19:0762(94)CA - DOD, Office of Dependents Schools and Overseas Education Association -- 1985 FLRAdec CA



[ v19 p762 ]
19:0762(94)CA
The decision of the Authority follows:


 19 FLRA No. 94
 
 DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
 OFFICE OF DEPENDENTS SCHOOLS
 Respondent
 
 and
 
 OVERSEAS EDUCATION ASSOCIATION
 Charging Party
 
                                            Case No. 3-CA-30302
 
                            DECISION AND ORDER
 
    The Administrative Law Judge issued the attached Decision in the
 above-entitled proceeding, finding that the Respondent had engaged in
 certain unfair labor practices and recommending that it be ordered to
 cease and desist therefrom and take certain affirmative action.  The
 Judge further found that the Respondent had not engaged in certain other
 alleged unfair labor practices and recommended dismissal of the
 complaint with respect to them.  Exceptions to the Judge's Decision were
 filed by the General Counsel and the Respondent, and the Respondent
 filed an opposition to the General Counsel's exceptions.
 
    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 recommendations only to the extent
 consistent herewith.
 
    The complaint alleged that the Respondent violated section 7116(a)(1)
 and (5) of the Statute /1/ by (1) distributing, without prior notice to
 the Charging Party (the Union), questionnaires to unit employees which
 solicited their opinions on matters relating to their conditions of
 employment;  and (2) failing and refusing to give the Union an
 opportunity to negotiate over the manner of gathering information and
 the impact and implementation of its decision to do so.
 
    The Judge concluded that the Respondent's distribution of the
 questionnaires to unit employees, standing alone, would not have been
 violative of the Statute, but that an accompanying memorandum which
 asked for the employees' "suggestions for improvements" constituted a
 bypass of the Union's rights in violation of section 7116(a)(1) and (5)
 of the Statute.  The Judge further concluded, contrary to the General
 Counsel's contention, that the Respondent was not under an obligation to
 give the Union an opportunity to "negotiate over the manner of gathering
 information and the impact and implementation of its decision to gather
 the information" irrespective of the validity of the questionnaires.
 The Authority adopts the Judge's findings and conclusions except to the
 extent that he found an unlawful bypass in the circumstances of this
 case.
 
    In Internal Revenue Service (District, Region, National Office Units,
 19 FLRA No. 48 (1985), the Authority, in considering whether the
 agency's conduct therein in distributing questionnaires to unit
 employees constituted an unlawful bypass of the exclusive
 representative, stated:
 
          (A)s part of its overall management responsibility to conduct
       operations in an effective and efficient manner, an agency may
       question employees directly provided that it does not do so in a
       way which amounts to attempting to negotiate directly with its
       employees concerning matters which are properly bargainable with
       its employees' exclusive representative.  In this regard, as the
       Authority has previously noted, management must have the latitude
       to gather information, including opinions, from unit employees to
       ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of its operations.
 
 The Authority concluded that the agency's conduct therein did not
 constitute an unlawful bypass of the exclusive representative because
 the questionnaires were an information gathering mechanism, in
 connection with the management function of studying its operations, and
 because there was no indication that management had attempted to deal or
 negotiate directly with unit employees concerning their conditions of
 employment.
 
    In the circumstances of this case, the Authority finds, contrary to
 the Judge, that the memorandum accompanying the Respondent's
 questionnaires, which asked unit employees for "any suggestions for
 improvement," did not constitute an unlawful bypass of the Union in
 violation of the Statute.  Thus, the memorandum clearly indicated that
 the questionnaires were "designed as a tool to evaluate the
 (Respondent's) recruitment and appointment process," that such
 "evaluation (was) undertaken in order to make (the Agency's) procedures
 efficient and informative for the applicant," and that information
 received from such survey would not be "discussed with any regional
 director, personnel official, or finance official." It is neither
 alleged nor shown that the Respondent intended to or did use the
 information gained from the questionnaires in a way which would
 undermine the status of the exclusive representative.  In our opinion,
 the questionnaires merely elicited factual information and the views of
 newly recruited employees concerning the Respondent's recruitment and
 appointment process.  Further, the record fails to show that the
 Respondent by any other action sought to or did in fact attempt to
 negotiate directly with unit employees concerning their conditions of
 employment.
 
