23:0278(37)CA - VA, West Los Angeles Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA and AFGE Local 1061 -- 1986 FLRAdec CA



[ v23 p278 ]
23:0278(37)CA
The decision of the Authority follows:


 23 FLRA No. 37
 
 VETERANS ADMINISTRATION
 WEST LOS ANGELES MEDICAL CENTER
 LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
 Respondent
 
 and
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
 EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 1061, AFL-CIO
 Charging Party
 
                                            Case Nos. 8-CA-40223
                                                      8-CA-40224
 
                            DECISION AND ORDER
 
                         I.  Statement of the Case
 
    This unfair labor practice case is before the Authority on limited
 exceptions to the attached Administrative Law Judge's Decision filed by
 the Veterans Administration, West Los Angeles Medical Center
 (Respondent).  The Judge found that the Respondent violated section
 7116ba)(1) and (5) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations
 Statute (the Statute) by unilaterally changing the duty hours and dress
 code of certain employees without bargaining with the American
 Federation of Government Employees, Local 1061, AFL-CIO (Union).  The
 Respondent's exceptions were limited to the Judge's status quo ante
 remedy with regard to both duty hours and dress code.
 
                                II.  Facts
 
    The facts, more fully set forth in the Judge's Decision, indicate
 that on March 1, 1984, the Respondent's Building Management Service
 Chief (Chief) implemented a new dress code for its housekeeping aides
 that eliminated a past practice of wearing, among other things, sweaters
 and jackets without first notifying the Union and bargaining on the
 matter.  Also, on April 29, 1984, the Respondent's Chief implemented a
 change in the work hours of its housekeeping aides by changing their
 duty hours from a 6:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. shift to a 7:00 a.m. to 3:30
 p.m. shift.  This change was made despite the Union's request to
 bargain.
 
                 III.  Administrative Law Judge's Decision
 
    The Judge found that the Respondent changed established conditions of
 employment by unilaterally implementing a new dress code and
 unilaterally changing duty hours of unit employees without providing the
 Union with notice and the opportunity to bargain, thereby violating
 section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute.  In making his finding that
 the change in duty hours was negotiable, the Judge found no evidence
 that such change was determinative of the numbers, types or grades of
 employees assigned to the tours of duty, so as to be negotiable solely
 at the election of the agency.
 
    The Judge found that a status quo ante remedy was appropriate with
 regard to both duty hours and the dress code and ordered the Respondent
 to rescind such changes, including the prohibition against wearing
 jackets and sweaters.  He further ordered a recision of any disciplinary
 actions initiated as a result of the dress code, including removal of
 all reference to such disciplinary actions from the personnel files of
 the employees involved.
 
                       IV.  Positions of the Parties
 
    The Respondent excepts to the Judge's status quo ante remedy that
 would rescind disciplinary actions initiated as a result of the dress
 code.  It argues that the MSPB decision in Roger Howard v. Veterans
 Administration, Dec. No. SF07528411043 (December 11, 1984), rejects the
 contention that disciplinary actions must be rescinded because they are
 based on policy later determined to be invalid.  The U.S. Court of
 Appeals for the Federal Circuit found that despite a disagreement over
 the dress code, the unit employee was not free of his duty to follow his
 superiors' orders.  /1/ To find otherwise, the Respondent argues, could
 unreasonably prevent agencies from carrying out their missions.  The
 Respondent also notes that three unit employees were disciplined based
 in part on the employees' insubordination over their refusal to obey
 their supervisors' orders to comply with the dress code, and requests
 that the Judge's remedy to rescind disciplinary action initiated as a
 result of the dress code be deleted.
 
    Additionally, the Respondent excepts to the Judge's status quo ante
 remedy to restore duty hours, which it argues is meaningless due to
 substantial turnover in personnel who were affected by the change in
 hours.
 
    The General Counsel filed an answering brief to the Respondent's
 exceptions in which it agreed with the Judge's findings and recommended
 remedy.
 
                               V.  Analysis
 
           A.  The Judge's Findings that the Respondent violated
 
                section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute.
 
    We have reviewed the findings and conclusions of the Judge with
 regard to the violations of section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute
 alleged in the complaint and adopt his findings, conclusions and
 recommendations for the reasons he stated.  In so finding, we note that
 no exceptions were filed as to the Judge's finding of a violation.
 
