19:0328(47)CA - SSA, Office of Hearings and Appeals, Region II, NY, NY and AFGE Local 1760 -- 1985 FLRAdec CA



[ v19 p328 ]
19:0328(47)CA
The decision of the Authority follows:


 19 FLRA No. 47
 
 SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
 OFFICE OF HEARINGS AND APPEALS
 REGION II
 NEW YORK, NEW YORK
 Respondent
 
 and
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
 EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, LOCAL 1760
 Charging Party
 
                                            Case Nos. 12-CA-20179 
                                                      12-CA-20355 
 
                            DECISION AND ORDER
 
    The Administrative Law Judge issued his Decision in the
 above-entitled proceeding finding that the Respondent had engaged in
 certain unfair labor practices alleged in the consolidated complaint,
 and recommending that it be ordered to cease and desist therefrom and
 take certain affirmative action.  The Judge found further that the
 Respondent had not engaged in certain other unfair labor practices
 alleged in the consolidated complaint, and recommended that those
 portions of the consolidated complaint be dismissed.  Thereafter, the
 Respondent filed exceptions to the Judge's Decision with a supporting
 brief, and the General Counsel filed an opposition to the Respondent's
 exceptions and cross-exceptions with a supporting brief.
 
    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 recommended Order.
 
    The Authority concludes, in agreement with the Judge, that the
 Respondent violated section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute when it
 implemented its office relocation without negotiating with the American
 Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 1760, its employees'
 exclusive representative, over certain negotiable proposals regarding
 the procedures to be observed and appropriate arrangements for employees
 adversely affected by the office relocation.  In so concluding, the
 Authority emphasizes that such a duty to bargain arises where an agency,
 in exercising a management right under the Statute, changes conditions
 of employment of unit employees if such change results in more than a de
 minimis impact upon unit employees or such impact is reasonably
 foreseeable.  See U.S. Government Printing Office, 13 FLRA 203 (1983);
 Department of Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration,
 Chicago, Region, 15 FLRA No. 174 (1984);  and U.S. Government Printing
 Office, 17 FLRA No. 38 (1985).  In this regard, the Authority finds, in
 the circumstances of this case, that the relocation of the Office of
 Hearings and Appeals of Region II of the SSA from Mineola, N.Y. to
 Hempstead, N.Y., a distance of four or five miles, had more than a de
 minimis impact upon the unit employees involved and such impact is
 reasonably foreseeable.
 
    The Authority further finds, in agreement with the Judge, that the
 Respondent did not violate section 7116(a)(1), (5) and (6) of the
 Statute when it exercised its management right to effectuate the office
 relocation while certain additional proposals dealing with the
 procedures to be observed and appropriate arrangements for employees
 adversely affected by the implementation of the relocation were being
 negotiated with the assistance of a Federal Mediation and Conciliation
 Service (FMCS) mediator.  In this regard, the record indicates that the
 Respondent gave the Union adequate notice of its intention to relocate;
 bargained with the Union to impasse over these proposals;  agreed to
 FMCS assistance;  effectuated the relocation according to its announced
 timetable to avoid paying double rent;  and thereafter continued to seek
 resolution of the impasse by meeting with the mediator and participating
 in proceedings before the Federal Service Impasses Panel.  Thus, in all
 of these circumstances, the Authority finds that the Respondent did not
 violate the Statute when it effectuated the office relocation to avoid
 unnecessary Government expense while continuing to cooperate with the
 mediation process.
 
    Finally, the Authority agrees with the Judge's conclusion that the
 Union's request for data regarding additional expenses by the Respondent
 for office fixtures and amenities did not bear directly on bargainable
 issues and therefore such request for information was not necessary to
 the negotiations involved herein.  In adopting the Judge's factual
 finding in this regard, the Authority does not rely on the Judge's
 statement at p. 15 of this Decision that the information requested was
 not "presumptively relevant." Rather, section 7114(b)(4)(B) of the
 Statute requires that the information requested be "reasonably available
 and necessary," /1A/ a determination which must be made on a
 case-by-case basis.  See, e.g., Army and Air Force Exchange Service
 (AAFES), Fort Carson, Colorado, 17 FLRA No. 92 (1985);  Bureau of
 Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, National Office, Washington, D.C., 18
 FLRA No. 74 (1985).
 
                                   ORDER
 
    Pursuant to section 2423.29 of the Rules and Regulations of the
 Federal Labor Relations Authority and section 7118 of the Federal
 Service Labor-Management Relations Statute, the Authority hereby orders
 that the Social Security Administration, Office of Hearings and Appeals,
 Region II, New York, New York, shall:
 
    1.  Cease and desist from:
 
    (a) In the future, relocating or moving its offices and employees
 without first notifying the American Federation of Government Employees,
 AFL-CIO, Local 1760, the exclusive representative of its employees, and
 affording such representative the opportunity to negotiate concerning
 the procedures to be observed in such relocation and appropriate
 arrangements for employees adversely affected by such action.
 
    (b) Refusing to negotiate in good faith with the American Federation
 of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 1760, the exclusive
 representative of its employees, as to the procedures to be observed in
 implementing its office relocation from Mineola to Hempstead, New York,
 and appropriate arrangements for employees adversely affected thereby,
 including, but not limited to, Proposals #1, 8C, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16
 and 22, submitted to it by the exclusive representative.
 
    (c) In any like or related manner interfering with, restraining, or
 coercing employees in the exercise of their rights assured by the
 Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute.
 
    2.  Take the following affirmative action in order to effectuate the
 purposes and policies of the Statute:
 
    (a) Notify the American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO,
 Local 1760, the exclusive representative of its employees, of any
 intention to relocate its offices and employees, and afford such
 representative the opportunity to negotiate concerning the procedures to
 be observed in the relocation and appropriate arrangements for employees
 adversely affected by such action.
 
    (b) Upon request, negotiate in good faith with the American
 Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 1760, the exclusive
 representative of its employees, as to the procedures to be observed in
 implementing its relocation from Mineola to Hempstead, New York, and
 appropriate arrangements for employees adversely affected by the
 relocation, including, but not limited to, Proposals #1, 8C, 9, 10, 12,
 13, 15, 16, and 22, submitted to it by the exclusive representative.
 