    Accordingly, the Authority concludes that the General Counsel has
 failed to establish an unlawful bypass in violation of section
 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute, /2/ and therefore shall order that
 the complaint be dismissed.
 
                                   ORDER
 
    IT IS ORDERED that the complaint in Case No. 3-CA-30302 be, and it
 hereby is, dismissed in its entirety.  
 
 Issued, Washington, D.C., August 16, 1985
 
                                       Henry B. Frazier III, Acting
                                       Chairman
                                       William J. McGinnis, Jr., Member
                                       FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 -------------------- ALJ$ DECISION FOLLOWS --------------------
 
                                       Case No. 3-CA-30302
 
    Karen Tramontano, Esquire
       For the Charging Party
 
    Donna M. Ditullio, Esquire
       For the General Counsel
 
    Mr. Paul Wolfe
       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.
 7101, et seq. and the Rules and Regulations issued thereunder.
 
    Pursuant to a charge filed on February 4, 1983, by the Overseas
 Education Association (hereinafter called the Union or OEA), a Complaint
 and Notice of Hearing was issued on June 17, 1983, by the Regional
 Director for Region III, Federal Labor Relations Authority, Washington,
 D.C.  The Complaint alleges that the Department of Defense, Office of
 Dependents Schools (hereinafter called the Respondent), 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 distributing, without prior notice to the Union, a survey
 questionnaire to unit employees, which, among other things, "solicited
 the employees' views and opinions on matters relating to their
 conditions of employment."
 
    A hearing was held in the captioned matter on August 5, 1983, in
 Washington, D.C.  All parties were afforded 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 September 6, 1983, which
 have been duly considered.  /3/
 
    Upon the basis of the entire record, including my observation of the
 witnesses and their demeanor, I make the following findings of fact,
 conclusions and recommendations.
 
                             Findings of Fact
 
    The Union since, at least, June 22, 1982, has been the certified
 exclusive bargaining representative of nonsupervisory professional
 school-level employees employed by Respondent's Atlantic Region, Germany
 North Region, Germany South Region and Pacific Region.  Excluded from
 the certified unit are all nonprofessional employees, substitute
 teachers, management officials, supervisors and employee described in
 Sections 7112(b)(2), (3), (4), (6) and (7) of the Statute.
 
    On October 20, 1982, Respondent, in order to improve its procedures
 with respect to processing newly hired teachers assigned to overseas
 schools mailed a questionnaire to all newly appointed CONUS (Continental
 United States) educators.  The covering memorandum and the questionnaire
 read as follows:
 
          MEMORANDUM FOR Newly Appointed CONUS Educators
 
          SUBJECT:  New Employee Questionnaire
 
          A few months ago you joined the Department of Defense
       Dependents Schools (DoDDS) professional staff.  By this time you
       have undoubtedly formed some definite ideas and impressions about
       your processing and work assignment.  This questionnaire is
       designed as a tool to evaluate the DoDDS recruitment and
       appointment process.  Such evaluation is undertaken in order to
       make our procedures more efficient and informative for the
       applicant.  Now that you have become a DoDDS employee, we are your
       assistance in making the "path" easier for others to follow.
 
          We hope that you will take the time to answer these questions
       carefully and that you will not hesitate to give us the benefit of
       any suggestions for improvements.
 
          Please record your responses on the answer sheet provided.
       Fold the answer sheet in half, staple it, and mail it within 1
       week after you receive it to the return address on the back.  We
       will not discuss individual responses with any regional director,
       personnel official, or finance official.
 
          Your prompt attention and cooperation will be greatly
       appreciated.
 
                        NEW EMPLOYEE QUESTIONNAIRE
 
          PLEASE RECORD YOUR RESPONSES ON THE ATTACHED ANSWER
 SHEET
 
          1.  Did the questions asked during your interview allow you to
       be adequately assessed as an educator and as to your potential to
       succeed in an overseas assignment?
 
          A. Yes
 
          B.  No
 
          2.  In which of the following areas did you need additional
       information?
 
          A. Area information, teaching assignment, housing, and living
       conditions
 
          B.  Sponsor
 
          C. Appointments, allowances, and transportation entitlements
 
          D.  Employee benefits
 
          E.  Other.  Please specify.
 
          3.  Were the instructions provided in your pre-appointment
       package regarding the processing clear and easy to follow?
 