                    B.  The Judge's Recommended Remedy
 
    With regard to Respondent's argument concerning the impact of the
 MSPB decision, we previously found with regard to a possible remedial
 conflict between actions taken by the MSPB and the Authority that "when
 an issue is properly raised as an unfair labor practice under section
 7116, nothing therein would prevent the Authority from remedying any
 violation found." Department of the Air Force, Air Force Systems
 Command, Electronic Systems Division, 14 FLRA 390 (1984).
 
    While we are not bound by the MSPB decision, we conclude that in the
 circumstances of this case it is relevant to the determination of an
 appropriate remedy.  The discipline at issue was based, in part, on
 insubordination.  While the Respondent's unilateral implementation of
 the dress code was unlawful, a refusal by an agency to negotiate in good
 faith does not excuse an employee's insubordination in these
 circumstances.  Procedures exist to remedy breaches of bargaining
 obligations, and the Union pursued them in this case.  Self help -- that
 is, disobeying supervisory instructions -- cannot be condoned if the
 purposes and policies of the Statute are to be met.  Accordingly, the
 order is modified to rescind all disciplinary actions initiated as a
 result of the dress code, except for those actions involving
 insubordination.
 
    As to that part of the remedy pertaining to the change in duty hours,
 we have previously found that the decision to change starting and
 quitting times constitutes a negotiable condition of employment.  /2/
 Therefore, agency management was obligated to bargain concerning the
 decision to change the starting and quitting times of the duty hours in
 question prior to making any change.  The Authority has previously
 determined in similar cases where management made a unilateral change
 regarding a negotiable term and condition of employment, such as duty
 hours, that effectuation of the purposes and policies of the Statute
 requires the imposition of status quo ante remedies, absent special
 circumstances, in order not to render meaningless the mutual obligation
 under the Statute to negotiate concerning changes in conditions of
 employment.  /3/
 
    The Respondent excepts to this part of the remedy on the basis that
 only nine of the affected employees are still with the portion of the
 agency affected by the change, and that, therefore, a status quo ante
 remedy would disrupt agency operations.  The Respondent does not argue,
 however, that the number of positions in the unit changed, but only that
 there was a turnover in personnel.  In these circumstances we find no
 merit to the Respondent's argument that a status quo ante remedy is
 unwarranted.
 
                              VI.  CONCLUSION
 
    Pursuant to section 2423.29 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations
 and section 7118 of the Statute, the Authority has reviewed the rulings
 of the Judge made at the hearing, finds that no prejudicial error was
 committed, and thus affirms those rulings.  The Authority has considered
 the Judge's Decision and the entire record, and adopts the Judge's
 findings, conclusions and recommended Order as modified above.
 
                                   ORDER
 
    Pursuant to section 2423.29 of the Federal Labor Relations
 Authority's Rules and Regulations and section 7118 of the Federal
 Service Labor-Management Relations Statute, the Authority hereby orders
 that the Veterans Administration, West Los Angeles Medical Center, Los
 Angeles, California shall:
 
    1.  Cease and desist from:
 
    (a) Unilaterally instituting changes in duty hours and dress code in
 the Building Management Service without first notifying the American
 Federation of Government Employees, Local 1061, AFL-CIO, the exclusive
 representative of its employees, and providing it with an opportunity to
 negotiate concerning the above changes.
 
    (b) In any like or related manner interfering with, restraining, or
 coercing its employees in the exercise of their rights assured by the
 Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute.
 
    2.  Take the following affirmative action in order to effectuate the
 purposes and policies of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations
 Statute:
 
    (a) Rescind the change in duty hours implemented on April 29, 1984,
 and restore the previously existing duty hours of 6:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
 
    (b) Rescind the dress code, including the prohibition against wearing
 jackets and sweaters, implemented on March 1, 1984, and rescind all
 disciplinary actions initiated as a result of the dress code, except
 those actions involving insubordination, and remove all reference to
 such disciplinary actions, except those involving insubordination, from
 the personnel files of those employees involved.
 
    (c) Notify and, upon request, negotiate with the American Federation
 of Government Employees, Local 1061, AFL-CIO, or any other exclusive
 representative of the employees in the Building Management Service,
 concerning any further change in duty hours and dress code.
 
