.  The Union presented the Respondent with written proposals
 concerning the ground rules for such negotiations.  In a letter dated
 November 30, 1981, the Respondent stated that, "It is our position that
 . . . (the Statute) . . . does not require the establishment of formal
 ground rules prior to engaging in impact and implementation
 negotiations." Thereafter, the Respondent took the position that while
 it would meet at mutually convenient times and places, it would not
 negotiate over the Union's ground rule proposals.  Subsequent to that
 date, negotiations did take place over the impact and implementing
 procedures of the two management-proposed changes in conditions of
 employment.
 
    In a decision issued subsequent to the parties' stipulation of facts
 herein which involved essentially similar facts and similar positions of
 the parties, /1/ the Authority concluded that an agency's refusal to
 bargain over a union's ground rule proposal based solely on its
 contention that it was inappropriate except during formal contract
 negotiations constituted a failure to fulfill its obligation to bargain
 in good faith in violation of section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute.
  Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans Hospital, Columbia, Missouri, 16 FLRA
 No. 126 (1984).  The Authority similarly concludes herein that the
 Respondent's refusal to negotiate over the ground rules proposed by the
 Union for impact and implementation bargaining concerning
 management-proposed changes in conditions of employment constituted a
 failure to fulfill its obligation to bargain in good faith in violation
 of section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute.  Moreover, as in Harry S.
 Truman Memorial Veterans Hospital, the Authority concludes that the
 purposes and policies of the Statute will be best effectuated by an
 order requiring the Respondent to bargain in good faith regarding ground
 rule proposals which may be submitted in connection with future
 negotiations.
 
                                   ORDER
 
    Pursuant to section 2423.29 of the Rules and Regulations of the
 Authority and section 7118 of the Statute, the Authority hereby orders
 that the Department of Health and Human Services, Social Security
 Administration, and Office of Hearings and Appeals, Region II, shall:
 
    1.  Cease and desist from:
 
    (a) Refusing to bargain over ground rules proposed by the American
 Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 1760, the exclusive
 representative of its employees, concerning the negotiation of the
 impact and implementation of a new Bronx Hearing Office and the
 relocation of the Syracuse Hearing Office.
 
    (b) In any like or related manner interfering with, restraining, or
 coercing its employees in the exercise of their rights assured by the
 Statute.
 
    2.  Take the following affirmative action in order to effectuate the
 purposes and policies of the Statute:
 
    (a) Bargain in good faith with the American Federation of Government
 Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 1760, the exclusive representative of its
 employees, over ground rule proposals which may be submitted in
 connection with future negotiations conducted under the Statute.
 
    (b) Post at its facilities in Region II copies of the attached Notice
 on forms to be furnished by the Federal Labor Relations Authority.  Upon
 receipt of such forms, they shall be signed by an authorized
 representative of the Respondent and shall be posted and maintained for
 60 consecutive days thereafter, in conspicuous places, including all
 bulletin boards and other places where notices to employees are
 customarily posted.  Reasonable steps shall be taken to insure that such
 Notices are not altered, defaced, or covered by any material.
 
    (c) Pursuant to section 2423.30 of the Authority's Rules and
 Regulations, notify the Regional Director, Region II, Federal Labor
 Relations Authority, in writing, within 30 days from the date of this
 Order, as to what steps have been taken to comply herewith.  
 
 Issued, Washington, D.C., March 28, 1985
 
                                       Henry B. Frazier III, Acting
                                       Chairman
                                       William J. McGinnis, Jr., Member
                                       FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 
 
 
 
 
                          NOTICE TO ALL EMPLOYEES
 
  PURSUANT TO A DECISION AND ORDER OF THE FEDERAL LABOR
 RELATIONS
 AUTHORITY AND IN ORDER TO EFFECTUATE THE POLICIES OF CHAPTER 71
 OF TITLE
 5 OF THE UNITED STATES CODE FEDERAL SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT
 RELATIONS
 WE HEREBY NOTIFY OUR EMPLOYEES THAT:
 
 WE WILL NOT refuse to bargain over ground rules proposed by the American
 Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 1760, our employees'
 exclusive representative, concerning the negotiation of the impact and
 implementation of the opening of a new Bronx Hearing Office and the
 relocation of the Syracuse Hearing Office.  WE WILL NOT in any like or
 related manner interfere with, restrain, or coerce our employees in the
 exercise of their rights assured by the Statute.  WE WILL bargain in
 good faith with the American Federation of Government Employees,
 AFL-CIO, Local 1760, the exclusive representative of our employees, over
 ground rule proposals which may be submitted in connection with future
 negotiations conducted under the Statute.