    (c) Post at its facilities in Hempstead, New York, copies of the
 attached Notice on forms to be furnished by the Federal Labor Relations
 Authority.  Upon receipt of such forms they shall be signed by the
 Regional Manager of the Hempstead, New York office, or a designee, and
 shall be posted and maintained for 60 consecutive days thereafter, in
 conspicuous places, including bulletin boards and other places where
 notices to employees are customarily posted.  Reasonable steps shall be
 taken to ensure that such Notices are not altered, defaced, or covered
 by any other material.
 
    (d) Notify the Regional Director, Region I, Federal Labor Relations
 Authority, in writing, within 30 days from the date of this Order, as to
 what steps have been taken to comply herewith.
 
    IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the portion of the consolidated complaint
 found not violative of the Statute be, and it hereby is, dismissed.
 
 Issued, Washington, D.C., July 26, 1985
 
                                       Henry B. Frazier III, Acting
                                       Chairman
                                       William J. McGinnis, Jr., Member
                                       FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 
 
 
 
 
 
                          NOTICE TO ALL EMPLOYEES
 
  PURSUANT TO A DECISION AND ORDER OF THE FEDERAL LABOR
 RELATIONS
 AUTHORITY AND IN ORDER TO EFFECTUATE THE POLICIES OF CHAPTER 71
 OF TITLE
 5 OF THE UNITED STATES CODE FEDERAL SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT
 RELATIONS
 WE HEREBY NOTIFY OUR EMPLOYEES THAT:
 
 WE WILL NOT in the future relocate or move our offices and employees,
 without first notifying the American Federation of Government Employees,
 AFL-CIO, Local 1760, the exclusive representative of our employees, and
 affording such representative the opportunity to negotiate concerning
 the procedures to be observed in such relocation and appropriate
 arrangements for employees adversely affected by such action.  WE WILL
 NOT refuse to negotiate in good faith with the American Federation of
 Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 1760, the exclusive representative
 of our employees, as to the procedures to be observed in implementing
 our office relocation from Mineola to Hempstead, New York, and
 appropriate arrangements for employees adversely affected thereby,
 including but not limited to, Proposals #1, 8C, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16
 and 22, submitted to us by the exclusive representative.  WE will NOT in
 any like or related manner interfere with, restrain, or coerce our
 employees in the exercise of their rights assured by the Federal Service
 Labor-Management Relations Statute.  WE WILL notify the American
 Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 1760, the exclusive
 representative of our employees, of any intention to relocate our
 offices and employees, and afford such representative the opportunity to
 negotiate concerning the procedures to be observed in the relocation and
 appropriate arrangements for employees adversely affected by such
 action.  WE WILL, upon request, negotiate in good faith with the
 American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 1760, the
 exclusive representative of our employees, as to the procedures to be
 observed in implementing our relocation from Mineola to Hempstead, New
 York, and appropriate arrangements for employees adversely affected by
 the relocation, including, but not limited to, Proposals #1, 8C, 9, 10,
 12, 13, 15, 16 and 22, submitted to us by the exclusive representative.
                                       (Activity)
 
 Dated:  . . .  By:  (Signature) (Title) This Notice must remain posted
 for 60 consecutive days from the date of posting, and must not be
 altered, defaced, or covered by any other material.  If employees have
 any questions concerning this Notice or compliance with its provisions,
 they may communicate directly with the Regional Director, Region I,
 Federal Labor Relations Authority, whose address is:  441 Stuart Street,
 9th Floor, Boston, MA 02116 and whose telephone number is:  (617)
 223-0920.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 -------------------- ALJ$ DECISION FOLLOWS --------------------
 
                                       Case Nos. 12-CA-20179, 12-CA-20355
 
    Stephen Sunshine, Esq.
    Elliott Glassman,
       For the Respondent
 
    Marilyn Z. Roth, Esq.
       For the General Counsel
 
    James Armet
       For the Charging Party
 
    Before:  WILLIAM NAIMARK
       Administrative Law Judge
 
                                 DECISION
 
                           Statement of the Case
 
    Pursuant to an Order Consolidating Cases, Complaint and Notice of
 Hearing issued on October 29, 1982 by the Regional Director for the
 Federal Labor Relations Authority, Boston, Massachusetts, a hearing was
 held before the undersigned on December 16, 1982 at New York, NY.
 
    This proceeding arises under the Federal Service Labor-Management
 Relations Statute (hereinafter called the Statute).  It is based on a
 charge filed on January 5, 1982 and a charge filed on April 12, 1982
 both filed by American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO,
 Local 1760 (hereinafter called the Union) against Social Security
 Administration, Office of Hearings and Appeals, Region II, New York, New
 York (hereinafter called Respondent).
 
    The Complaint herein alleged, in substance, that Respondent (a) since
 on or about September 11, 1981 refused to bargain regarding the impact
 and implementation of a relocation of the Mineola, New York Hearing
 office to Hempstead, New York;  (b) on or about January 19, 1982
 unilaterally changed conditions of employment of relocating the Mineola
 Hearing office to Hempstead without affording the Union an opportunity
 to bargain regarding impact and implementation of such change;  (c)
 failed and refused to cooperate in impasse procedures by relocating the
 Mineola Hearing office to Hempstead on January 19, 1982 while impact and
 implementation bargaining was in process with the assistance of the
 Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service;  (d) on or about November
 12, and thereafter refused to furnish the Union with correspondence
 between it and General Services Administration and the landlord known as
 250 Fulton Avenue, Hempstead, New York, including the lease and any
 memoranda regarding additional expenditures by it for office fixtures
 and amenities-- all in violation of Section 7116(a)(1), (5), (6), and
 (8) of the Statute.
 
    Respondent filed an Answer dated November 19, 1982 which denied the
 essential allegations of the complaint as well as the commission of any
 unfair labor practice.
 
    All parties were represented at the hearing.  Each was afforded full
 opportunity to be heard, to adduce evidence, and to examine as well as
 cross-examine witnesses.  Thereafter briefs were filed with the
 undersigned which have been duly considered.
 