    (d) Post at its facility at the Veterans Administration, West Los
 Angeles Medical Center, Los Angeles, California copies of the attached
 Notice on forms to be furnished by the Federal Labor Relations
 Authority.  Upon receipt of such forms, they shall be signed by the
 Director of the Veterans Administration, West Los Angeles Medical
 Center, or a designee, and shall be posted and maintained for 60
 consecutive days thereafter, in conspicuous places, including all
 bulletin boards and other places where notices to employees are
 customarily posted.  Reasonable steps shall be taken to ensure that such
 Notices are not altered, defaced, or covered by any other material.
 
    (e) Pursuant to section 2423.30 of the Federal Labor Relations
 Authority's Rules and Regulations, notify the Regional Director, Region
 VIII, in writing, within 30 days from the date of this Order, as to what
 steps have been taken to comply.
 
    Issued, Washington, D.C., August 19, 1986.
 
                                       /s/ Jerry L. Calhoun
                                       Jerry L. Calhoun, Chairman
                                       /s/ Henry B. Frazier III
                                       Henry B. Frazier III, Member
                                       FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 
 
 
 
                          NOTICE TO ALL EMPLOYEES
 
  PURSUANT TO A DECISION AND ORDER OF THE FEDERAL LABOR
 RELATIONS
 AUTHORITY AND IN ORDER TO EFFECTUATE THE POLICIES OF CHAPTER 71
 OF TITLE
 5 OF THE UNITED STATES CODE FEDERAL SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT
 RELATIONS
 
                   WE HEREBY NOTIFY OUR EMPLOYEES THAT:
 
    WE WILL NOT unilaterally institute changes in duty hours and dress
 code in the Building Management Service without first notifying the
 American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1061, AFL-CIO, the
 exclusive representative of our employees, and providing it with an
 opportunity to negotiate concerning the above changes.
 
    WE WILL NOT in any like or related manner interfere with, restrain,
 or coerce our employees in the exercise of their rights assured by the
 Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute.
 
    WE WILL rescind the change in duty hours implemented on April 29,
 1984, and restore the previously existing duty hours of 6 a.m. to 2:30
 p.m.
 
    WE WILL rescind the dress code, including the prohibition against the
 wearing of sweaters and jackets, which was implemented on March 1, 1984,
 and rescind all disciplinary actions initiated as a result of the dress
 code, except those actions involving insubordination, and remove all
 reference to such disciplinary actions, except those involving
 insubordination, from the personnel files of those employees involved.
 
    WE WILL notify and, upon request, negotiate with the American
 Federation of Government Employees, Local 1061, AFL-CIO, or any other
 exclusive representative of the employees in the Building Management
 Service, concerning any further change in duty hours and dress code.
                                       (Activity)
 
    Dated:  . . .
                                       By:  (Signature) (Title)
 
    This Notice must remain posted for 60 consecutive days from the date
 of posting, and must not be altered, defaced, or covered by any other
 material.
 
    If employees have any questions concerning this Notice or compliance
 with its provisions, they may communicate directly with the Regional
 Director, Region VIII, Federal Labor Relations Authority, whose address
 is:  350 South Figueroa Street, 10th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90071 and
 whose telephone number is:  (818) 894-3805.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 -------------------- ALJ$ DECISION FOLLOWS --------------------
 
    Case Nos. 8-CA-40223
              8-CA-40224
 
    VETERANS ADMINISTRATION
    WEST LOS ANGELES MEDICAL CENTER
    LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
         Respondent
 
                                    and
 
    AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
    EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 1061, AFL-CIO
         Charging Party
 
 
    Marco Gomez, Esq.
             and
    Jean Parson
         For the Respondent
 
    Cecile O'Conner, Esq.
         For the General Counsel
 
    Before:  ELI NASH, JR.
    Administrative Law Judge
 
                                 DECISION
 
                           Statement of the Case
 
    The Consolidated Complaint alleges that Respondent engaged in unfair
 labor practices within the meaning of Section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the
 Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (herein called the
 Statute) by unilaterally changing the duty hours of certain day shift
 personnel and by unilaterally implementing changes in the employees'
 dress code, including a prohibition against wearing sweaters.  The
 Consolidated Complaint also alleges that the Veterans Administration
 West Los Angeles Medical Center, Los Angeles, California (herein called
 Respondent) unilaterally instituted the above changes without first
 notifying the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1061,
 AFL-CIO (herein called the Union) and providing it an opportunity to
 bargain over the changes or their impact and implementation.
 
