19:0673(84)NG - VA Local 1151, AFGE and VA -- 1985 FLRAdec NG
[ v19 p673 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
19 FLRA No. 84 VETERANS ADMINISTRATION LOCAL 1151, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO Union and VETERANS ADMINISTRATION Agency Case No. O-NG-1067 DECISION AND ORDER ON NEGOTIABILITY ISSUE The petition for review in this case comes before the Federal Labor Relations Authority (the Authority) pursuant to section 7105(a)(2)(E) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute), and raises an issue concerning the negotiability of the following Union proposal: The activity should make necessary adjustments in the performance standards for veterans claims examiners in the affected units (rating specialists assuming unit chiefs' roles with little or no technical expertise), including serious consideration of even a suspension of the performance standards for these employees. Upon careful consideration of the entire record, /1/ the Authority makes the following determination. It is well established that proposals which require negotiations concerning the establishment and content of performance standards are inconsistent with management's rights to assign, work and direct employees pursuant to section 7106(a)(2)(A) and (B) of the Statute. /2/ In this regard, the Authority finds that the proposal here in dispute seeks to negotiate on the content of performance standards themselves. That is, this proposal requires performance standards of veterans claims examiners to be adjusted in the circumstances where rating board specialists are detailed to positions involving supervising veterans claims examiners because, in the Union's view, rating board specialists do not have the necessary expertise in veterans claims examination work. Contrary to the Union's claims that the proposal only requires the Agency to "give serious consideration to making appropriate adjustments in the affected employees' performance standards and appraisal process, up to and including suspension of the current standards," the express language of the proposal contemplates consideration only with regard to suspension of the performance standards and not with regard to "necessary adjustments." /3/ While the proposal does not specify with particularity the adjustments to be made in the performance standards, it still has the effect of requiring the Agency to alter the content of the standards themselves. Consequently, since this proposal would restrict management's ability to establish performance standards, it is to the same effect as Union Proposal 2 in American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 1708 and Military Ocean Terminal, Sunny Point, Southport, North Carolina, 15 FLRA No. 1 (1984). Therefore, based on Military Ocean Terminal, and the reasons and case cited therein, the instant proposal is also outside the duty to bargain. Accordingly, pursuant to section 2424.10 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations, IT IS ORDERED that the Union's petition for review be, and it hereby is, dismissed. Issued, Washington, D.C., August 12, 1985 Henry B. Frazier III, Acting Chairman William J. McGinnis, Jr., Member FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY --------------- FOOTNOTES$ --------------- /1/ In this case the Agency did not file a Statement of Position and the Union did not file a Reply Brief. /2/ American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 32 and Office of Personnel Management, Washington, D.C., 3 FLRA 784 (1980) (Union Proposal 4). /3/ The Authority has consistently held that it will not base a negotiability determination on a union's statement of intent which is inconsistent with the express language of the disputed proposal. See, e.g., American Federation of Government Employees, Local 2761 and U.S. Army Adjutant General Publication Center, St. Louis, Missouri, 17 FLRA No. 118 (1985) at 5 n. 7 of the decision.