21:0635(80)NG - AFGE, National EPA Council and EPA -- 1986 FLRAdec NG
[ v21 p635 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
21 FLRA No. 80 Case No. 0-NG-678 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, NATIONAL EPA COUNCIL Union and ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY Agency Case No. 0-NG-678 DECISION AND ORDER ON NEGOTIABILITY ISSUES I. Statement of the Case This case is before the Authority because of a negotiability appeal filed under section 7105(a)(2)(E) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute). It concerns the negotiability of the following two Union proposals which relate to official time, overtime compensation, and travel and per diem for employees representing the Union in negotiations. Union Proposal 1 The employer agrees to provide official time, including travel and per diem costs, for three union representatives to prepare union counter proposals and other negotiations related duties for the union during actual negotiations. These representatives will not be negotiators for the union. Union Proposal 2 EPA employees who are union negotiators will receive the same type of compensation, compensatory time or overtime, as does management where negotiations extend beyond normal duty hours. II. Positions of the Parties According to the Union, Union Proposal 1 is in response to the Agency's history of consistently limiting its negotiating team to one person. Consequently, under section 7131(a) of the Statute, the Union's entitlements as to official time have been limited to one negotiation team member. Union Proposal 1 is intended to allow official time, travel and per diem for an additional three representatives who will be available to provide support (e.g., preparation of counter proposals, research and clerical functions) to the Union team during negotiations. The Agency argues that employees representing unions in negotiations may receive only the amount of official time to which they are entitled under section 7131(a) of the Statute. Because Union Proposal 1 would exceed that amount, the Agency argues that it is outside the duty to bargain. As to the question of travel and per diem, the Agency argues that the Supreme Court's decision in Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms v. FLRA, 464 U.S. 89 (1983) (BATF) requires a conclusion that the subject is not within the duty to bargain. Regarding Union Proposal 2, the Agency contends that neither the Statute nor the laws governing payment for overtime permit overtime compensation for employees representing a union in negotiations.