    Respondent filed an Answer denying the commission of any unfair labor
 practices.
 
    All parties were represented at the hearing.  Each was afforded full
 opportunity to be heard, to adduce evidence, and to examine as well as
 cross-examine witnesses.  Thereafter, briefs were filed with the
 undersigned which have been duly considered.
 
    Upon the entire record herein, from my observation of the witnesses
 and their demeanor, and from all of the testimony and evidence adduced
 at the hearing, I make the following findings and conclusions:
 
                             Findings of Fact
 
                              A.  Background
 
    Respondent's West Los Angeles facility, is made up of several
 divisions including the General Medical Hospital, also known as
 Wadsworth, and the Brentwood facility, also known as North of Wilshire,
 where neuropsychiatric patients are housed.
 
    In operating the facility, forty to fifty different services are
 utilized, and each service has a chief.  The service involved in this
 matter is Building Management Service (herein called the Service).  It
 employs, among others, male and female housekeeping aides who clean,
 service, and maintain the hospital.  The Service employees were, at all
 times material herein, represented by the Union.
 
    At all times material in this matter, John F. Fitzgerald was the
 chief of the Service.  In that position he was management's point of
 contact for negotiations in that particular service.  Fitzgerald's
 newness in the position is shown by his having joined Respondent, in
 that capacity, only in December 1983.  However, Fitzgerald served in a
 similar position at the Long Beach V.A. Hospital and was experienced in
 dealing with unions.  Despite assertions to the contrary, the Union
 traditionally bargained directly with the various service chiefs
 concerning changes in working conditions and the personnel staff's
 attendance at those negotiations is the sole responsibility of
 management.  Rhea Butler, Union President, Edward Farrell, Union
 Treasurer and Nathaniel Scott, the Union Chief Steward and the only one
 of these three actively employed by Respondent participated in meetings
 or negotiations in this matter.  Butler without dispute had authority to
 negotiate and enter agreements on the Union's behalf.
 
                               B.  Uniforms
 
    Respondent supplies its female housekeeping aides with uniforms which
 are short sleeved, linen-type, aqua dress uniforms or aqua tops and
 trousers.  Similarly, its male housekeeping aides are supplied with and
 wear lightweight uniforms which consist of light grey shirts and dark
 grey trousers.  Inasmuch as Respondent issues only one type of
 lightweight fabric uniform there is no winter or wool uniform.  It
 undisputed that for anywhere from 7 to 14 years the housekeeping aides,
 both male and female, have worn personal attire together with the
 regular uniform.  Such apparel was particularly worn during the Southern
 California winter months, which loosely termed are November to February.
  This extra apparel consisted of many different styles and hues of
 sweaters and jackets, either over or under their uniforms.  Some
 individuals even wore jackets on a year round basis.  In addition,
 employees wore hats such as baseball-type caps with bills and knit caps.
  With regard to how the uniforms were worn, male employees uniform
 shirts was worn either inside or outside of the dark grey trousers.
 Besides caps the aides wore hairnets, headbands and sweatbands while
 they worked.
 
    Testimony reveals that the caps and other headgear protected the
 employees' skin, hair, and eyes from workplace dust, debris, powerful
 cleaning solutions such as strippers, and the elements in general.
 Likewise sweaters and jackets protected the employees from the chill of
 early morning and from cold winter days and an alleged inefficient
 hospital heating system.  The housekeeping aides duties often require
 that they travel between buildings in order to perform their work and
 consequently they are exposed to weather conditions.  In such
 circumstances, it appears sensible for aides to wear some outer garments
 in order to protect themselves from outside weather conditions.
 Respondent, however, did not issue jackets, sweaters, hats or any other
 outer garments for weather protection.  Instead, the aides supplied
 their own outer garments.  It is uncontroverted that this practice of
 supplying their own sweaters, caps and other garments to keep warm was
 regular, open, notorious and condoned by Respondent over a lengthy
 period of years.  Prior to March 1, 1984, there is no evidence that
 employees were subject to discipline because they wore items of their
 own apparel such as sweaters or caps.  Furthermore, the record is void
 of any evidence which would establish that any of this personal clothing
 impeded any individual's job performance.  Finally, the record does not
 suggest that the running of the Service was interfered with or disrupted
 because the employees wore jackets, sweaters, hats, headbands,
 sweatbands, or the square tail of a males shirt was worn outside of his
 trousers.  It suggests only that the cosmetics of Service personnel did
 not meet the approval of its new Chief, Mr. Fitzgerald.
 
