21:0975(114)NG - Antilles Consolidated Education Association and U.S. Navy Dept., Puerto Rico -- 1986 FLRAdec NG
[ v21 p975 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
21 FLRA No. 114 ANTILLES CONSOLIDATED EDUCATION ASSOCIATION Union and U.S. NAVY DEPARTMENT, PUERTO RICO Agency Case No. 0-NG-992 DECISION AND ORDER ON NEGOTIABILITY ISSUE 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), and concerns the negotiability of one Union proposal. Union Proposal The union (A.C.E.A.) will be allowed three negotiators on official time. II. Positions of the Agency /1/ Although not stated, it is apparent that the Agency determined to be represented at negotiation by less than three negotiators. Thus, the Agency argues that, under section 7131(a) of the Statute, the Union is limited to the same number of negotiators on official time as the number of negotiators representing management. The Agency also claims that the Union previously agreed to be represented at such negotiations by two negotiators. Finally, the Agency contends that the number of negotiators representing management is not a matter concerning the working conditions of bargaining unit employees. In support, the Agency relies on National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 1451 and Naval Training Center, Orlando, Florida, 3 FLRA 87 (1980), enforced sub nom. National Federation of Federal Employees v. FLRA, 652 F.2d 191 (D.C. Cir. 1981). III. Analysis and Conclusions The Agency has provided no support for its claim that the Union agreed to be represented at the negotiations by two negotiators. It is well established that the parties bear the burden of creating a record sufficient for the Authority to resolve a negotiability dispute. See National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 1167 v. Federal Labor Relations Authority, 681 F.2d 886, 891 (D.C. Cir. 1982), aff'g National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 1167 and Department of the Air Force, Headquarters, 31st Combat Support Group (TAC), Homestead Air Force Base, Florida, 6 FLRA 588 (1981). A party failing to assume this burden acts at its peril. Representation of employees in matters concerning their employment clearly affects the working conditions of those employees. National Treasury Employees Union and Department of Treasury, U.S. Customs Service, 21 FLRA No. 2, 7-8 (1986); American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO and Air Force Logistics Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, 2 FLRA 604 (1980) (Union Proposal II), enf'd as to other matters sub nom. Department of Defense v. FLRA, 659 F.2d 1140 (D.C. Cir. 1981), cert. denied sub nom. AFGE v. FLRA, 455 U.S. 945 (1982). Further, the number of union representatives involved in the negotiation process necessarily influences the effective presentation of matters affecting bargaining unit working conditions. Thus, a request by a union for sufficient personnel to allow it to carry out its representational responsibilities under the Statute is inextricably tied to the conditions of employment of the employees it represents. Contrary to the Agency's claim, this proposal does not, in any manner, determine the number of negotiators who will represent the Agency. Rather, the proposal would authorize official time for a number of union representatives beyond that authorized under section 7131(a). The Authority has previously held that, under section 7131(d) of the Statute, a proposal seeking more union negotiators than the number designated by management is within the duty to bargain. American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 15 FLRA 461 (1984). (Proposal 2). The Authority finds the Union's proposal to be within the duty to bargain for the reasons set forth in that case. /2/ IV. Order Accordingly, pursuant to section 2424.10 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations, IT IS ORDERED that the Agency shall upon request (or as otherwise agreed to by the parties) bargain concerning the proposal presented herein. Issued, Washington, D.C., May 23, 1986. /s/ Jerry L. Calhoun, Chairman /s/ Henry B. Frazier III, Member FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY --------------- FOOTNOTES$ --------------- (1) The Agency did not file a statement of Position and the Union did not file a reply Brief in this case. (2) In finding this Union proposal to be within the duty to bargain, the Authority makes no judgment as to its merits.