          A. Yes
 
          B.  No.  Please specify.
 
          4.  Were the staff members from the Office of Dependents
       Schools (ODS) recruitment staff helpful and informative with your
       questions or problems?
 
          A. Yes
 
          B.  No
 
          C. I did not need to contact ODS
 
          5.  Were you contacted either telephonically or in writing by
       your principal or sponsor prior to departure from the United
       States?
 
          A. Yes
 
          B.  No
 
          6.  Were you met upon arrival by your sponsor or a DoDDS
       official?
 
          A. Yes
 
          B.  No
 
          7.  Did you sponsor assist in completing your overseas
       processing;  i.e., obtaining your drivers license and I.D. card,
       arranging temporary lodging, and finding permanent housing?
 
          A. Yes
 
          B.  No
 
          8.  Approximately how many times did you contact the stateside
       civilian personnel office for information, advice, or assistance?
 
          A. None
 
          B.  1 - 5 times
 
          C. 6 - 10 times
 
          D.  11 - 15 times
 
          E.  16 or more times
 
          9.  Approximately how many times did you contact the overseas
       personnel office for information, advice, or assistance?
 
          A. None
 
          B.  1 - 5 times
 
          C. 6 - 10 times
 
          D.  11 - 15 times
 
          E.  16 or more times
 
          10.  On the basis of your contacts with the stateside personnel
       office, how would you describe its service?  (This service would
       include answering general questions, providing information on
       programs affecting you, and assisting you in obtaining help or
       answers to questions which required a personnel specialist.)?
 
          A. Excellent
 
          B.  Very good
 
          C. Satisfactory
 
          D.  Poor
 
          E.  Very poor
 
          11.  On the basis of your contacts with the overseas personnel
       office, how would you describe its service?  (This service would
       include answering general questions, providing information on
       programs affecting you, and assisting you in obtaining help or
       answers to questions which required a personnel specialist.)
 
          A. Excellent
 
          B.  Very good
 
          C. Satisfactory
 
          D.  Poor
 
          E.  Very poor
 
          12.  Did your supervisor discuss with you your current position
       description?
 
          A. Yes
 
          B.  No
 
          13.  Has your supervisor advised you of the performance
       requirements of your job?
 
          A. Yes
 
          B.  No
 
          14.  Is a copy of the Educator Career Program regulation
       available for your review in your work area, and have the
       promotional opportunities been explained to you?
 
          A. Yes
 
          B.  No
 
          15.  Is there a list of installation Equal Employment
       Opportunity (EEO) counselors posted in your work area?
 
          A. Yes
 
          B.  No
 
          C. Don't Know
 
          16.  Were you afforded an opportunity to receive an advance of
       pay on arrival overseas?
 
          A. Yes
 
          B.  No
 
          17.  If YES, did you elect to receive the advance?
 
          A. Yes
 
          B.  No
 
          18.  Was your first pay check received in a reasonably timely
       manner?
 
          A. Yes
 
          B.  No
 
    The record established that the questionnaire was distributed to the
 newly hired CONUS employees without any prior notice to, or bargaining
 with, the Union.
 
    According to Mr. Jack Rollins, President of the Union, various items
 encompassed in the questionnaire, namely, employee performance
 requirements, educator career program, equal employment opportunity and
 advanced pay, are currently the subject of negotiations for a master
 agreement.  /4/
 
    According to Ms. Merilee Fitzgerald, Chief of Staffing, the 1982
 questionnaire was "simply to evaluate the CONUS processing and actually
 the entire recruitment appointment process" Ms. Fitzgerald admitted that
 the Respondent distributed the 1982 questionnaire without prior notice
 to, or bargaining with the Union.  In this latter connection, Ms.
 Fitzgerald testified that Respondent had distributed a similar
 questionnaire in 1981 after receiving permission from Mr. William
 Breskin, the Union's Membership Director.  /5/ Although not specifically
 stated in the record, it appears that Ms. Fitzgerald was of the opinion
 that inasmuch as there had been no objection from the Union in
 connection with the 1981 questionnaire she would receive no objection to
 the 1982 questionnaire from the Union and thus made no attempt to
 contact the Union prior to distributing the 1982 questionnaire.  The
 1982 questionnaire contained two more questions than the 1981
 questionnaire, the two additional questions were seventeen and eighteen.
 
