18:0224(29)CA - Library of Congress and Congressional Research Employees Association (CREA) -- 1985 FLRAdec CA



[ v18 p224 ]
18:0224(29)CA
The decision of the Authority follows:


 18 FLRA No. 29
 
 U.S. LIBRARY OF CONGRESS 
 Respondent
 
 and 
 
 CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH EMPLOYEES 
 ASSOCIATION (CREA) 
 Charging Party
 
                                            Case No. 3-CA-30473
 
                            DECISION AND ORDER
 
    The Administrative Law Judge issued the attached Decision in the
 above-entitled proceeding, finding that the Respondent had not engaged
 in the unfair labor practices alleged in the complaint and recommending
 that the complaint be dismissed.  The Respondent, the General Counsel,
 and the Charging Party filed exceptions to the Judge's Decision.
 
    Pursuant to section 2423.29 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations
 and section 7118 of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations
 Statute (the Statute), the Authority has reviewed the rulings of the
 Judge made at the hearing and finds that no prejudicial error was
 committed.  The rulings are hereby affirmed.  Upon consideration of the
 Judge's Decision and the entire record, the Authority hereby adopts the
 Judge's findings, conclusions and recommendation that the complaint be
 dismissed.
 
    The Authority agrees with the Judge's finding that, by executing the
 expedited bargaining agreement on April 12, 1982, the Union clearly and
 unmistakably waived its right to bargain over compressed workweek
 scheduled and that the Respondent therefore did not violate section
 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute as alleged when it later declined to
 negotiate on April 5, 1983, concerning the Union's proposed maxiflex, a
 form of compressed workweek scheduling.  /1/ See Department of the
 Treasury, United States Customs Service, Region I, Boston,
 Massachusetts, and St. Albans, Vermont District Office, 10 FLRA 566
 (1982).  Accordingly, the Authority shall dismiss the complaint.  /2/
 
                                   ORDER
 
    IT IS ORDERED that the complaint in Case No. 3-CA-30473 be, and it
 hereby is, dismissed.  
 
 Issued, Washington, D.C., May 24, 1985
 
                                       Henry B. Frazier III, Acting
                                       Chairman
                                       William J. McGinnis, Jr., Member
                                       FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 -------------------- ALJ$ DECISION FOLLOWS --------------------
 
    Mr. Royce Crocker
    For the Charging Party
 
    Patricia Eanet Dratch, Esquire
    For the General Counsel
 
    Martin F. O'Donoghue, Jr., Esquire
    For the Respondent
 
    Before:  BURTON S. STERNBURG, Administrative Law Judge
 
                                 DECISION
 
                           Statement of the Case
 
    This is a proceeding under the Federal Service Labor-Management
 Relations Statute, Chapter 71 of Title 5 of the U.S. Code, 5 U.S.C. Sec.
 7101, et seq. and the Rules and Regulations issued thereunder.
 
    Pursuant to a charge filed on May 3, 1983, by the Congressional
 Research Employees (CREA), (hereinafter called the Union or CREA), a
 Complaint and Notice of Hearing was issued on July 22, 1983, by the
 Regional Director for Region III, Federal Labor Relations Authority,
 Washington, D.C.  The Complaint alleges that the U.S. Library of
 Congress, (hereinafter called the Respondent or Library), violated
 Sections 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Federal Service Labor-Management
 Relations Statute, (hereinafter called the Statute), by virtue of its
 actions in refusing to bargain with CREA over "alternative work
 schedules."
 
    A hearing was held in the captioned matter on October 4, 1983, in
 Washington, D.C.  All parties were afforded the full opportunity to be
 heard, to examine and cross-examine witnesses, and to introduce evidence
 bearing on the issues involved herein.  The General Counsel and the
 Respondent submitted post-hearing briefs on November 14, 1983, which
 have been duly considered.
 
    Upon the basis of the entire record, including my observation of the
 witness and his demeanor, I make the following findings of fact,
 conclusions and recommendations.
 
                             Findings of Fact
 
    The Union is the exclusive collective bargaining representative of a
 unit of employees working in Respondent's "Congressional Research
 Service."
 
