17:0657(95)NG - NFFE, Council of Consolidated SSA Locals and HHS, SSA -- 1985 FLRAdec NG



[ v17 p657 ]
17:0657(95)NG
The decision of the Authority follows:


 17 FLRA No. 95
 
 NATIONAL FEDERATION OF FEDERAL 
 EMPLOYEES, COUNCIL OF CONSOLIDATED 
 SSA LOCALS 
 Union 
 
 and 
 
 DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND 
 HUMAN SERVICES, SOCIAL
 SECURITY ADMINISTRATION 
 Agency
 
                                            Case No. 0-NG-866
 
                DECISION AND ORDER ON NEGOTIABILITY ISSUES
 
    The petition for review in this case comes before the Authority
 pursuant to section 7105(a)(2)(E) of the Federal Service
 Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute), and raises issues
 concerning the negotiability of three Union proposals.  Upon careful
 consideration of the entire record, including the parties' contentions,
 the Authority makes the following determinations.
 
                             Union Proposal 1
 
          April 1, 1983, 9 policy changes and 90 clarifications were
       issued on the issue of In-Kind Support and Maintenance in the SSI
       Program.  The Union proposes that a moratorium of 6 months
       duration be granted beginning April 1, 1983.  During this period,
       errors will be noted and corrected.  However, no claims
       representative nor data review technician will be charged with
       payment or documentation errors on issues relating to these 9
       policy changes or 90 clarifications.  If any are charged, they
       will be removed.
 
    According to the Union, the instant proposal was prompted by
 substantial revisions to the Agency's Program Operations Manual System
 which guides employees in the processing of claims and post entitlement
 actions of claimants comprising the Agency's clientele.  The Union
 asserts that it has no intention, by means of this proposal, to
 challenge management's right to determine the manner in which claims are
 to be processed or to set standards for employee performance.  Rather,
 the Union describes the operation of the proposal as follows:
 
          Under the terms of this proposal, . . . management would
       monitor and review the work of employees, pointing out when errors
       are made.  The error would be corrected and the employee advised
       why the action taken was in error and how such an error could be
       avoided in the future.  However, for purposes of the formal
       evaluation of employees' performance(,) errors would not be
       charged for that six-month period.  Thus, the adverse effects of
       management's introduction of this new material would be
       alleviated.  /1/
 
 Based on the Union's explanation, which is adopted for purposes of this
 decision, the Authority concludes that the proposal establishes what is
 tantamount to a training period during which employees are to