    With regard to the 1981 Questionnaire, Mr. Rollins testified, without
 contradiction by any party, that only he and Mr. Austin, the Union's
 Executive Director, were authorized to receive notices on behalf of the
 Union.  He further denied ever giving Mr. Breskin any authority to
 approve the 1981 questionnaire.  Additionally, Mr. Rollins did not
 recall having any conversation with Mr. Breskin while Mr. Breskin was in
 Iceland and he, Mr. Rollins, was in Europe.
 
                        Discussion and Conclusions
 
    The General Counsel takes the position that the Respondent's action
 in distributing the questionnaire violated Sections 7116(a)(1) and (5)
 of the Statute since such questionnaire solicited the unit employees'
 opinions with respect to working conditions and thus bypassed the Union.
  The General Counsel further contends that Respondent committed an
 additional violation of Sections 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute when
 it failed to give the Union prior notice of the questionnaire and the
 opportunity to "negotiate over the manner of gathering information and
 the impact and implementation of its decision to gather the
 information." In support of his position the General Counsel relies
 primarily on a number of unreviewed Administrative Law Judges' decision.
  Finally, the General Counsel would find the facts of the instant case
 to be distinguishable from Kaiserslautern American High School,
 Department of Defense Dependents Schools, Germany North Region, 9 FLRA
 184, where the Authority refused to find that the distribution of a
 questionnaire to unit employees without prior notice to the Union was
 violative of the Statute.
 
    The respondent relying primarily on Kaiserslautern American High
 School, supra and the Federal Labor Relations Council decision in
 Department of the Navy, Naval Air Station, Fallon, Nevada, 3 FLRA 697,
 takes the position that questionnaire was a "permissible form of
 management communication with bargaining unit employees" which was
 neither an attempt to, nor did, undermine the Union.  Further, according
 to the Respondent, in such circumstances it was under no obligation to
 give the Union prior notice and the opportunity to bargain over impact
 and the manner of implementation.  Additionally, Respondent takes the
 position that in view of the lack of objection from the Union in 1981 to
 a similar survey, it was under no obligation to seek its approval for
 the distribution of the 1982 questionnaire.  /6/
 
    In Kaiserslautern American High School, supra, the Authority
 concluded that the Respondent therein did not violate the Statute when,
 in an attempt to overcome a third party evaluation report charging
 Respondent with poor teacher morale at its school, it mailed a
 questionnaire to faculty members which read:
 
          Re the NCA report
 
          MY PERSONAL MORALE IN KAHS is:
 
          Normal/Average . . .; Higher than Normal . . .; Lower than
       Normal . . . "
 
    In finding that the above quoted questionnaire did not amount to a
 bypass of the Union, the Authority stated as follows:
 
          . . . , the Authority concludes that the Respondent was merely
       gathering information to enable it to respond to a finding by an
       independent agency so that it might overcome an evaluation report
       affecting its accreditation.  Not all direct communication between
       management and its employees is prohibited.  See United States
       Department of the Air Force, 47th Air Base Group (ATC), Laughlin
       Air Force Base, Texas, 4 FLRA No. 65 (1980).  See also Department
       of Military and Naval Affairs, State of New York, Albany, New
       York, 8 FLRA No. 71 (1982).  Since the poll herein was simply to
       gather information to support the Respondent's independent
       accreditation, was reasonably understood to be for such purpose,
       and was done in a manner which in no way threatened or promised
       benefits to employees or otherwise undermined the Union, the
       Authority finds that the General Counsel has failed to establish
       unlawful direct dealings by the Respondent with employees over
       matters affecting working conditions in violation of Sections
       7116(a)(1) and (5).
 
    In both the cases cited by the Authority in support of its decision
 the respective administrative law judges, whose decisions were adopted
 in toto by the Authority, relied on the criteria set forth by the
 Federal Labor Relations Council in Department of the Navy, Naval Air
 Station, Fallon, Nevada, FLRC No. 74A-80, 3 FLRC 697 (1975) in
 determining whether or not the respective respondents had bypassed the
 unions there involved.
 