    On or about September 20, 1979, the Union and the Respondent executed
 a collective bargaining agreement which expired in October 1982.  /3/
 
    Article IV, Section 3A of the collective bargaining agreement
 provides as follows:
 
          A. During the term of this Agreement, the Association shall
       have the right to meet, consult, and bargain at reasonable times
       with the Library with respect to changes proposed by the
       Association in personnel policies, practices, procedures, and
       matters affecting working conditions.  Provided, however, any
       subject or matter which is covered in this Agreement or which was
       discussed or presented during negotiations, may only be reopened
       with the consent of both parties.
 
    Article XXV of the collective bargaining agreement, entitled
 FLEXITIME provides in pertinent part as follows:
 
          Section 1.  The Library agrees to the adoption of 'flexitime,'
       compatible with the operating requirements of CRS, as determined
       by CRS management.  For the purpose of this Section, 'flexitime'
       is defined as a work schedule under which employees are permitted
       to vary their working hours on a daily basis within general
       schedules of working hours and 'core hours' during which all
       employees are required to be at work.
 
          Section 2.  The Library agrees to develop, in cooperation and
       consultation with the Association, a written plan or plans for
       each CRS Division, and other organizational units where
       appropriate, specifying those employees who are eligible to 'flex'
       and the 'core hours' required for employees to be at work.  Such
       plans will be completed no later than (60) days after the
       effective date of this Agreement.
 
    On October 6, 1980, the Union and the Respondent, pursuant to Article
 XXV quoted above, executed a Flexitime Agreement which was a supplement
 to the collective bargaining agreement.  Section 5 of the Flexitime
 Agreement provides as follows:
 
          5.  This plan shall be a supplement to the contract and shall
       terminate upon the expiration of the second Collective Bargaining
       Agreement between the Library of Congress and the Congressional
       Research Employees Association, unless the current contract is
       extended to March 20, 1982, whereby this plan shall terminate on
       March 20, 1982, unless otherwise agreed by the parties.  /4/
 
    Section 2 of the Flexitime Agreement provides as follows:
 
          2.  For the purposes of this plan, 'flexitime' is defined as a
       work schedule under which employees are permitted to vary their
       working hours on a daily basis within general schedules of working
       hours and 'core hours' during which all employees are required to
       be at work.
 
    According to the uncontested testimony of Mr. Brown, Union President,
 under the Flexitime Agreement, employees are required to work eight
 hours per day.  "They can vary their starting and quitting times as long
 as they are there eight hours a day and for the required core hours each
 day." Further according to Mr. Brown, at the time the Flexitime
 Agreement was negotiated the employees working for Respondent were
 prohibited by the Fair Labor Standards Act from participating in a
 "Maxiflex" plan which allowed employees to work more or less than eight
 hours per day as long as they did work 80 hours in a bi-weekly pay
 period.  /5/
 
    At a time unspecified in the record, the parties timely reopened the
 collective bargaining agreement and commenced in either late December of
 1981 or January 1982 negotiations for a new contract.  The Union's
 proposal for a new contract "referenced many if not all of the articles
 contained in the expired agreement and some new articles." Among the
 proposals submitted by the Union was one involving Alternative Work
 Schedules.  The latter proposal read as follows:
 
          Section 1.  The Library agrees to adopt alternative work
       schedules including, but not limited to, a compressed workweek,
       for CRS employees where not prohibited by applicable law.
 
          Section 2.  The Library agrees to take all possible steps to
       achieve any necessary change in law to allow CRS employees to have
       alternative work schedules, including but not limited to, a
       compressed workweek schedule.
 
          Section 3.  Where alternative work schedules for CRS employees
       are not prohibited by applicable laws, the Library shall establish
       in consultation with the Association such plans within 50 work
       days of the effective date of this Agreement.  The Association
       shall be given the opportunity to comment in writing and to meet,
       consult and negotiate with management on each plan.
 
          Section 4.  Any application of alternative work schedules
       including but not limited to, a compressed workweek in CRS shall
       be voluntary, at the discretion of the employee(s).
 
    After several months of bargaining over provisions for a new
 collective bargaining contract the parties realized that negotiations
 would be "quite protracted" and mutually agreed to limit the number of
 proposals which would be subject to the ongoing negotiations.  To this
 end, the parties on April 12, 1982, executed an "Expedited Bargaining
 Agreement" which limited bargaining to six proposals, three from each
 side.  It was further agreed that all the other remaining provisions of
 the expired contract, including Article IV, Section 3A, known or
 referred to as the "Zipper Clause" would remain in effect and be
 included in the new contract along with the six provisions or proposals
 to be negotiated.  The pertinent provisions of the Expedited Bargaining
 Agreement read as follows:
 
          It is hereby agreed by and between the Library of Congress and
       the Congressional Research Employees Association this 12th day of
       April 1982 that in order to expedite current collective bargaining
       negotiations over a new Collective Bargaining Agreement between
       the parties, the parties agree that:
 
          (1) On April 12, 1982, the parties shall mutually and
       simultaneously exchange a list of three (3) articles from the
       proposals contained in each respective side's proposals which they
       are presently negotiating.  Each proposed article shall be limited
       to those specific proposals presently included in the article of
       the same title in the respective bargaining proposal.
 
