18:0036(5)NG - Congressional Research Employees Association and Library of Congress -- 1985 FLRAdec NG



[ v18 p36 ]
18:0036(5)NG
The decision of the Authority follows:


 18 FLRA No. 5
 
 CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH 
 EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION 
 Union 
 
 and 
 
 LIBRARY OF CONGRESS 
 Agency
 
                                            Case No. 0-NG-717
 
                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 the
 question of the negotiability of the following Union proposal:
 
          The Library shall ensure that the phone numbers now assigned to
       work stations of those employees who are being relocated will be
       reassigned to the work station to be occupied by each employee.
 
    Upon careful consideration of the entire record, including the
 parties' contentions, the Authority makes the following determinations.
 The Union's proposal requires that an employee relocated to a new work
 station retain the telephone number assigned to that employee at the
 prior work station.  The Agency asserts that the proposal is
 nonnegotiable because it does not concern conditions of employment as
 defined in section 7103(a)(14) of the Statute and because the proposal
 concerns the technology, methods and means of performing work under
 section 7106(b)(1) /1/ of the Statute.
 
    Section 7103(a)(14) defines "conditions of employment" as personnel
 policies, practices, and matters whether established by rule or
 regulation, or otherwise, affecting work conditions.  In construing that
 statutory phrase, the Authority has found proposals which concern
 matters directly affecting the "work situation and employment
 relationship" of bargaining unit employees to be within the duty to
 bargain.  E.g., National Treasury Employees Union and Internal Revenue
 Service, 3 FLRA 693 (1980).  See also American Federation of Government
 Employees, AFL-CIO and Air Force Logistics Command, Wright-Patterson Air
 Force Base, Ohio, 2 FLRA 604, 606 (1980), enforced as to other matters
 sub nom. Department of Defense v. Federal Labor Relations Authority, 659
 F.2d 1140 (D.C. Cir. 1981), cert. denied sub nom. AFGE v. FLRA, 455 U.S.
 945 (1982).  In this regard, the record indicates that telephones are
 assigned to each work station.  The telephone is used every day by the
 Agency employees involved in the performance of their official duties.
 Under these circumstances, usage of the telephone is a matter directly
 affecting the "work situation and employment relationship" of these
 employees and, therefore, is within the duty to bargain.  Cf. American
 Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 2477
 and Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. (and the case consolidated
 therewith), 7 FLRA 578, 582 (1982), affirmed as to other matters sub
 nom. Library of Congress v. Federal Labor Relations Authority, 699 F.2d
 1280 (D.C. Cir. 1983) (wherein the Authority found that book shelf and
 file cabinet space for reference materials required to be used by
 employees in the performance of their work principally related to
 matters affecting the working conditions of employees.)
 
    As to section 7106(b)(1) of the Statute, management's reserved
 authority consists of the right to determine which technology, methods
 and means will be used in accomplishing or furthering the work of the
 Agency.  See, e.g., American Federation of State, County and Municipal
 Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 2477 and Library of Congress Washington, D.C.
 (and the case consolidated therewith), 7 FLRA 578, 583 (1982), affirmed
 as to other matters sub nom. Library of Congress v. Federal Labor
 Relations Authority, 699 F.2d 1280 (D.C. Cir. 1983).  The Agency
 contends that the telephone is integrally related to the accomplishment
 of the work of the Agency.  In this regard, the Agency asserts that the
 proposal prevents management from adopting a particular technology of
 work, i.e., "one set of numbers for a phone assigned to a particular
 work station or organizational unit as opposed to another set of numbers
 assigned to another work station or organizational unit."
 
