22:0698(77)NG - NTEU Chapter 229 and HHS HQ -- 1986 FLRAdec NG



[ v22 p698 ]
22:0698(77)NG
The decision of the Authority follows:


 22 FLRA No. 77
 
 NATIONAL TREASURY EMPLOYEES 
 UNION, CHAPTER 229
 Union
 
 and
 
 DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND 
 HUMAN SERVICES, HEADQUARTERS
 Agency
 
                                            Case No. 0-NG-1188
 
                 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 the following Union proposal.  The proposal was
 presented during negotiations concerning the relocation of bargaining
 unit employees:
 
          Management agrees that bargaining unit employees will have
       adequate access to telephones in the performance of their official
       duties if such is required as part of the employees' duties and
       responsibilities to perform at an acceptable level.
 
                       II.  Positions of the Parties
 
    In its petition, the Union asserts that the proposal does not concern
 the technology of performing work since it is limited to seeking
 adequate access to telephones only if use of them is required by the
 Agency as part of the employees' duties.  It also contends that the
 proposal is an appropriate arrangement within the meaning of section
 7106(b)(3) of the Statute for employees adversely affected by their
 relocation.
 
    The Agency argues that the proposal interferes with its right under
 section 7106(b)(1) to determine the technology of performing work.  It
 contends that, despite the Union's representation that the proposal
 leaves to the Agency the determination as to whether to use telephones,
 it would nevertheless have the practical effect of requiring negotiation
 over the numbers, types and locations of telephones provided.  It would
 also subject the Agency's decisions on these matters to arbitral review.
  For these reasons, the Agency argues that the proposal is not within
 the duty to bargain.
 
    The Union did not file a response to the Agency's statement of
 position.
 
                      III.  Analysis and Conclusions
 
        A.  The Proposal Concerns the Technology of Performing Work
 
    The Authority has previously found that a proposal which required
 that adequate telephones be provided for the conduct of government
 business was not within the duty to bargain because it concerned the
 technology of performing work.  American Federation of Government
 Employees, Local 644, AFL-CIO and U.S. Department of Labor, Mine Health
 and Safety Administration, Morgantown, West Virginia, 15 FLRA 902 (1984)
 (Proposal 3).  The proposal in this case would have a similar effect as
 that in Mine Safety and Health Administration, Morgantown in that it
 would subject substantive decisions about using telephones to accomplish
 the Agency's work to bilateral determination.  In this regard, the Union
 has not rebutted the Agency's contention that the proposal would intrude
 upon its discretion to determine the numbers, types and locations of
 telephones to be provided for employees.  Based on the reasons expressed
 in Mine Safety and Health Administration, Morgantown, and the cases
 cited in that decision, the Authority finds that this proposal likewise
 concerns the technology of performing work under section 7106(b)(1), and
 is bargainable only at the election of the Agency.
 
        B.  The Record Doesn't Establish That the Proposal Concerns
 
                an Appropriate Arrangement
 
    A proposal is negotiable as an appropriate arrangement under section
 7106(b)(3), if it would not excessively interfere with management's
 rights under section 7106.  National Association of Government
 Employees, Local R14-87 and Kansas Army National Guard, 21 FLRA 24
 (1986).  In applying this standard the Authority considers, as a
 threshold matter and based on the parties' submissions, whether the
 proposal is intended to be an arrangement for employees adversely
 affected by management's exercise of its rights.  In this case, the
 Union has offered no support whatsoever for its assertion that the
 proposal concerns an appropriate arrangement.  We have no information
 concerning the nature and extent of the adverse effects, if any, on
 employees which might r