          (2a) The proposed articles on each list shall thereafter be
       consolidated and it is agreed that such articles are the only
       articles to be negotiated between the parties.
 
          (2b) The remaining articles in the current Agreement which have
       not been denominated by the parties to be negotiated shall be
       considered as agreed to (and are set out as an appendix to this
       agreement) and made part of any Agreement subsequently agreed to
       between the parties.  The parties agree to continue the separate
       negotiation process previously agreed upon for the Employee
       Assistance article.
 
          (3) The parties further agree that in negotiating the articles
       as set out in (2a), negotiations shall be limited to the articles
       as set out in 2(a) including the specific language of the
       proposals now on the table and neither party in making
       counterproposals may raise additional issues and/or new matters
       not presently contained in either sides' proposals set out in
       (2a);  neither party shall, after having received timely notice of
       objection from the other party, insist upon any provision which
       would modify, delete, amend, ignore, add to, subtract from, or
       otherwise alter or supplement the terms of the agreed upon
       articles as set out in 2(b), . . . .
 
    Pursuant to the above quoted agreement, the Union chose to bargain
 over Career Opportunity, Rights of Employees and Grievance Procedures.
 The Union did not select Flexitime or Alternate Work Schedules as one of
 the subjects for the expedited negotiations and admittedly dropped such
 subjects from the negotiations.  According to Mr. Brown, although he was
 well aware of pending legislation that would give the Union the right to
 bargain over Compressed Work Weeks and/or Maxiflex, he, as the Union's
 chief representative, declined to select such subjects for inclusion in
 the expedited negotiations because he was not sure that the pending
 legislation would pass and be signed into law.  Mr. Brown further
 testified that he had been actively campaigning on the hill for
 legislation which would give the Library employees the right to
 negotiate for compressed work weeks and that the Senate Committee
 considering such legislation, on March 30, 1982, some ten days prior to
 the executive of the expedited bargaining agreement, unanimously
 recommended the passage of a bill which included the Library employees
 as one of the Government agencies eligible to negotiate for "Compressed
 Work Week" schedules.
 
    Following the submission of the three proposals by each side, the
 parties commenced bargaining.  As of the time of the instant hearing
 negotiations had not been concluded due to the fact that parties were
 awaiting the decision of the Federal Labor Relations Authority on a
 number of negotiability decisions.
 
    On July 23, 1982, Congress enacted the Flexible and Compressed Work
 Schedules Act of 1982, 5 U.S.C. 6120 et seq, P.L. 97-221, which for the
 first time, gave the employees of the Library of Congress the right to
 negotiate for Compressed Work Schedules that allowed employees to work
 more or less than eight hours a day provided that they work eighty hours
 every two weeks.
 
    On or about April 5, 1983 the Union submitted to the Respondent a
 MAXIFLEX PLAN /6/ predicated on the newly enacted legislation and
 requested bargaining thereon.  The proposed plan, if adopted as written,
 would have substantially changed many of the provisions of the existing
 Flexitime Agreement executed by the parties on October 6, 1980, as a
 supplement to the then existing collective bargaining agreement and
 which by its terms was not due to terminate until the "expiration of the
 second Collective Bargaining Agreement" between the parties.
 
    On or about April 20, 1983, Respondent mailed a Memorandum to the
 Union wherein it refused to bargain over the Union's April 5, 1983,
 proposal.  The memorandum reads as follows:
 
          I am in receipt of your request to bargain over CREA's April 5,
       1983 Maxiflex Plan.
 
          As you are aware, pursuant to the terms of Article XXV, Section
       2, Flexitime, of the now expired Master Collective Bargaining
       Agreement between the Library of Congress and Congressional
       Research Employees Association, the parties negotiated and signed
       a written Flexitime Plan for all employees of CRS on October 6,
       1980.
 