    Upon the entire record in this case, from my observation of the
 witnesses and their demeanor, and from all the testimony and evidence
 adduced at the hearing, I make the following findings and conclusions:
 
                             Findings of Fact
 
    1.  At all times material herein the American Federation of
 Government Employees, AFL-CIO, has been, and still is, the certified
 exclusive bargaining representative of a consolidated nationwide unit of
 professional employees and a unit of nonprofessional employees of the
 Social Security Administration, including all employees in the Office of
 Hearings and Appeals, New York Region.
 
    2.  At all times material herein, American Federation of Government
 Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 1760, has been, and still is, the designated
 representative of the American federation of Government Employees,
 AFL-CIO, and has been so recognized by Respondent, for the purpose of
 collective bargaining on behalf of employees at the Office of Hearings
 and Appeals in the New York, New York Region as to matters involving
 conditions of employment thereat.
 
    3.  Both the Social Security Administration and American Federation
 of Government Employees, AFL-CIO are parties to an agreement covering
 all nationwide unit employees, as aforesaid, and the said agreement is
 effective by its terms on June 11, 1982 for a period of three years.
 
    4.  By letter dated November 19, 1980, Alfred F. Agresti,
 Respondent's Facilities Management Specialist, notified Herbert
 Collender, President of the Union, that Respondent would be moving and
 relocating its office from Mineola, New York to Hempstead, New York.
 
    5.  James Armet, /1/ Vice-President for Administration of the Union,
 responded in a letter dated December 3, 1980 wherein he requested
 bargaining on the impact of the move on unit employees.  The Union
 official also requested copies of all materials, documents, plans,
 diagrams, and contracts regarding the office and its relocation.
 
    6.  In a letter dated July 24, 1981, Collender wrote L. Charles
 Leonard, Respondent's Regional Chief Administrative Law Judge.  The
 Union agent reaffirmed the Union's demand to bargain concerning the
 procedure management will observe in implementing its decision to
 relocate from Mineola to Hempstead, as well as the arrangements for
 employees adversely affected by the decision.  Collender also requested
 the following:  (a) the lease agreement for the new location;  (b)
 schedule for movement of staff and equipment;  (c) floor outline
 diagram;  (d) other relevant data which would facilitate the collective
 bargaining process.
 
    7.  Respondent's representative Agresti wrote Collender on July 27,
 1981 that the Office of Hearings and Appeals would relocate from
 Mineola, New York to 250 Fulton Avenue, Hempstead, New York /2/ within
 90 days;  that the Union agent should submit any comments regarding the
 move by August 28, 1981.
 
    8.  Armet replied to Leonard in a letter dated August 6, 1981 wherein
 the Union official refused to state comments but insisted on bargaining
 regarding the procedures and arrangements adversely affecting employees.
  He also submitted 22 Union proposals which the Union felt impacted upon
 the employees as a result of the move, and these proposals involved
 various conditions of employment which the bargaining agent desired to
 put into effect at the Hempstead location.  (GC Exh. 9B).
 
    9.  In a letter dated August 6, 1981 Agresti notified Collender that
 Respondent had requested GSA to furnish a copy of the lease which, upon
 receipt, would be forwarded to the Union.  He further stated that when
 the schedule for moving staff and equipment is developed, the
 information would be given to the Union;  that floor plans were sent to
 Armet on December 22, 1980;  and that Collender should specify
 additional relevant data requested from management.
 
    10.  On September 11, 1981 the parties met and went over the Union's
 proposals generally.  Management's representative, Stephen Sunshine,
 commented that generally most of them were non-negotiable.
 
    11.  At a meeting between the parties on October 9, 1981 the Union
 hand delivered a written request to management for "all correspondence
 between OHA management, the General Services Administration and the
 landlord of the premises known as 250 Fulton Avenue, Hempstead, New
 York, relative to OHA's occupancy of the subject space." The request
 specified that the foregoing included the lease and any memorandum
 regarding additional expenses by OHA for office fixtures and amenities.
 
    At this meeting the parties discussed Union Proposal #1 which was as
 follows:
 
          "the employer guarantees that the premises located at 250
       Fulton Avenue, Hempstead, New York, are free from all health and
       safety hazards.  Furthermore, management warrants that they will
       maintain said premises in such fashion at all times."
 
 Armet testified, and I find, that Sunshine stated GSA is responsible for
 any type of building maintenance or ensuring health and safety of the
 premises;  that the agency would provide the same positions vis-a-vis
 health and safety as exists at Mineola.  Since there would be no
 changes, Sunshine asserted the proposal was outside the scope of
 bargaining.  He also stated that the proposal was not bargainable at the
 local level since it was on the table at national negotiations.
 
    12.  By letter dated October 15, 1981, Respondent advised Armet that,
 in respect to Proposal #1, the agency contended:  (a) it exceeded the
 scope of impact and implementation bargaining, and (b) the subject
 matter is encompassed by negotiations at the national level.
 Accordingly, the Respondent did not consider that Proposal #1 was
 appropriate for negotiation.  The letter also declared that management
 does not allege that the duty to bargain does not extend to this matter;
  that the letter should not be so construed;  and that Respondent will
 not state in writing that this proposal is non-negotiable.
 
    13.  The parties met on October 16, 1981 at which time Union agent
 Armet presented, in writing, three additional proposals.  /3/ Proposal
 #8C was as follows:
 
          "the restrooms will contain a lounge area with at least a sofa
       and chair for use by members of the bargaining unit."
 
 Respondent's representative Sunshine declared there was no lounge area
 in Mineola and there would be none in Hempstead;  that the proposal
 exceeded the scope of impact bargaining.  Record facts show that one of
 the restrooms in Mineola had a table and chairs, and that it could have
 been used as a lounge.
 
    The Union also submitted to management Proposal #9 which was as
 follows:
 
          "the employer will provide the subject premises with two water
       coolers for the exclusive use of members of the bargaining unit."
 
 At the said meeting on October 16, 1981, management stated that there
 was no change in regard to this item.  Mineola had one water cooler and
 there would be one in Hempstead.  /4/ Sunshine declared it was not
 negotiable.
 
