18:0638(76)CA - Navy, Washington, DC and Service Employees International Union Local 556 -- 1985 FLRAdec CA
[ v18 p638 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
18 FLRA No. 76 DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY WASHINGTON, D.C. Respondent and SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION, LOCAL 556, AFL-CIO Charging Party Case No. 8-CA-30006 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, including the stipulation of facts, accompanying exhibits and the parties' contentions, the Authority finds: The complaint herein alleges that the Respondent, Department of the Navy, Washington, D.C., promulgated a directive effective October 1, 1982, which instituted a change in the established policy of hand delivering paychecks to employees located at four of its activities, (1) United States Navy, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, (2) United States Navy, Naval Submarine Base, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, (3) United States Marine Corps, Marine Barracks, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and (4) United States Navy, Naval Supply Center, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, hereinafter referred to collectively as the Naval Activities, without affording the employees' exclusive representative, Service Employees International Union, Local 556, AFL-CIO (the Union), an opportunity to bargain over the change, thereby interfering with the bargaining relationships between the Union and the individual Naval Activities in violation of section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute. /1/ The stipulated record shows that the Union is recognized as the exclusive representative for units of employees located at the Naval Activities which are subordinate activities of the Respondent. Each Activity has a collective bargaining agreement with the Union covering these employees. Prior to October 1, 1982, all employees had the option of paycheck hand delivery. On October 6, 1981, the Respondent issued SECNAV Instruction 7200.17, a directive applicable to the Naval Activities, establishing a policy that civilian pay for all newly hired employees be distributed by direct deposit to a financial institution or by mail to a nonwork address. The directive specifically established that the policies regarding pay services were "(t)o distribute civilian pay by PDQ/Direct Deposit or mail upon entry of all civilian employees hired within DON(,)" and "(w)here feasible, to discontinue hand delivery of pay and leave earnings statements for current civilian personnel." In addition, the SECNAV Instruction required addressees to "take appropriate action to ensure that all activities under their command comply with this instruction and with the implementing procedures . . ." and take direct responsibility for "(s)upporting the establishment . . . by PDQ/Direct Deposit or mail upon entry of all civilian employees hired by any DON activity on and after 1 October 1982(.)" On July 1, 1982, the Respondent issued a CNO Message to the Naval Activities regarding "Policy for Military and Civilian Pay Services," referencing SECNAV Instruction 7200.17, which required the Naval Activities to take appropriate action to inform all new hires beginning October 1, 1982, that their pay would be forwarded to a designated financial institution or mailed to a nonwork address along with leave and earnings statements. On August 4, 1982, the Naval Activities notified the Union by letter that the Respondent had directed that all new hires, beginning October 1, 1982, be informed that their pay would be forwarded to a designated financial institution or mailed to a nonwork address. The August 4, 1982, letter solicited the Union's comments by August 20, 1982, prior to the implementation of the new policy. On August 9, 1982, the Union made a request to bargain with the Naval Activities on the substance of the proposed change in the pay policy. On August 19, 1982, the Naval Activities, by letter, informed the Union that the proposed change would be treated as a rule or regulation issued by a primary national subdivision of an agency and, therefore, was not negotiable in substance. The Naval Activities further indicated that they would bargain with the Union over any negotiable impact and implementation proposals submitted in writing by August 31, 1982. On September 15, 1982, the Union renewed its request to the Naval Activities to bargain over the substance of the proposed change in pay policy. The Union did not submit proposals regarding impact and implementation of the proposed change to the Naval Activities. On October 1, 1982, the Naval Activities implemented the change in pay policy without affording the Union an opportunity to bargain over the substance of the change in pay policy. The General Counsel alleges that by directing the Naval Activities in its July 9, 1982, CNO Message to change the established policy and practice of hand delivering employees' pay checks without affording the Union an opportunity to bargain over the change with the appropriate local activity, the Respondent interfered with the bargaining relationships between the Union and the respective local activities in violation of section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute. The Respondent contends, inter alia, that the change instituted by Respondent's directive constituted a method of performing work under section 7106(b)(1) of the Statute, /2/ and therefore was negotiable only at its election. The Authority has held that management's selection of the method of paycheck distribution concerns the methods and means of performing work within the meaning of section 7106(b)(1) of the Statute and thus is negotiable only at the election of the agency. Federal Employees Metal Trades Council, AFL-CIO and Department of the Navy, Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, California, 16 FLRA No. 88 (1984), petition for review filed, No. 85-7039 (9th Cir. Jan. 22, 1985). Thus, the Authority finds that the General Counsel has not met the burden of proving that the Respondent's action in mandating a change in the method of paycheck delivery to newly hired employees allegedly without permitting the local Naval Activities to bargain with the Union concerning the substance of such change in the method of paycheck delivery constituted a violation of section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute. /3/ Accordingly, the complaint shall be dismissed. ORDER IT IS ORDERED that the complaint in Case No. 8-CA-30006 be, and it hereby is, dismissed.