    In Department of Navy, Naval Air Station, Fallon, Nevada, supra, a
 case decided under Executive Order 11491, the Council stated as follows:
 
          In determining whether a communication is violative of the
       Order, it must be judged independently and a determination made as
       to whether the communication constitutes, for example, an attempt
       by agency management to deal or negotiate directly with unit
       employees or to threaten or promise benefits to employees.  In
       reaching this determination, both the content of the communication
       and the circumstances surrounding it must be considered.  More
       specifically, all communications between agency management and
       unit employees over matters relating to the collective bargaining
       relationship are not violative.  Rather communications which, for
       example, amount to an attempt to bypass the exclusive
       representative and bargain directly with employees, or which urge
       employees to put pressure on the representative to take a certain
       course of action, or which threaten or promise benefits to
       employees are violative of the Order.  To the extent that such
       communication is permissible, it is immaterial whether such
       communication was previously agreed upon by the exclusive
       representative and the agency or activity concerning the latter's
       right to engage in such communication.
 
    A review of the aforementioned cases, particularly Kaiserslautern and
 Department of the Navy, Naval Air Station, Fallon, Nevada, make it clear
 that the validity of any communication between management and its
 employees turns solely on the circumstances surrounding such
 communication.  Thus, where the facts and circumstances surrounding the
 communication make it clear that the communication was for purposes
 other than a potential or contemplated change in working conditions,
 such communication, be it a questionnaire or poll, is not violative of
 the Statute.  However, where the communication is issued under such
 circumstances where it can be reasonably concluded that the answers to
 such communication could well serve as a predicate for some future
 change in terms and conditions of employment such communication loses
 its validity and violates the Statute.
 
    Once certified as the exclusive bargaining representative, the Union
 becomes the sole spokesman for the unit employees, and as such, is
 entitled to be consulted with respect to any questions concerning unit
 employees opinions with respect to existing terms and conditions of
 employment.  Employee dissatisfaction with existing terms and conditions
 of employment and presentation of proposals for correcting same is one
 of the prime responsibilities of a Union.  Allowing management to
 independently solicit employee opinions and subsequently propose or
 effect changes in working conditions based thereon deprives the
 certified union of its Section 7114(a)(1) rights to speak as the
 representative for the unit employees.
 
    Applying the above conclusions to the facts of the instant case I
 find that the questionnaire here under consideration intruded upon the
 representational rights accorded the Union as the exclusive
 representative of Respondents employees.  In reaching this conclusion I
 rely primarily on the second paragraph of the memorandum accompanying
 the questionnaire, wherein the Respondent requested the unit employees
 not only to take time to answer the questions carefully but also
 solicited the employee's "suggestions for improvements." As noted above,
 it is the Union which speaks for unit employees, and as such, is the
 only person to be consulted with respect suggestions for improvement of
 working conditions.
 
    Accordingly, in view of the foregoing, I find that Respondent's
 conduct amounted to a bypass of the Union, derogated the Union's status
 as the certified representative of the unit employees, and,
 consequently, violated Sections 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute.
 
    Further, had there been no solicitation or request for suggestions
 attached to the questionnaire, I would find the questionnaire, standing
 alone, not to be violative of the Statute.  The questionnaire, which was
 designed as a tool to evaluate the recruitment and appointment process,
 merely elicited facts as to compliance with existing agency policies and
 procedures, made no promises of benefits or changes and provided no
 opportunity for comments or suggested changes.  While it is true as
 pointed out by the General Counsel that various subjects encompassed in
 the questionnaire, i.e. employee performance standards, educator
 counselling program, equal opportunity and advanced pay, were of concern
 to the Union and were in fact subsequently put on the bargaining table,
 the reference to such subjects on the questionnaire was not to the
 substance of the subjects but rather limited to whether the existence of
 such programs, standards, etc. had been made known to the newly hired
 educators.  In such circumstances, the questionnaire, standing alone,
 would appear to comport with the standards enunciated by the Authority
 in Kaiserslautern American High School, supra, and hence would not be
 violative of the Statute.
 
    Finally, contrary to the contention of the General Counsel, I cannot
 find that irrespective of the validity of the questionnaire, Respondent
 was under an obligation to give the Union the opportunity to "negotiate
 over the manner of gathering information and the impact and
 implementation of its decision to gather the information."
 