                            C.  Change of Shift
 
    While the majority of the employees work a regularly scheduled 7 a.m.
 to 3:30 p.m. shift, the househkeeping aides at the Brentwood psychiatric
 patient facility worked a 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. schedule.  The Brentwood
 hours had been in effect for a number of years prior to April 29, 1984.
 A change in the Brentwood tour of duty had been previously proposed by a
 prior Service Chief, Sara Hammond.  Allegedly because it is easier for
 the housekeeping aides to clean when the full staff is not on board at 6
 a.m. the Union was able to throttle that proposal and the tour remained
 at 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. when Fitzgerald arrived on the scene.
 
               D.  Arrival of New Building Management Chief
 
    As already noted, in December 1983 Mr. Fitzgerald assumed the Chiefs'
 position and decided to initiate some changes in his service by imposing
 a dress code and instituting task lists.  Again it is noted that while
 Fitzgerald was new in this position, he was an experienced Service Chief
 who had previously dealt with unions, including some of the Union
 officials involved herein.  In view of this, I find much of Fitzgerald's
 testimony hard to believe.  Consistent with his decision he distributed
 lists, which were minute increment breakdowns of tasks such as:  mop
 hallway "A" - 8:10 to 8:15;  empty trash in hallway "B" - 8:20 to 8:25,
 without prior notice to or bargaining with the Union.  As the record
 disclosed, the lists generated controversy and complaints because of
 employees fears of negative evaluations and disciplinary actions based
 on what might be considered arbitrary time standards if the lists were
 enforced.
 
    Employee Patty Burr sent a copy of the task list to the Union.
 Butler called Fitzgerald and raised the point that disciplinary actions
 and poor evaluations might occur as a result of the lists.  Fitzgerald
 allegedly insisted that the lists were only guidelines.  Fitzgerald's
 assurance did not alleviate the Union's concerns and, as a result, Union
 representatives Butler, Scott and Farrell, met with him in his office on
 January 10, 1984.  Again, Butler and Farrell asserted that the task
 lists were negotiable because of their potential disciplinary use.
 Fitzgerald insisted that he would not negotiate because the lists were
 only guidelines.
 
    During the meeting, the three Union officials also raised an issue
 concerning Fitzgerald's denying Scott leave to attend physical therapy
 sessions which were a course of treatment necessary to correct an
 on-the-job injury.  Subsequent to Fitzgerald's arrival, the chief
 steward received, in swift succession, an admonishment, a reprimand and
 a proposed suspension because of his requests for leave without pay, on
 Friday, in order to see his doctor.  Fitzgerald claimed that the
 physician's statement, regarding Scott's injury, was not sufficient.
 
    According to Butler and Farrell, Fitzgerald took the initiative in
 stating that he also wanted to change the tour of duty for the
 twenty-nine Brentwood facility housekeepers from 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and
 conform it to the 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. dayshift.  The Union informed him
 that it had previously negotiated the Brentwood tour with other Service
 Chiefs and the shift had remained at 6 a.m. 8to 2:30 p.m.  Fitzgerald,
 therefore raised another topic by discussing the possi0ility of a dress
 code which would ban hats.  He stated it was his idea and privilege.
 The Union argued that if the dress code was to become a fact, it wanted
 to negotiate.
 
    Fitzgerald claims that the parties did not meet in January 1984 and
 discuss the dress code, the tour of duty or the task list.  However, he
 admits that he distributed the task lists in December 1983, without
 negotiating the impact and that the lists caused controversy and
 employee complaints.  Since the Union filed an unfair labor practice
 charge regarding those lists and Fitzgerald was Chief, his testimony
 that the Union never met with him on the subject, or in January 1984
 creates consistencies which must be resolved against him.
 
    Fitzgerald also asserts that the dress code was never discussed.
 However, Fitzgerald testified that shortly after his arrival he decided
 to implement a dress code.  In fact, an original dress code memorandum
 was distributed to the Union which was dated December 27, 1983.  In
 addition, Butler and Farrell testified that even prior to January 10,
 1984, there were rumors that Fitzgerald was going to implement a dress
 code.  Clearly the dress code had by early January 1984 became an issue
 which it would not be unreasonable to assume that the Union would raise
 at its first opportunity.  Based on the record inconsistencies, I do not
 credit Fitzgerald.
 