    The third proposal submitted by the Union on October 16, 1981 a
 policy concerning smoking in facilities.  Proposal #10 provided:
 
          "Chapter 1-60, 'Policy on Smoking in HEW Occupied Buildings and
       Facilities,' dated January 18, 1978 and part of the General
       Administration Manual, and SSA Administrative Directives System
       Guide, SSA, g:  110-5, dated September 15, 1978, entitled 'Policy
       on Smoking in SSA Occupied Buildings and Facilities,' are
       incorporated into this agreement, in toto, relative to smoking in
       the same premises."
 
 In respect to this item, Respondent insisted the language was
 non-negotiable since the agency was bound by no-smoking regulations at
 each location.  Therefore, it was declared by Sunshine that no adverse
 impact existed.  Record facts show there was not any no-smoking areas in
 the Mineola office;  that in the summer of 1982 they did set aside one
 such small area to accommodate an asthmatic employee.  Further, the
 Union wanted the no-smoking regulation to be grievable as part of an
 agreement regarding impact and implementation.
 
    14.  Under date of October 22, 1981 Respondent wrote Armet that, with
 respect to Proposals 8C, 9 and 10, they exceeded the scope of impact and
 implementation bargaining and were not deemed appropriate for
 negotiation;  that Respondent made no allegation there was no duty to
 bargain therein, and would not state the proposals were non-negotiable.
 /5/
 
    15.  The parties met again on October 23, 1981 at which time the
 Union submitted in writing two additional proposals.  Its Proposal #15
 provided as follows:
 
          "All windows will be equipped with either blinds, shades, or
       drapes to control light."
 
 Agency representative Sunshine stated at the meeting that he was advised
 the windows at Hempstead had drapes.  Since this was true, management
 declared, there was no adverse impact on unit employees.  Sunshine
 insisted that since there was no impact the proposal went beyond the
 scope of impact bargaining.  However, he refused to label the matter as
 non-negotiable.
 
    The Union's Proposal #16, submitted on October 23, 1981 to
 management, was as follows:
 
          "All office equipment that makes excessive noise (copiers, word
       processing equipment, etc.) will be isolated so as not to disturb
       employees."
 
 Record facts show that, although a floor plan was provided the Union of
 the new office, the location of all equipment at Hempstead is not shown
 therein.  While Union representative did not show where machines were
 placed in the new location, he testified "people had complained that
 there was a noise."
 
    Respondent sent identical letters to Armet dated November 2, 1981
 with respect to Proposals #15 and 16.  In said letters, management
 stated that the proposal exceeded the scope of impact and implementation
 bargaining and therefore deemed inappropriate for negotiation;  that
 Respondent did not consider the proposal non-negotiable;  and that the
 letter should not be construed as an allegation that the duty to bargain
 does not extend to the proposal.
 
    16.  At a meeting between the parties on November 2, 1981 the Union
 submitted in writing four more proposals.  /6/ The Union Proposal #12
 stated the following:
 
          "A.  Space sufficient to accommodate a day care facility for
       children of bargaining unit employees will also be provided.
 
          B.  Such day care facility will be operated by a committee of
       users appointed by the Union and any costs, aside from the space
       and utilities, will be borne by the user employees."
 
 In respect to this proposal, Armet told management that it would take
 some employees longer to get to work at the new location in Hempstead.
 Thus, he stated, it might be necessary to make other arrangements for
 the care of small children.  Armet mentioned that Hempstead is on a
 different branch of the commuter railroad than Mineola, and therefore
 some employees would have difficulty in getting to work at the new site.
  Although the Union official suggested a joint survey, since management
 doubted the employees were affected in that respect, no response was
 made to the suggestion.
 
    The Union, in Proposal #13, suggested as follows:
 
          "Each union steward will be provided with a locking file
       cabinet for storage of confidential labor-management materials and
       records."
 
 Record facts disclose that, as to this proposal, the agency took the
 position that there was no such cabinet for the stewards in Mineola, and
 therefore it was outside the scope of bargaining.  The Union insisted
 there was a substantial adverse impact that required locking file
 cabinets based on greater crime in Hempstead than Mineola.
 
    Proposal #17 submitted in writing by the Union on November 2 stated
 the following:
 
          "A.  The employer agrees to reimburse the employees for any
       additional expense they incur traveling to the new location
       according to the following schedule:
 
          First 120 work days - 100 percent
 
          Second 120 work days - 75 percent
 
          Third 120 work days - 50 percent
 
          (b) All expenses shall be reimbursed at the maximum GSA
       allowable rate."
 
 Management refused to discuss this proposal, contending it was being
 addressed at the national level.  Thus, Respondent deemed this item to
 be beyond the scope of bargaining at the local level.
 
    In its Proposal #22 the Union suggested the following:
 
          "The employer will provide a copy of this agreement to each
       member of the bargaining unit."
 
 Armet testified the Union felt the employees should "know what issues
 are going to be addressed to them";  that they should be award of the
 kind of agreement their representative negotiated with management.
 Apart from the disputing any impact, the agency contends this matter was
 outside the scope of bargaining.  /7/
 
    17.  In respect to the information sought by the Union, the record
 indicates that Armet advised Respondent the Union wanted the lease to
 determine what services were mandated by the lease at Mineola and
 Hempstead.  Certain items required in Mineola might not be required at
 Hempstead, and thus the employees might be affected adversely.
 
    As to correspondence among the agency, the landlord and GSA, the
 Union wanted to learn as to problems which might exist at Hempstead.
 Armet testified that since they were moving from a first floor on a
 street level to a fourth floor occupancy, he was concerned about safety.
  Thus, he wanted to know what the GSA inspectors said about the
 premises.  The Union official transmitted these concerns to management.
 
    18.  By letter dated November 12, 1981 Respondent wrote Armet that
 the information sought by the Union was internal management
 correspondence.  Further, it regarded the correspondence and materials
 as irrelevant and unnecessary to any discussion regarding potential
 adverse impact caused by the relocation of the Mineola office.
 Respondent, while refusing to furnish the data requested, stated it
 would reconsider the decision if the Union showed the relevance thereof.
 
