21:0354(46)NG - AFGE and HUD -- 1986 FLRAdec NG

[ v21 p354 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

 21 FLRA No. 46
                                            Case Nos. 0-NG-930
                          I.  Statement of the Case
    These cases are before the Authority because of two separate
 negotiability appeals filed under section 7105(a)(2)(E) of the Federal
 Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute), and concern
 the negotiability of two proposals submitted in response to a proposed
 reduction-in-force (RIF) in the Agency.
                          II.  Procedural Issues
    The Agency moved that the Authority consolidate the two separate
 appeals filed by the Union for purposes of Authority review.  These two
 appeals arose out of the same set of collective bargaining negotiations
 between the same parties and concern two portions of a larger article
 declared nonnegotiable by the Agency.  Thus, in the interest of
 expeditious processing of these two appeals which concern a common
 subject, the Authority grants the Agency's motion to consolidate.
    The Agency contends that each Union petition should be dismissed as
 untimely filed because the Agency had orally stated earlier in the
 negotiations that an entire article, which included the two disputed
 portions appealed to the Authority, was nonnegotiable.  This contention
 cannot be sustained.  It is well established that the time limit for
 filing a negotiability appeal pursuant to section 2424.3 of the
 Authority's Rules and Regulations runs from the date an agency's
 allegation is served in writing upon a union.  See American Federation
 of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 3385 and Federal Home Loan Bank
 Board, District 7, Chicago, Illinois, 7 FLRA 398 (1981).
    The Agency also contends that the Union's appeal as to Proposal II
 should be dismissed under section 2424.4(a)(2) of the Authority's Rules
 and Regulations because the proposal is vague, ambiguous and unsupported
 by sufficient explanation as to its meaning.  Contrary to the position
 of the Agency the Authority finds that the Union did sufficiently
 explain the meaning of Proposal II in the context of the negotiations in
 which it was offered.  Thus, the Agency's contention cannot be
                          III.  Union Proposal I
          Prior to conducting any reduction-in-force in any competitive
       area in Headquarters, management shall conduct a cost-benefit
       analysis to consider if a furlough and/or a retraining program for
       affected unit employees would be less costly than conducting a
          Management shall consider the following in conducting its
          (The cost savings of) All bargaining unit employees in
       Headquarters shall be furloughed according to the following
          (1) GS-5 and below for 5 days on Mondays or Fridays which are
       not holidays starting the fifth pay period of the fiscal year and
       continuing every fourth pay period until the 5 days of furlough
       are completed.
          (2) GS-10 to GS-6, inclusive, for 10 days of furlough on
       Mondays or Fridays which are not holidays starting the fifth pay
       period of the fiscal year and continuing every fourth pay period
       until the 10 days of furlough are completed.
          (3) GS-15 to GS-11, inclusive, 15 days of furlough beginning as
       soon as practicable after the beginning of the fiscal year but in
       no event later than the fifth pay period of the fiscal year and
       continuing every pay period until the fifteen days of furlough are
                       A.  Positions of the Parties
    The Agency contends that Proposal I is inconsistent with section
 7106(a) and (b) of the Statute because it interferes with the internal
 deliberation process in which management engages before management
 implements decision