18:0405(54)NG - NTEU Chapter 21 and Treasury, Bureau of Engraving and Printing -- 1985 FLRAdec NG



[ v18 p405 ]
18:0405(54)NG
The decision of the Authority follows:


 18 FLRA No. 54
 
 NATIONAL TREASURY EMPLOYEES UNION, 
 CHAPTER 21 
 Union 
 
 and 
 
 DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, 
 BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING 
 Agency
 
                                            Case No. 0-NG-558
 
                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 presents issues
 concerning the negotiability of two Union proposals.  Upon careful
 consideration of the entire record, including the parties' contentions,
 the Authority makes the following determinations.
 
                             Union Proposal 1
 
          No searches of personal clothing or of the body of employees
       shall be conducted unless such searches are authorized by warrant
       and/or incident to an arrest.
 
    The record in this case indicates that the Bureau of Engraving and
 Printing produces currency paper, postage stamps, Treasury bills and
 bonds and other secure items.  A high level of security in the workplace
 is needed to ensure that these items and the tools used to produce them
 are not removed from the premises.  Since many of these items are small
 and could be concealed in clothing, the Agency had determined that an
 essential component of its plan to prevent the theft or misuse of its
 property and products is to conduct searches of the body and clothing of
 employees when necessary.  Union Proposal 1, however, by expressly
 limiting the Agency's right to conduct such searches to the
 circumstances set out in the proposal would directly interfere with the
 security plan adopted by the Agency.  Thus, it conflicts with the
 Agency's right to determine its internal security practices pursuant to
 section 7106(a)(1) of the Statute and is outside the duty to bargain.
 See Federal Employees Metal Trades Council and Department of the Navy,
 Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, California, 12 FLRA 361 (1983).
 
                             Union Proposal 2
 
          At all entrances and exits where package inspections are to
       occur, signs are to be prominently displayed which state the
       employee's rights pursuant to 5 USC 7114(a)(2)(B), the employee's
       right to silence and employee's Constitutional rights under the
       5th Amendment.  (Only the underlined portion is in dispute.)
 
    The disputed portion of Union Proposal 2 requires the Agency to post
 signs informing employees of their constitutional rights and of a
 contractual right to remain silent.  The Union indicates that this
 contractual right would prohibit Agency officials from asking employees
 any questions during a package inspection.  /1/ Thus, Union Proposal 2
 would have the effect of precluding management from disciplining
 employees for refusing to answer questions relating to package
 inspections when entering or departing the Agency's premises.
 
    The Authority finds that the issue raised by Union Proposal 2 is
 essentially the same as that which was presented in Tidewater Virginia
 Federal Employees Metal Trades Council and Navy Public Works Center,
 Norfolk, Virginia, 15 FLRA No. 73 (1984).  In that case, the Authority
 found that Provision 1 therein concerning an employee's right to remain
 silent during any discussion with management in which the employee
 believed disciplinary action might be taken against him or her was
 outside the duty to bargain as the provision prevented management from
 acting at all in regard to its substantive right under section
 7106(a)(2)(A) to take disciplinary action against employees.  /2/ The
 Authority noted the effect of the provision would have been to insulate
 employees from disciplinary action should they decline to account for
 their work or conduct during investigations which the employees believed
 might lead to disciplinary proceedings.  Moreover, the Authority held
 further in Navy Public Works Center, Norfolk, Virginia, that
 m