    19.  Respondent's operations specialist Argesti testified, and I
 find, management attempted to obtain a copy of the lease of the
 Hempstead premises through the Facilities Engineering and Construction
 Agency.  A letter was written on July 28, 1981 to the latter agency by
 Respondent's management officer David Kolachny requesting same.  The
 said agency, under date of July 31, 1981 wrote GSA and formally
 requested the lease desired by the Union.  The lease was never provided
 as requested.
 
                                Conclusions
 
    The essential issues /8/ presented for determination herein are as
 follows:  (1) whether Respondent failed to bargain in good faith with
 the Union concerning the impact and implementation of the movement of
 its office and employees from Mineola, New York to Hempstead, New York;
 (2) whether Respondent's refusal or failure to furnish information
 requested by the Union was violative of the Statute.
 
    (1) The employer herein concedes that it is obliged to bargain
 regarding the impact and implementation of its decision to relocate the
 Office of Hearings and Appeals.  In truth, its letters to the Union
 official, James Armet, as well as the record itself, reflects that
 management continually asserted it did not take the position that the
 proposals submitted by the Union were non-negotiable.  However, having
 affirmed its duty to negotiate as to the effect of its move, Respondent
 insists that no adverse impact has been shown by the Union.  In
 particular, the agency argues that the proposals by the bargaining
 representative do not establish any adverse impact in each instance.
 Further, Respondent maintains that either no change is evident Panel, 2
 am persuaded that all of them-- except Proposal 17A & B-- the impact of
 any proposal upon the employees is not substantial as required by the
 Authority.  See Office of Program Operation, Field Operations, Social
 Security Administration, et al., 5 FLRA No. 45 (1981).
 
    In contradistinction to Respondent's position regarding the
 consideration of a possible impact resulting from the proposals by the
 Union, the General Counsel contends that it is the change in location
 which gives rise to any possible obligation to bargain.  If the decision
 to relocate involves foreseeable impact and the specific proposals
 relate to working conditions encompassed by the move, an employer is
 required to bargain regarding this impact and implementation.  As argued
 by General Counsel, the employer herein was not entitled to reject the
 10 proposals submitted by the Union on the alleged ground that they
 exceeded the scope of impact and implementation bargaining merely
 because it insists no actual adverse impact was shown to exist.
 
    It is clear, both from a reading of the "management rights"
 provisions of the Statute, Section 7106 thereof, and the decisional law,
 that certain prerogatives are reserved to an employer in respect to
 personnel as well as the technology, methods and means of performing
 work.  Matters embraced within such statutory authority given to
 management will be deemed non-negotiable.  Nevertheless, though an
 agency may not be called upon to negotiate the decision in such regard,
 the Statute specifies that the parties may bargain as to the procedures
 to be observed in effecting the particular decision, as well as
 appropriate arrangements for employees adversely affected thereby.
 Thus, specific proposals by the Union-- though not negotiable because
 they conflicted with a manual regulation, for which no compelling need
 existed-- still were deemed bargainable regarding impact and
 implementation.  /9/ The Adjutant General's Office, Puerto Rico Air
 National Guard, 3 FLRA No. 55 (1980).
 
    With respect to the action taken by an agency which gives rise to a
 duty to negotiate the impact and implementation thereof, I agree with
 the General Counsel's position that, in the case at bar, it is the
 change in location that underlies a possible obligation to bargain.
 Contrary to Respondent's contention, when an employer relocates or moves
 its office and employees one must consider whether such change itself--
 rather than the extent of a change in a particular condition-- will
 result in an adverse impact upon employees.  Thus, as an example, an
 agency might have, in a new office area, the same number of windows as
 the old location.  Nevertheless, the new location might be surrounded by
 adjacent buildings which cut off the light in the office.  An adverse
 impact upon employees stems from the move itself.  There may be
 inadequate lighting, and yet the employer may argue there is no change
 since the same number of windows exist at both locations.  Thus it is
 that I do not accept Respondent's argument that no adverse impact
 resulted as to some of the Union's proposals because the same conditions
 (i.e. water coolers) prevailed at Hempstead as at Mineola.
 
    However, not every proposal of a Union, even though inspired by a
 relocation would require an employee to bargain thereon.  I would agree
 with Respondent that the Union herein cannot take the occasion of the
 location to negotiate regarding any proposal the bargaining agent may
 care to submit.  The matters which a Union desires to negotiate should
 relate to working conditions of employees.  This is self-evident from a
 reading of the definition of "collective bargaining" as set forth in
 Section 7103(a)(12) of the Statute.  In defining that term the Statute
 bespeaks of an obligation to bargain with respect to conditions of
 employment affecting employees.  Accordingly, any change effected by the
 agency, before it imposes a duty to bargain upon the latter with respect
 to matters presented by the Union, must be viewed as to whether, a
 priori, these matters involve employment conditions.
 
    Moreover, the change resulting from an agency's action-- albeit a
 reassignment, new program, or relocation-- must reflect a substantial
 impact upon the employees.  It will not do to obligate an agency to
 negotiate regarding changes which are de minimus or insignificant,
 having no direct bearing upon employees.  The Authority has adopted this
 view and hastened to conclude that the adverse impact of a change must
 be substantial.  Office of Program Operations, Field Operations, Social
 Security Administration, et al., supra;  Social Security Administration,
 Bureau of Hearings and Appeals, 2 FLRA No. 27 (1979), (involving a
 change in location of flexitime sign-in/sign-out sheets).
 
    A dispute, however, may arise in certain instances as to whether an
 adverse impact will result from a change effected by management.  Where,
 as here, the change has not occurred at the time the bargaining agent
 requested negotiation regarding certain matters, it may be argued by an
 employer that no impact either existed or could result from agency
 action.  A very thorough analysis of a rational approach to be followed
 in such an instance was enunciated by Judge Dowd in his decision in U.S.
 Government Printing and Joint Council of Union, GPO, Case No. 3-CA-549
 (decided April 9, 1981).  It was concluded therein that a useful test to
 employ-- where no actual impact has yet occured-- is whether there
 exists a reasonable likelihood of a substantial impact wrought by
 management's action.  Thus, something more than a mere possibility of
 some impact must be evident from the change.  I would adhere to this
 rationale and adopt the view that adverse impact must be a likely
 resultant from the action taken by the employer.
 