    In National Treasury Employees Union and U.S. Customs Service, Region
 VIII, San Francisco, California, 2 FLRA 255 (1979), the Authority
 concluded that the requirement for uniformed employees to wear
 nameplates as part of the uniform on an experimental basis constituted
 management's choice of the "means of performing work" under section
 7106(b)(1) of the Statute.  However, the Authority also concluded that a
 section of a proposal concerning the particular form of an employee's
 name to appear on his or her nameplate did not prevent the agency from
 requiring that nameplates were to be worn by uniformed officers and
 therefore was not inconsistent with management's right to determine the
 "means" of performing its work.  Similarly, in Planners, Estimators and
 Progressmen Association, Local No. 8 and Department of the Navy,
 Charleston Naval Shipyard, Charleston, South Carolina, 13 FLRA 455
 (1983), the Authority concluded that even assuming, as contended by the
 agency, that recording employees' time and attendance constituted the
 "methods" or "means" of performing its work, the agency had not shown
 and it was not apparent that the objective of attaining accurate and
 reliable time and attendance records could only be achieved by the use
 of time clocks.  Consequently, the Authority held that extending to
 bargaining unit employees the practice of manually recording their time
 and attendance instead of mechanically through use of a time clock was
 not inconsistent with the agency's right to determine the "methods" or
 "means" of performing its work.
 
    In agreement with the Agency here, the Authority concludes, in the
 circumstances of this case, that the telephone clearly concerns the
 technology of performing work within the meaning of section 7106(b)(1)
 of the Statute.  See also American Federation of Government Employees,
 AFL-CIO, Local 3760 and Social Security Administration, Disability
 Analysis Branch, Field Assessment Office, 11 FLRA 576 (1983) (wherein
 the Authority concluded that, by expressly requiring the agency to
 provide each examiner with a telephone, the proposal clearly concerned
 the technology of performing work within the meaning of section
 7106(b)(1) of the Statute.) However, contrary to the Agency's
 allegation, the Agency has not shown here and it is not apparent that
 assignment of a telephone number to a telephone is itself part of the
 technical method to accomplish the work of the Agency.  As in U.S.
 Customs Service, wherein the Authority held that the particular form of
 an employee's name to appear on a nameplate did not interfere with
 management's right to determine the "means" of performing its work, and
 Charleston Naval Shipyard, wherein the Authority held that the proposal
 requiring a manual method of recording time and attendance was not
 inconsistent with the agency's right to determine the "methods" or
 "means" of performing its work, in the circumstances of this case the
 Agency has not shown in what manner negotiation concerning the number
 assigned to a telephone would conflict with its objective in choosing
 the telephone as the instrument to accomplish the work of the Agency.
 Hence, the Authority finds the proposal is not inconsistent with the
 Agency's right to determine the technology, methods and means of
 performing work under section 7106(b)(1) of the Statute.
 
    Accordingly, pursuant to section 2424.10 of the Authority's Rules and
 Regulations, IT IS ORDERED that the Agency shall upon request (or as
 otherwise agreed to by the parties) bargain on the Union's proposal.
 /2/ Issued, Washington, D.C., May 14, 1985
                                       Henry B. Frazier III, Acting
                                       Chairman
                                       William J. McGinnis, Jr., Member
                                       FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 
 
 
 
 
 
 --------------- FOOTNOTES$ ---------------
 
 
    /1/ Section 7106(b)(1) of the Statute provides, in pertinent part:
 
          Sec. 7106.  Management rights
 
                                  * * * *
 
          (b) Nothing in this section shall preclude any agency and any
       labor organization from negotiating--
 
          (1) at the election of the agency, on the numbers, types, and
       grades of employees or positions assigned to any organizational
       subdivision, work project, or tour of duty, or on the technology,
       methods, and means of performing work(.)
 
 
    /2/ In deciding that the Union's proposal is within the duty to
 bargain, the Authority makes no judgment as to its merits.  Furthermore,
 as to the Agency's claim that it has no obligation to bargain over the
 Union's proposal because it is inconsistent with the terms of the
 existing master agreement, the Authority here decides only the
 negotiability issues presented under section 7105(a)(2)(E) of the
 Statute.  To the extent that there are factual issues concerning an
 existing master agreement in dispute between the parties regarding the
 duty to bargain in the specific circumstances of this case, these issues
 may be raised in other appropriate proceedings.  See American Federation
 of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 2736 and Department of the Air
 Force, Headquarters, 379th Combat Support Group (SAC), Wurtsmith Air
 Force Base, Mich