    Shortly thereafter, on February 1, 1984, Butler received a January
 30, 1984, route slip from Nina Jean Parson, Labor-Management Relations
 Specialist.  The memorandum stated, "(a)ttached is the proposed
 memorandum to all Building Management Service Employees regarding
 adherence to the prescribed uniform.  This is being forwarded in
 accordance with Article VI of the negotiated agreement." The memorandum
 was a dress code for Service employees which prohibited the wearing of
 headbands, hats, nets, and sweatbands, unless required.  It recommended
 replacing tennis or other soft sole shoes with oxford shoes.  The dress
 code also mandated that male employees wear their shirts buttoned and
 tucked into their trousers.  The memorandum was dated December 27, 1983,
 and signed by Fitzgerald.  There had never been a similar dress code in
 the Service.  Neither the route slip nor the memorandum set forth an
 implementation date for the code.  Similarly, the dress code memorandum
 made no mention of any prohibition on either jackets or sweaters.
 
    On February 9, 1984, the Union received a route slip dated February
 7, 1984, from Labor Relations Specialist Parson which indicated that the
 attached proposal to change an existing tour of duty was forwarded in
 accordance with Article VI of the local negotiated agreement.  Parson
 admitted however, that the notices which the Personnel office forwards
 to the Union do not specify Article 6 of either the Master Agreement or
 the Local Agreement.  The notice does not indicate there is a 15 day
 response time.  Further, there is no indication as to whom the Union
 should contact.  Butler testified that the Master Agreement supercedes
 the Local Agreement.  /4/ The route slip covers two attachments.  The
 first was a January 26, 1984 memorandum, signed by Fitzgerald, which
 stated that Service employees on the 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. shift would be
 changed to the 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. shift effective February 10, 1984.
 The second was a roster of some of the twenty-five affected employees
 including Nathaniel Scott and Roger Howard who are assigned to the
 Brentwood facility.
 
    Upon receipt of the tour of duty change on February 9, 1984, Butler
 stated that she immediately contacted Fitzgerald and requested to
 negotiate.  Both mutually agreed to a meeting on February 28, 1984, at
 11 a.m.  According to Butler, who I credit, she informed Fitzgerald that
 the appointment was to negotiate three items;  the tour, the task list
 and the dress code.  Fitzgerald testified that Butler called and asked
 for an appointment in order to have an "informal discussion".  I credit
 Butler.  The February 28, 1984, meeting was moved to an earlier date,
 February 23, 1984, and Butler, Farrell and Scott met with Fitzgerald.
 At the meeting, Butler requested negotiations concerning the dress code,
 but Fitzgerald replied that negotiation was not indicated.  Fitzgerald
 did not inform the Union either that the dress code was to be
 implemented March 1, 1984, or that sweaters and jackets were prohibited.
  The Union team continued proposing that the headgear be retained
 because it served health and safety purposes.  According to them, the
 caps protected the hair, skin, and eyes from dust, debris and cleaning
 solvents.  Fitzgerald insisted that the employees would not be allowed
 to wear hats, "it was his thing," because he wanted people to be
 uniform.  Butler replied "that the Union would buy union hats" for all
 the building maintenance employees who wear hats while performing their
 duties.  Fitzgerald snickered and laughed.  Butler also pointed out that
 the code was not in accordance with V.A. central office rules and
 regulations.  Clearly no agreement was reached, Fitzgerald who is not
 credited denies that the dress code was mentioned during this meeting.
 
    During this same meeting the proposed tour of duty change was also
 discussed.  Butler, requested to negotiate the subject again.
 Additionally, the Union requested time to poll the employees on the
 issue.  Fitzgerald agreed to the poll but indicated that the results
 would not necessarily change his mind.  Fitzgerald recalls that Farrell
 asked to poll employees to see how they felt about the change.  The
 meeting ended with the parties agreeing to meet again in March 1984.
 Subsequent to the meeting, Scott, who is a Service employee and affected
 by the tour of duty change, polled the other Service employees.
 