    Turning to the case at bar, I am satisfied that the relocation from
 Mineola to Hempstead of an office staff is a change likely to result in
 a substantial impact upon Respondent's employees.  The movement of an
 office from one town to another, with attendant differences in building
 structures and size, location, area, neighborhood facilities, transit
 routes, and security-- to name a few considerations-- must necessarily
 constitute a change affecting the employees of the agency herein.  The
 foregoing factors, moreover, give rise to an obvious conclusion that it
 is a reasonable likelihood such relocation will produce a substantial
 and adverse impact upon Respondent's workers.  Thus, the move from
 Mineola to Hempstead, in my opinion, imposed a duty upon the employer
 herein to negotiate with respect to the procedures to be observed in
 effecting such relocation, as well as appropriate arrangements which are
 likely to affect its employees.  See United States Department of
 Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, Dallas District and National
 Treasury Employees Union, National Treasury Employees Union, Chapter 46,
 Case No. 6-CA-1056 (decided June 4, 1982).
 
    With respect to the proposals submitted by the Union to Respondent,
 exclusive of those which were sent to the Federal Service Impasses
 Panel, I am persuaded that all of them - except Proposal 17A & B - may
 be properly deemed conditions of employment.  Said proposals are
 incidental to, and relate to, the relocation by Respondent from Mineola
 and Hempstead.  The various items refer specifically to personnel
 matters and practices involving the unit employees.  As such, they may
 be indicative of the impact resulting from the move to the new area.
 
    In sum, I am satisfied that, as conditions of employment, the
 Respondent may not establish, as a valid defense to their consideration,
 that such matters were outside the scope of impact bargaining.  See
 American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO,
 Local 2477, et al., and Library of Congress, 7 FLRA No. 89 (1982)
 (involving a relocation of employees to a new building).  The Authority
 declared that inter alia, the following proposals by the bargaining
 agent, as a result of the relocation, related to matters affecting
 working conditions:  (a) file cabinet space, (b) office size, (c)
 partitions to insure no noise, (d) conformance to fire codes and
 regulations, (e) prohibiting work in areas violating safety codes.  /10/
 See also American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO and Air
 Force Logistics Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, 2 FLRA
 No. 77 (1980) (involving day care facilities);  National Treasury
 Employees Union and NTEU Chapter 80 and Department of the Treasury,
 Internal Revenue Service, Central Region, 8 FLRA No. 38 (1982)
 (involving installation of drapes, noise abatement items).
 
    However, in regard to Proposal 17A & B, I am constrained to conclude
 that these do not fall within the framework of the term "condition of
 employment" as defined in Section 7103(a)(3) of the Statute.  The latter
 section excepts from such term policies, practices and matters "to the
 extent such matters are specifically provided for by Federal Statute."
 Note is taken that under 5 U.S.C. 5704 (1980) Federal employees are
 entitled to reimbursement for mileage only if they are "engaged in
 official business for the Government." Thus, the proposals herein, which
 seek reimbursement for additional expenses incurred while traveling to
 the new location, are, by Statute, not deemed employment conditions.
 Since reimbursement to employees for mileage is covered by 5 U.S.C.
 5704, the Union herein may not insist that such expenses are within the
 scope of impact bargaining.  The Authority has, moreover, determined
 that a proposal akin to Proposal 17A & B, is outside the duty to bargain
 and governed by Federal Statute.  It concluded in American Federation of
 Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Council 236 and General Services
 Administration, 9 FLRA No. 108 (1982) that commuting expenses are not
 deemed as being incurred in official travel but must be borne by the
 employees.
 
    Accordingly, I conclude that the move by Respondent from Mineola, New
 York to Hempstead, New York of its staff and office was a significant
 change, which resulted in a reasonable likelihood of substantial and
 adverse impact upon its employees.  Further, that it was required to
 bargain regarding the procedures to be observed in effecting the
 relocation, as well as the appropriate arrangements for employees
 adversely affected thereby.  Moreover, Union Proposals #1, 8C, 9, 10,
 12, 13, 15, 16, and 22-- as herein before set forth-- were conditions of
 employment related to the change and within the scope of impact
 bargaining.  /11/ Since the Respondent failed and refused to negotiate
 thereon, I also conclude it violated Section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the
 Statute.  /12/
 
    (2) The General Counsel also contends that Respondent failed to
 comply with Section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute by not furnishing data and
 materials requested by the Union.  In addition to requesting a copy of
 the floor plan at the new location, which was furnished by Respondent,
 the Union sought the following:  (a) correspondence, including the lease
 at the new premises, between the Office of Hearings and Appeals
 management, General Services Administration, and the landlord at the new
 premises relative to Respondent's occupancy of the new space;  (b)
 memorandum regarding additional expense by Office of Hearings and
 Appeals for office fixtures and amenities.
 
    An agency is obliged, under Section 7114(b)(4) to supply the
 bargaining representative with data, not prohibited by law, which:  (a)
 is normally maintained by it in the regular course of business;  (b) is
 reasonably available or necessary for full and proper discussion,
 understanding and negotiation of subject within the scope of collective
 bargaining.  /13/ With respect to the lease requested by the Union
 herein, record facts show the Respondent did not have same but sought to
 obtain it from GSA.  However, the latter agency never responded and
 since Respondent did not maintain the lease, it was unable to furnish it
 to the Union.  In this posture, I cannot conclude that the agency herein
 violated Section 7114(b) in respect to its failure to supply the Union
 with a copy thereof.  The item was not maintained by it in the regular
 course of business, and it has not been demonstrated that Respondent had
 the lease in its possession.
 
    In regard to the correspondence sought by the Union, I am persuaded
 that the request, as framed, was too broad and should have been framed
 more specifically in accord with desired information.  That this could
 have been accomplished is apparent from the fact that the Union sought
 this data because it was concerned with the safety at Hempstead.  Record
 facts reflect the bargaining agent was interested in learning what
 problems existed at this location and to ascertain the comments of the
 GSA inspectors regarding the premises.  A request for information which
 is general in nature puts management in the position of having to
 speculate as to what data should be furnished.  Director of
 Administration Headquarters, U.S. Air Force, 6 FLRA No. 24 (1981).
 Thus, much of the correspondence regarding the occupancy of the new
 space could well be irrelevant and unnecessary to a proper discussion of
 safety at the Hempstead location.  Respondent should not have been
 obliged to determine the correspondence that was referable to matters
 concerning which the Union sought to bargain.  Accordingly, I do not
 conclude Respondent breached its duty by failing and refusing to comply
 with this portion of the Union's request.
 
