20:0186(24)NG - NAGE, Locals R4-1, R4-97 and R4-103 and Navy, Naval Weapons Station, Yorktown, Virginia -- 1985 FLRAdec NG



[ v20 p186 ]
20:0186(24)NG
The decision of the Authority follows:


20 FLRA No. 24

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GOVERNMENT 
EMPLOYEES, LOCALS R4-1, R4-97 and
R4-103 
Union 

and 

DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY 
NAVAL WEAPONS STATION
YORKTOWN, VIRGINIA 
Agency

                                      Case No. 0-NG-1114

                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
presents an issue concerning the negotiability of the following Union
proposal:

         Employees of the bargaining unit may elect to receive their pay
      by one of the following methods:

         1.  Electronic Funds Transfer

         2.  Mailed to a non work address, or

         3.  Hand delivery at the work site.

   Upon careful consideration of the entire record, including the
parties' contentions, /1/ the Authority makes the following
determinations.  The Union's proposal would require the Agency to
continue its current practice of providing bargaining unit employees
with the option of having their paychecks hand-delivered to their work
site.

   In this regard, the instant proposal is to the same effect as the
proposal found nonnegotiable in Federal Employees Metal Trades Council,
AFL-CIO and Department of the Navy, Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo,
California, 16 FLRA No. 88(1984), petition for review filed sub nom.
Federal Employees Metal Trades Council, AFL-CIO v. FLRA, No. 85-7039
(9th Cir. January 22, 1985).  /2/ In that case the Authority found that
as paycheck delivery determinations involved "methods and means of
performing work," a union proposal which would have required the agency
to maintain distribution of paychecks to the workplace for new employees
as well as current employees, interfered with the agency's right to
determine its methods and means of performing work under section
7106(b)(1) of the Statute and, thus, was negotiable only at the election
of the agency.  The Authority concludes, in agreement with the Agency,
that for the reasons stated and the cases cited in Mare Island Naval
Shipyard, the Union's proposal in this case also substantively restricts
the Agency's right to determine its methods and means of performing
work.  Inasmuch as the proposal would effectively place a substantive
restriction on the Agency's ability to determine its methods and means
of performing work it is not procedural in nature.  See American
Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO and Air Force Logistics
Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, 2 FLRA 603(1980),
enforced sub nom. Department of Defense v. Federal Labor Relations
Authority, 659 F.2d 1140, 1152 (D.C. Cir. 1981), cert. denied sub nom.
AFGE v. FLRA, 455 U.S. 945(1982).  Thus, contrary to the Union's
assertion, the proposal is not a negotiable procedure within the meaning
of section 7106(b)(2) of the Statute.  /3/

   This conclusion is not altered by the Union's contention that the
instant proposal is consistent with Government-wide guidance promulgated
by the General Accounting Office (GAO) concerning the distribution of
paychecks.  /4/ The Authority noted in Mare Island Naval Shipyard that
an agency should conform to established pay principles as prescribed by
the GAO.  However, while the GAO regulation only provides agencies with
three options in the location to which paychecks may be distributed, its
guidance does not mandate which of these options or combination of
options an agency must select.  Therefore, the Authority's determination
in this case that, pursuant to section 7106(b)(1) of the Statute, the
manner in which paychecks are distributed is negotiable only at the
election of the Agency, is completely consistent with established pay
principles as prescribed by the GAO.

   Accordingly, pursuant to section 2424.10 of the Authority's Rules and
Regulations, IT IS ORDERED that the petition for review be, and it
hereby is, dismissed.  /5/

   Issued, Washington, D.C., September 18, 1985
                                      (s) HENRY B. FRAZIER III
                                      Henry B. Frazier III, Acting
                                      Chairman
                                      (s) WILLIAM J. MCGINNIS JR.
                                      William J. McGinnis, Jr., Member
                                      FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY






--------------- FOOTNOTES$ ---------------


   /1/ The Agency contends that because the Union's petition for review
was not timely filed from the date the Agency served its
nonnegotiability allegation on the Union it is untimely.  This
contention cannot be sustained.  In this case, the Authority finds that
the allegation referred to by the Agency was unsolicited and that in
accordance with established precedent, the Union is permitted to ignore
the unsolicited allegation and, instead, to elect to request a written
allegation from the Agency.  International Brotherhood of Electrical
Workers, AFL-CIO, Local 121 and Department of the Treasury, Bureau of
Engraving and Printing, Washington, D.C., 10 FLRA 198(1982).  Since the
Union filed its petition for review within 15 days of service of the
Agency's written negotiability allegation provided in response to the
Union's written request, the Union's petition for review is timely.  The
Union's contention that the Agency's statement of position was untimely
filed also cannot be sustained.  The record establishes the Union's
petition for review was not served on the agency head, pursuant to
section 2424.4(b) of the Authority's Rules and Regulations, until April
17, 1985.  Since the Agency's statement of position was filed on May 22,
1985, pursuant to sections 2424.6 and 2429.22 of the Authority's Rules
and Regulations, it was timely filed.


   /2/ Accord American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1533
and Department of the Navy, Naval Commissary Store Region, Oakland and
Navy Commissary Store, Alameda, California, 16 FLRA No. 89(1984),
petition for review filed sub nom. American Federation of Government
Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 1533 v. FLRA, No. 85-7050 (9th Cir. January
28, 1985).


   /3/ Section 7106(b)(2) of the Statute provides, in relevant part:

         Section 7106.  Management rights

                                 * * * *

         (b) Nothing in this section shall preclude any agency and any
      labor organization from negotiating--

                                 * * * *

         (2) procedures which management officials of the agency will
      observe in exercising any authority under this section(.)


   /4/ The General Accounting Office Policy and Procedure Manual For
Guidance of Federal Agencies, Title 6, Section