          Section 5 of said agreement provided:
 
          This plan shall be a supplement to the contract and shall
       terminate upon the expiration of the second Collective Bargaining
       Agreement between the Library of Congress and the Congressional
       Research Employees Association, unless the current contract is
       extended to March 20, 1982, whereby this plan shall terminate on
       March 20, 1982, unless otherwise agreed to by the parties.
 
          As you are well aware the "current contract" of the parties,
       was not extended until March 20, 1982 pursuant to Section 1 of
       Article XXVI.  Rather the contract was reopened for renegotiation
       and thus the Flexitime Plan, a supplement to the Master Agreement,
       does not terminate until the expiration of the second Collective
       Bargaining Agreement between the parties.  (Section 5, supra).
 
          Further, the Library does not agree to reopen the subject of
       Flexitime (hours of duty of employees) until the Flexitime Plan
       Agreement of October 6, 1980 expires.  (See Section 3A of Article
       IV of the expired Master Agreement.)
 
          Further, the Library's duty to bargain over flexible and
       compressed work schedules under the Federal Employees Flexible and
       Compressed Work Schedules Act of 1982 is subject to the terms of
       the Collective Bargaining Agreement existing between the parties.
       Title 5 USC, Section 6130(a)(1)
 
          provides:
 
          "In the case of employees in a unit represented by an exclusive
       representative, any flexible or compressed work schedule, and the
       establishment and termination of any such schedule, shall be
       subject to the provisions of this subchapter and the terms of a
       collective bargaining agreement between the agency and the
       exclusive representative."
 
 Therefore Congress recognized that our duty to bargain was to be subject
 to the terms of our existing flexitime agreement (Sec. 5, supra) with
 you.
 
          Further, even in the absence of this contractual bar to
       negotiate (Sec. 5, supra), after the Master Agreement was reopened
       for renegotiation, CREA made a proposal on November 13, 1981 which
       provided, in pertinent part, an article on Alternative Work
       Schedules in anticipation of the new law and also an article on
       flexitime.  Later in March 1982, on the eve of the Act of 1982
       being passed, the parties entered into an agreement limiting the
       bargaining.  Pursuant to the terms of said agreement, CREA, in
       exercising its choice of articles to negotiate, voluntarily
       abandoned and withdrew its proposals over the subject of
       alternative work schedules, including compressed work week and
       also the proposed article on flexitime.  CREA again waived its
       right to bargain on the subject of compressed work week.
 
          Your request to bargain at this time is denied.
 
                        Discussion and Conclusions
 
    The General Counsel takes the position that inasmuch as compressed
 work plans and flexitime plans are "two different types of alternative
 work schedules," the existence of the "flexitime agreement" does not in
 the absence of any probative evidence supporting a waiver, prevent the
 Union from requesting negotiations with respect to a compressed work
 schedule prior to the expiration of the existing flexitime agreement.
 Additionally, the General Counsel takes the position that Union did not
 and could not waive its right to bargain over compressed work schedules
 by withdrawing its alternate work schedule proposal from the bargaining
 table in March 1982 or by signing the expedited bargaining agreement in
 April of 1982, since the Federal Employees Flexible and Compressed Work
 Schedules Act of 1982 had not been enacted.  Not having the right to
 bargain over compressed work schedules prior to enactment of such
 legislation, it is the General Counsel's position that the Union could
 not waive a right it did not possess.  The General Counsel would reach a
 similar conclusion with respect to the "Zipper Clause" in the collective
 bargaining agreement which was executed in 1979, some three years prior
 to the enactment of the legislation allowing the Library of Congress
 employees to participate for the first time in negotiating for
 compressed work schedules.
 
    The Respondent takes the position that the Union waived its right to
 bargain on the compressed work week issue.  In support of its position
 Respondent points out, among other things, that the Flexitime agreement
 executed pursuant to Article XXV of the expired collective bargaining
 agreement was still in effect and would be substantially modified by the
 proposed maxiflex plan in violation of the terms of both the expedited
 bargaining agreement and the collective bargaining agreement.  It
 appears that the Respondent is of the opinion that the zipper clause,
 which would be retained in any new agreement since it was not selected
 as one of the six items to be bargained, would prevent the Union from
 raising the maxiflex plan because it had been presented during the
 negotiations preceding the execution of the expedited bargaining
 agreement and had not been one of the six subjects selected for further
 bargaining.
 