    With respect to the demand for data referring to expenses incurred by
 Respondent for office fixtures and amenities at Hempstead, the Union
 avers it desires such information in order to draft proposals to correct
 deficiencies.  A question is posed as to the possible relevance and
 materialability of this particular information.  The Courts have held,
 in the private sector, that certain types of information-- as in wage
 data cases-- are at the core of employer-employee relationships.  Thus
 such data is presumptively relevant.  J.I. Case v. NLRB, 253 F.2d 149
 (7th Cir. 1968).  In other instances the burden is on the Union to
 establish the relevance of the material sought to bargainable issues -
 San Diego Newspaper Guild v. NLRB, 548 F.2d 863 (9th Cir. 1977).  While
 the Union herein argues it seeks this data to draft proposals to correct
 deficiencies, this request is directed to expenses incurred in the
 office itself.  As such, I view this information as not presumptively
 relevant to bargaining concerning employment conditions at Hempstead.
 The expenses by management for office fixtures and amenities are not
 shown herein to be directly related to employment conditions at
 Hempstead.  Contrariwise, Union officials aver they wanted to learn
 possible deficiencies so as to draft proposals for bargaining.  It does
 not appear to the undersigned that office expenditures per se will
 demonstrate needed corrections at the new location, and I conclude that
 the relevance of the information sought does not bear directly on
 bargainable issues.
 
    Having found that Respondent did not fail or refuse to cooperate in
 impasse procedures and impasse decisions as alleged, and that Respondent
 did not violate Section 7116(a)(1) and (6) of the Statute, it is
 recommended that paragraphs 8 and 11 of the Consolidated Complaint be
 dismissed.
 
    Having found that Respondent did not fail or refuse to comply with
 Section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute by refusing to furnish the Union with
 relevant and necessary information for proper discussion and negotiation
 of matters within the scope of collective bargaining, and that
 Respondent did not thereby violate Section 7116(a)(1) and (8) of the
 Statute, it is recommended that paragraphs 9 and 12 of the Consolidated
 Complaint be dismissed.
 
    Having found that Respondent violated Section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of
 the Statute by failing and refusing to bargain with the Union concerning
 the impact and implementation of its relocation from Mineola, New York
 to Hempstead, New York, it is recommended that the Authority issue the
 following Order:
 
                                   ORDER
 
    Pursuant to Section 2423.29 of the Rules and Regulations of the
 Federal Labor Relations Authority and Section 7118 of the Federal
 Service Labor-Management Relations Statute, the Authority hereby orders
 that the Social Security Administration, Office of Hearings and Appeals,
 Region II, New York, New York, shall:
 
    1.  Cease and desist from:
 
          (a) Relocating or moving its offices and employees, without
       first notifying the American Federation of Government Employees,
       Local 1760, the exclusive representative of its employees, and
       affording it the opportunity to negotiate, to the extent consonant
       with law and regulations, concerning the procedures to be observed
       in such relocation or move and the arrangements for employees
       adversely affected by such action.
 
          (b) Refusing to negotiate in good faith with the American
       Federation of Government Employees, Local 1760, the exclusive
       representative of its employees, to the extent consonant with law
       and regulations, as to the procedures to be observed in any
       further implementation of its relocation from Mineola, New York to
       Hempstead, New York, and the arrangements for employees adversely
       affected by the relocation, including, but not limited to,
       Proposals #1, 8C, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16 and 22, submitted to it by
       the exclusive representative.
 
          (c) In any like or related manner interfering with,
       restraining, or coercing employees in the exercise of rights
       assured by the Statute.
 
    2.  Take the following affirmative action in order to effectuate the
 purposes and policies of the Statute:
 
          (a) Notify the American Federation of Government Employees,
       Local 1760, the exclusive representative of our employees, of any
       intention to relocate or move our offices and employees, and
       afford it the opportunity to negotiate, to the extent consonant
       with law and regulations concerning the procedures to be observed
       in such relocation or move and arrangements for employees
       adversely affected by such action.
 
          (b) Upon request, negotiate in good faith with the American
       Federation of Government Employees, Local 1760, the exclusive
       representative of its employees, to the extent consonant with law
       and regulations, as to the procedures to be observed in any
       further implementation its relocation from Mineola, New York to
       Hempstead, New York, and the arrangements for employees adversely
       affected by the relocation, including, but not limited to,
       Proposals #1, 8C, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, and 22, submitted to it
       by the exclusive representative.
 
          (c) Post at its facilities in Hempstead, New York, copies of
       the attached notice marked "Appendix," on forms to be furnished by
       the Federal Labor Relations Authority.  Upon receipt of such
       forms, they shall be signed by the Regional Manager of the
       Hempstead, New York office, and they shall be posted for 60
       consecutive days thereafter in conspicuous places including all
       places where notices to employees are customarily posted.  The
       Regional Manager shall take reasonable steps to insure that said
       notices are not altered, defaced, or covered by any other
       materials.
 
          (d) Notify the Regional Director, Region I, Federal Labor
       Relations Authority, in writing, within 30 days from the date of
       this Order, as to what steps have been taken to comply herewith.
 
                                       WILLIAM NAIMARK
                                       Administrative Law Judge
 
 Dated:  May 23, 1983
         Washington, D.C.
 