    In Department of Navy, Naval Air Station, Fallon, Nevada, the Council
 specifically held that "to the extent that such communication is
 permissible, it is immaterial whether such communication was previously
 agreed upon by the exclusive representative." Inasmuch as my research
 has failed to uncover any decisions of the Authority indicating that the
 Authority has implicitly or otherwise decided to overrule the Council's
 holding, the Council's decision, pursuant to Section 7135 of the Statute
 remains the controlling case precedent in the matter.
 
    Having concluded that the Respondent's conduct in soliciting
 suggestions for improvement of the recruitment and appointment process,
 without first obtaining the Union's consent, constituted a bypass of the
 Union in violation of Sections 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute, it is
 hereby recommended that the Authority issue the following:
 
                                   ORDER
 
    Pursuant to Section 2423.29 of the Federal Labor Relations
 Authority's Rules and Regulations and Section 7118 of the Statute, the
 Authority hereby orders that the Department of Defense, Office of
 Dependents Schools shall:
 
    1.  Cease and desist from:
 
          (a) Bypassing the Overseas Education Association, the exclusive
       representative of its employees, and dealing directly with unit
       employees by soliciting employee's suggestions concerning
       personnel policies and practices and matters affecting working
       conditions.
 
          (b) 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 effect the
 purposes and policies of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations
 Statute:
 
          (a) Post at all facilities wherein unit employees are located,
       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 a responsible official of the Department
       of Defense, Office of Dependents Schools and shall be posted and
       maintained by such official for 60 consecutive days thereafter, in
       conspicuous places, including all bulletin boards and other places
       where notices to employees are customarily posted.  The Department
       of Defense, Office of Dependents Schools shall take reasonable
       steps to insure that such Notices are not altered, defaced, or
       covered by any other material.
 
          (b) Pursuant to Section 2423.30 of the Authority's Rules and
       Regulations, notify the Regional Director of Region III, Federal
       Labor Relations Authority, 1111 18th Street, N.W., Suite 700, P.O.
       Box 33758, Washington, D.C. 20033-0758, in writing, within 30 days
       from the date of this Order, as to what steps have been taken to
       comply herewith.
 
                                       BURTON S. STEINBERG
                                       Administrative Law Judge
 
 Dated:  October 7, 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
 STATUTE WE HEREBY NOTIFY OUR EMPLOYEES THAT:
 
 WE WILL NOT bypass the Overseas Education Association, the exclusive
 representative of our employees, and deal directly with unit employees
 by soliciting employees' suggestions concerning personnel policies
 practices and matters affecting working conditions.  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 Statute.
                                       (Agency/Activity)
 
 Dated:  . . .  By:  (Signature) This Notice must remain posted for sixty
 (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 of
 the Federal Labor Relations Authority, Region III, whose address is 1111
 18th Street, N.W., Suite 700, P.O. Box 33758, Washington, D.C.
 20033-0758;  and whose telephone number is (202) 653-8507.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 --------------- FOOTNOTES$ ---------------
 
 
    /1/ Section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute provides:
 
          Sec. 7116.  Unfair labor practices
 
          (a) For the purpose of this chapter, it shall be an unfair
       labor practice for an agency--
 
          (1) to interfere with, restrain, or coerce any employee in the
       exercise by the employee of any right under this chapter;
 
                                .  .  .  .
 
          (5) to refuse to consult or negotiate in good faith with a
       labor organization as required by this chapter(.)
 
 
    /2/ See also Department of Health and Human Services, Social Security
 Administration, 19 FLRA No. 56 (1985).
 
 
    /3/ In the absence of any objection, General Counsel's motion to
 correct the transcript is hereby granted.
 
 
    /4/ The negotiations for a master agreement commenced on December 15,
 1982.
 
 
    /5/ Mr. Breskin, whom I credit, testified that he never discussed the
 1981 questionnaire with Ms. Fitzgerald.  Further according to Mr.
 Breskin, at the time the questionnaire was distributed he was in Iceland
 on Union business and he never talked on the telephone with Ms.
 Fitzgerald.  In support of his testimony, Mr. Breskin offered his
 handwritten dairy which set forth the events, telephone calls etc.
 involved in his trip to Iceland.  Such diary makes no mention of any
 telephone conversations during the trip to Ms. Fitzgerald.
 
 
    /6/ Having credited the testimony of Mr. Breskin to the effect that
 no conversations with respect to the 1981 questionnaire were held
 between him