    Further, according to Respondent, having opted not to include the
 compressed work schedule or maxiflex plan as one of its three items for
 further negotiations, pursuant to the expedited agreement, the Union
 waived its right for further negotiations thereon until the expiration
 of the second collective bargaining agreement.  Respondent would find
 the absence of a statutory right providing for compressed work schedule
 negotiations at the time the election was made to be of no consequence,
 particularly in view of the fact that the Union President was aware that
 enactment of the Flexitime and Compressed Work Schedule Act was
 imminent.
 
    Finally, Respondent takes the position, that as a matter of law and
 public policy, the Union should be required to adhere to the terms of
 the Expedited Bargaining Agreement.
 
    Inasmuch as the Flexitime and Compressed Work Schedules Statute makes
 it clear, and there is no contention to the contrary, that compressed
 work schedules are negotiable, resolution of the instant complaint, as
 recognized by the positions of all parties to the instant dispute, turns
 on the issue of waiver.
 
    With respect to "waiver," the Authority has made it clear that a
 waiver will be found only if it can be shown that the exclusive
 representative clearly and unmistakably waived its right to negotiate
 over the subject in issue.  Library of Congress, 9 FLRA No. 51.  There
 is no set formula for determining whether a waiver exists.  It may be
 established by a written agreement, affirmative acts, statements,
 established practice or a combination of the foregoing.
 
    In the instant case, aside from the execution of the expedited
 bargaining agreement which will be discussed, infra, the record evidence
 falls short of establishing that the Union prior to April 12, 1982,
 waived its right to negotiate and/or bargain compressed work schedules.
 Thus, there was no showing whatsoever that the matter of compressed work
 schedules was ever discussed with, or presented to Respondent prior to
 the negotiations for the second collective bargaining contract.
 Similarly, there was no showing that the matter of compressed work
 schedules was discussed or presented during negotiations leading up to
 the execution of the existing supplemental flexitime agreement which was
 negotiated pursuant to the terms of the original collective bargaining
 agreement.  In such circumstances the so called "zipper" clause in the
 first collective bargaining agreement would not by its terms prevent the
 Union from raising the subject of compressed work schedules during the
 life of such agreements.
 
    The foregoing conclusion is predicated on a finding, here made, that
 compressed work schedules plans and flexitime plans are two different
 types of alternate work schedules.  The former allows employees to vary
 their starting and quitting times so long as the employees work five
 days per week and are at work during core hours.  The latter allows
 employees to work less than five days per week as long as they work
 eighty hours during a two week pay period.
 
    To the extent that the alternative work plans are different and the
 evidence fails to support a waiver by the Union of its right to
 negotiate compressed work schedules, the Union is not foreclosed from
 raising the issue during the term of the supplemental flexitime
 agreement.  To the extent that Respondent may be contending that the
 Union may not initiate mid term bargaining on subjects not included in a
 collective bargaining agreement, I find for reasons stated in my
 decision in Internal Revenue Service, Case No. 3-CA-20156, (OALJ-82-92,
 June 15, 1982), currently before the Authority for review, such
 contention to be without merit.  Accord, see Decision of Judge Oliver in
 Internal Revenue Service, 3-CA-20489, (OALJ-83-92, May 25, 1983),
 Library of Congress, 9 FLRA Nos. 51 and 52 (1982).
 
    Having concluded that the Union prior to April 12, 1982, did not
 waive its right to bargain over compressed work schedules and that a
 Union may unilaterally raise during the term of a collective bargaining
 agreement subjects not included therein or otherwise waived, the sole
 issue remaining for resolution is whether the Union, by virtue of its
 actions in executing the expedited bargaining agreement and failing to
 select its proposal on alternate workplans as one of its three items for
 future negotiations, is now precluded from raising same as an additional
 provision to be included in the pending collective bargaining contract.
 
    A review of the record, particularly the cross-examination of Mr.
 Brown, establishes that it was his understanding that by executing the
 expedited bargaining agreement the parties were "intentionally limiting
 themselves to three articles from its proposal their proposals." "Each
 party could choose three articles from its proposal and laid it on the
 table to negotiate.  No other articles would be negotiated." Mr. Brown
 further testified with respect to the articles chosen for further
 negotiations pursuant to the expedited bargaining agreement, that the
 Union did not choose the proposed article on alternate work schedules
 and that the union intentionally dropped the article.
 