 
                                 APPENDIX
 
                          NOTICE TO ALL EMPLOYEES
 
  PURSUANT TO A DECISION AND ORDER OF THE FEDERAL LABOR
 RELATIONS
 AUTHORITY AND IN ORDER TO EFFECTUATE THE POLICIES OF CHAPTER 71
 OF TITLE
 5 OF THE UNITED STATES CODE FEDERAL SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT
 RELATIONS
 WE HEREBY NOTIFY OUR EMPLOYEES THAT:
 
 WE WILL NOT relocate or move our offices and employees, without first
 notifying the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1760,
 the exclusive representative of our employees, and affording it the
 opportunity to negotiate, to the extent consonant with law and
 regulations, concerning the procedures to be observed in such relocation
 or move and the arrangements for employees adversely affected by such
 action.  WE WILL NOT refuse to negotiate with the American Federation of
 Government Employees, Local 1760, the exclusive representative of our
 employees to the extent consonant with law and regulations as to the
 procedures to be observed in any further implementation of the
 relocation from Mineola, New York to Hempstead, New York, and the
 arrangements for employees adversely affected by the relocation,
 including but not limited to, Proposals #1, 8C, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16
 and 22, submitted to it by the exclusive representative.  WE WILL NOT in
 any like or related manner interfere with, restrain, or coerce our
 employees in the exercise of rights assured by the Federal Service
 Labor-Management Relations Statute.  WE WILL notify the American
 Federation of Government Employees, Local 1760, the exclusive
 representative of our employees, of any intention to relocate or move
 our offices and employees, and afford it the opportunity to negotiate,
 to the extent consonant with law and regulations concerning the
 procedures to be observed in such relocation or move and arrangements
 for employees adversely affected by such action.  WE WILL, upon request,
 negotiate in good faith with the American Federation of Government
 Employees, Local 1760, the exclusive representative of our employees, to
 the extent consonant with law and regulations, as to the procedures to
 be observed in any further implementation of the relocation from
 Mineola, New York to Hempstead, New York, and the arrangements for
 employees adversely affected by the relocation, including, but not
 limited to, Proposals #1, 8C, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16 and 22, submitted to
 it by the exclusive representative.
                                       (Agency or Activity)
 
 DATED:  . . .  BY:  (Signature) This Notice must remain posted for 60
 consecutive days from the date of posting and must not be altered,
 defaced or covered by any other material.  If employees have any
 questions concerning this Notice, or compliance with any of its
 provisions, they may communicate directly with the Regional Director,
 Federal Labor Relations Authority, Region I, whose address is:  441
 Stuart Street, 9th Floor, Boston, MA 02116, and whose telephone number
 is:  (617) 223-0920.
 
    /1A/ Section 7114(b)(4)(B) provides:
 
          Sec. 7114.  Representation rights and duties
 
                                .  .  .  .
 
          (b) The duty of an agency and an exclusive representative to
       negotiate in good faith under subsection (a) of this section shall
       include the obligation--
 
                                .  .  .  .
 
          (4) in the case of an agency, to furnish to the exclusive
       representative involved, or its authorized representative, upon
       request and, to the extent not prohibited by law, data--
 
                                .  .  .  .
 
          (B) which is reasonably available and necessary for full and
       proper discussion, understanding, and negotiation of subjects
       within the scope of collective bargaining(.)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 --------------- FOOTNOTES$ ---------------
 
 
    /1/ Both Armet and Collender were duly designated as proper agents to
 deal with management in the New York Region regarding the relocation of
 the Respondent's office.  No issue is raised as to their authority.
 
 
    /2/ Note is taken by the undersigned that, according to the Rand
 McNally Road Atlas, the distance between Mineola and Hempstead is about
 four or five miles.
 
 
    /3/ The record reflects that of the 22 proposals submitted by the
 Union to Respondent 12 were referred to the Federal Service Impasses
 Panel for resolution.  All remaining 10 proposals, which are set forth
 herein, were the subject of some discussion between the parties.
 Reference is made to each such proposal as submitted and discussed, as
 well as the position of Respondent with respect thereto.
 
 
    /4/ Respondent took the same position on September 11, 1981 at a
 meeting between the parties.  At that time the Union stated that an
 additional cooler was needed for the handicapped employees.
 
 
    /5/ As to all of the proposals involved herein, Respondent would not
 state in writing that they were not negotiable, nor that there was no
 duty to bargain as to same.
 
 
    /6/ The record reflects that with regard to Union Proposals #12, 13,
 17 and 22, discussions between the parties occurred over a period of
 time between September 11 and November 2, 1981.
 
 
    /7/ In respect to Proposals #12, 13, and 22, Respondent replied in
 writing on November 10 that (a) the proposal exceeded the scope of
 impact and implementation bargaining, (b) the subject matter is
 encompassed by negotiation at the national level.  As to Proposal #17,
 Respondent wrote that it was encompassed by negotiation at the national
 level.  In regard to all four proposals, Respondent declared it did not
 allege they were non-negotiable, nor would it state that the duty to
 bargain does not extend thereto.
 
 
    /8/ In its brief, Respondent states, as a matter of law, that the
 obligation to negotiate exists at the level of recognition and not at
 the local level.  To the extent that Respondent argues this principle
 should exculpate it from responsibility for its action, said argument is
 rejected.  Where the lower-level management initiates conduct affecting
 employment conditions, it violates the Statute notwithstanding that
 exclusive recognition and the bargaining agreement is at the higher
 level.  Social Security Administration, et al., 5 FLRA No. 63 (1981).
 
 
    /9/ Although alluding to the same concepts, the terms "impact and
 implementation" are employed as referable to "procedures" and
 "appropriate arrangements" set forth in Section 7106(b)(2) and (3) of
 the Statute.
 
 
    /10/ As to matters involving fire or safety codes, the Authority
 qualified its determination that such items were within the duty to
 bargain to the extent the agency has discretion with respect thereto.
 
 
    /11/ As to several proposals, Respondent insists that it was not
 obliged to bargain - and they were not within the scope - because
 negotiations thereon were being conducted at the national level.  I find
 such defense to be untenable.  No showing was made, nor does it appear,
 that final agreement as to such items was reached so as to be binding at
 the local level.  See and compare Social Security Administration et al.,
 10 FLRA No. 4 (1982).
 
 
    /12/ In its brief General Counsel contends the Union was deprived of
 its right to utilize mediation, as part of impasse procedures, because
 Respondent relocated while being asserted by Federal Mediators regarding
 discussion of the proposals.  Hence, it argues, Respondent also violated
 Section 7116(a)(6) of the Statute.  I disagree.  Cases holding
 violations of said section