23:0010(3)NG - National Joint Council of Food Inspection Locals, AFGE and Food Safety and Inspection Service, Agriculture -- 1986 FLRAdec NG



[ v23 p10 ]
23:0010(3)NG
The decision of the Authority follows:


 23 FLRA No. 3
 
 NATIONAL JOINT COUNCIL
 OF FOOD INSPECTION LOCALS,
 AFGE, AFL-CIO
 Union
 
 and
 
 FOOD SAFETY AND INSPECTION
 SERVICE, U.S. DEPARTMENT
 OF AGRICULTURE
 Agency
 
                                            Case No. 0-NG-1061
 
                DECISION AND ORDER ON NEGOTIABILITY ISSUES
 
                         I.  Statement of the Case
 
    The petition for review in this case comes before the Authority
 pursuant to section 7105(a)(2)(D) and (E) of the Federal Service
 Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute).  It concerns the
 negotiability of six provisions on travel and per diem.  /1/ The Agency
 head disapproved the provisions in reviewing a negotiated agreement
 under section 7114(c) of the Statute.  The disapproval was limited to
 those aspects of the provisions which would allow payment of travel and
 per diem expenses for employee representatives.  The disputed provisions
 follow:
 
                               (Provision 1)
 
    ARTICLE V -- UNION REPRESENTATIVES, GENERAL PROVISIONS AND
 EXPENSES
 
                      Section A -- Representatives:
 
          The Chairman of the Council, the Presidents of the Regional
       Councils, the Presidents of affiliated Locals and designated plant
       representative or their designees are recognized as Union
       representatives at their respective organizational levels within
       the Service . . .  Similarly, the Local President(s) will
       designate to the appropriate area office one (1) plant
       representative for each plant having an assigned supervisor who
       will be expected to deal with the Service supervisor of that plant
       on day-to-day matters covered by this Agreement or applicable
       regional agreements.  There will be no restriction upon the Local
       President with respect to whom he/she appoints as a plant
       representative.  However, if a Local President appoints an
       individual who is located over twenty-five (25) miles from the
       plant to which he/she was appointed to serve as a plant
       representative, the entitlement to official time and expense shall
       be restricted to that which he/she would normally have received
       had he/she been located within the twenty-five (25) mile radius.
 
                               (Provision 2)
 
                     Section C -- Official Expenses:
 
          Per diem and travel expenses at official rates shall be paid
       Union representatives to attend meetings, and official
       proceedings, and to present grievances pursuant to paragraphs
       1(a), (b), and (c) of Section B.
 
          However, per diem and travel expenses not to exceed $150 shall
       be paid representatives to attend an oral conference pursuant to
       paragraph 1(c) of Section B.
 
                               (Provision 3)
 
                     ARTICLE XIII -- HEALTH AND SAFETY
 
                         Section J -- Duty Time:
 
          Each Union representative serving on a Health and Safety
       Committee shall be afforded official time to engaged in such
       tasks.  If such tasks involve travel, official travel allowances
       will be paid.
 
                               (Provision 4)
 
                    ARTICLE XXX -- DISCIPLINARY ACTION
 
                         Section D -- Procedures:
 
          Disciplinary Actions shall be initiated and processed in
       accordance with applicable regulations.  Grievances over
       disciplinary action decisions shall be processed in accordance
       with the provisions of Article XXXII, and of Article XXXIII if
       arbitration is invoked.  It is further agreed by the Parties that:
 
                       * * * * * * *
 
 
          If the employee is not represented by the Union, the Union
       shall have the right to have an observer present at the oral
       conference, subject to a contrary determination by an oral
       conference officer when the employee objects on the grounds of
       privacy.
 
          The Union observer shall be on official time and expenses for
       attendance at the meeting up to twelve (12) hours and $150.  The
       Union shall be notified sufficiently in advance of the oral
       conference to permit attendance.
 
                               (Provision 5)
 
                   ARTICLE XXXII -- GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE
 
                     Section E -- Role of the Union:
 
          The Union shall be recognized as the representative of the
       aggrieved employee(s) unless such employee(s) wishes to personally
       handle the grievance and so informs the official to whom the
       grievance is being presented.  No employee representative other
       than the Union will be recognized under these procedures.
 
          If any employee presents a grievance on his/her own behalf, the
       Union shall have the right to have a representative present during
       the grievance proceeding on official time and expense.
 
                               (Provision 6)
 
                       ARTICLE XXXIII -- ARBITRATION
 
                    Section B -- Arbitration Hearing:
 
          1.  The arbitration hearing will be held on Service premises or
       premises furnished by the Service during the regular day-shift
       hours of the basic workweek.  The grievant