    In view of the foregoing, I find that the union consciously waived
 its right to bargain over compressed work week schedules until the
 expiration of the second collective bargaining agreement and that the
 Respondent did not violate the Statute when it later declined to
 negotiate on April 5, 1983, the Union's proposed Maxiflex Plan which
 dealt with compressed work week schedules.
 
    In reaching the above conclusion, I am not persuaded, as contended by
 the General Counsel, that a different finding is in order by virtue of
 the fact that the Union did not at the time of the execution of the
 expedited bargaining agreement have the right to bargain over compressed
 work schedules since the legislation giving the Union the right to
 bargain over compressed work schedules had not been enacted at the time
 the expedited bargaining agreement was executed.  This is not a case
 where the subject sought to be bargained over was not contemplated at
 the time of the waiver, i.e. execution of the expedited bargaining
 agreement.  Rather, the evidence clearly indicates that the Union was
 clearly aware that legislation on the subject was pending and had
 fashioned a contractual proposal wherein the Respondent would obligate
 itself to seek such legislation in the event that its unit employees
 were not included in any final legislation awarding Federal employees
 the right to bargain over compressed work schedules.
 
    Being aware of the pending legislation, the Union could have insisted
 that the subject of compressed work schedules be exempted from the
 expedited bargaining agreement or in the alternative refused to execute
 the expedited bargaining agreement.  Instead the Union executed the
 expedited bargaining agreement, selected three subjects other than
 alternate work schedules, and then some twelve months later attempted to
 bargain, in violation of the terms of the expedited bargaining
 agreement, a fourth subject, i.e. compressed work schedules.  Having
 executed the expedited bargaining agreement with full knowledge of its
 ramifications on its pending contract proposals, the Union is bound by
 its terms.
 
    In view of the foregoing findings and conclusions, it is hereby
 recommended that the Authority adopt the following Order dismissing the
 Complaint in its entirety.
 
                                   ORDER
 
    IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, that the Complaint should be, and hereby is,
 dismissed in its entirety.
 
                                       BURTON S. STERNBURG
                                       Administrative Law Judge
 
    Dated:  January 6, 1984
    Washington, D.C.
 
 
 
 
 
 --------------- FOOTNOTES$ ---------------
 
 
 
    /1/ The Union argues that it could not have consciously waived its
 right to negotiate over a maxiflex workweek by virtue of the expedited
 bargaining agreement, since legislation allowing a maxiflex workweek for
 unit employees was not enacted until several months later.  In agreement
 with the Judge, the Authority finds that the Union was well aware of the
 pending legislation, and that its waiver of any rights provided in the
 pending legislation was conscious, clear and unmistakable.
 
 
    /2/ In view of this conclusion, the Authority finds it necessary to
 pass upon the Judge's statements as to (1) the Union's right to initiate
 bargaining during the term of the parties' negotiated agreement, or (2)
 the meaning of certain language, referred to as a "zipper" clause,
 contained in the parties' initial contract.  However, see Internal
 Revenue Service, 17 FLRA No. 103 (1985), wherein the Authority found
 that management has no duty to bargain over union initiated mid-term
 bargaining proposals.
 
 
    /2/ In view of this conclusion, the Authority finds it unnecessary to
 pass upon the Judge's statements as to (1) the Union's right to initiate
 bargaining during the term of the parties' negotiated agreement, or (2)
 the meaning of certain language, referred to as a "zipper" clause,
 contained in the parties' initial contract.  However, see Internal
 Revenue Service, 17 FLRA No. 103 (1985), wherein the Authority found
 that management has no duty to bargain over union initiated mid-term
 bargaining proposals.
 
 
    /3/ The collective bargaining contract was to be effective for
 eighteen months.  However, in the absence of notice from either party
 within the 18 month period of a desire to terminate, the collective
 bargaining contract was to be automatically renewed for one additional
 year.  Accordingly, in the absence of notice to terminate by either
 party the contract would have expired in March of 1982.  The contract
 further provided that in the event renegotiation of the collective
 bargaining contract had not been completed prior to the "termination
 date of the Agreement," the current contract would continue in full
 force and effect "for 30 days and for such other period of time that the
 parties mutually agree on."
 
 
    /4/ According to the record, which consists solely of a number of
 exhibits and the testimony of Mr. Jeffrey Brown, Union President from
 October 1981 until July of 1983, the collective bargaining contract was
 not extended to March 20, 1982.  Accordingly,