    On March 12, 1984, the parties met again.  This time the Union
 repeated its proposal that the tour of duty remain the same.  According
 to Fitzgerald, he was not meeting with the Union to bargain and, indeed,
 he did not bargain when the Union asked him to do so.  At the hearing,
 Fitzgerald denied that he even has authority to bargain.  His colleague
 Parson however, testified that Fitzgerald does have such authority.
 Fitzgerald basically asserted that labor relations encompassed his
 ability, to sit down and discuss changes in working conditions with the
 Union knowing all the while that he does not have authority to bargain.
 Such a result was not, in my view intended by the Statute.
 
    When the meeting began Scott attempted to tell Fitzgerald the results
 of the poll but Fitzgerald waved him off and turned to Farrell.  Scott,
 however, persisted in explaining that the employees wanted the 6:30 a.m.
 to 2:30 p.m. tour to remain the same because it was a safe and efficient
 tour.  Fitzgerald replied that he didn't want to talk to him.  According
 to Fitzgerald, he asked that Farrell release the results of the poll.
 He claims that Farrell refused to tell him the results.  I do not credit
 Fitzgerald.  Farrell heatedly interjected a demand that Fitzgerald
 negotiate concerning the tour.  Fitzgerald replied that he would not
 negotiate.  Frustrated, Farrell asked Fitzgerald if he could conceive of
 a situation where he would have to negotiate with the Union.  Fitzgerald
 allegedly replied, "that's another issue." Farrell rose out of his seat;
  Butler told Farrell to wait a minute because there were two more issues
 to discuss, the task lists and dress code.  Fitzgerald responded that he
 had already surveyed the nurses regarding the tour.  He indicated at the
 hearing, that he wanted to bring some one from personnel or labor
 relations in to negotiate.  None of the Union witnesses mentioned any
 reference to bringing in others to negotiate.  Butler, broke in at this
 point and uttered some profanity either shit, hell or damn, regarding
 Fitzgerald consulting with the nurses and not the Union.  At that point,
 Butler who is black, perceived that she was being confronted with
 bigotry and racism.  Fitzgerald stated that he didn't have to negotiate
 and he wouldn't negotiate until personnel told him to.  Fitzgerald then
 stated, he didn't want profanity in his office and he told the Union
 team to leave.  Fitzgerald's view was that nothing was being
 accomplished.  Butler, Farrell and Scott stormed out and either during
 their exit through the doorway, or poised just outside in the corridor,
 Butler, a wisp of a woman stated, "Fuck you."
 
    Farrell, Scott and Butler immediately proceeded to the office Chief
 of Personnel Jesse Raymond.  It is uncontroverted that once there Butler
 told Raymond that Fitzgerald was impossible and that he was adamantly
 insisting that he did not have to negotiate concerning the tour, the
 dress code or the task lists.  Butler's statements reveal no clue that
 Fitzgerald wanted to bring in personnel or labor relations help in the
 matter.  Butler by way of apology explained that she had cursed out
 Fitzgerald.  Butler and Farrell then requested Raymond to give them
 someone who knew how to negotiate, so they could resolve the issues for
 the good of the employees.  Raymond replied that he would take care of
 that.  Interestingly, Fitzgerald's inability or lack of authorization to
 negotiate for the service was never raised.
 
    Several days passed without Raymond, Fitzgerald, or any management
 representative contacting the Union regarding bargaining.  By that time
 Butler and Farrell decided no one was going to do anything about
 "enlightening" Fitzgerald regarding the negotiability of changes in work
 hours so the Union filed an unfair labor practice charge on March 16,
 1984.  The charge alleged that Fitzgerald had refused to bargain in good
 faith concerning the tour of duty on March 12, 1984.  /5/ Fitzgerald
 knew that an unfair labor practice charge had been filed because of the
 March 12, 1984 meeting, however, no action was taken.  Instead, on April
 16, 1984, the Union received a second memorandum from Fitzgerald
 regarding the identical shift change which they had already requested to
 negotiate on and proposed status quo.  Fitzgerald's second memorandum
 referenced his January 23, 1984 correspondence wherein he had determined
 to transfer the remaining day shift personnel, North of Wilshire, to the
 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. shift.
 
    In the subsequent communication Fitzgerald declared that he had met
 with Butler, Farrell and Scott on two occasions regarding the proposed
 change but, to date, the Union had failed to offer any counterproposals
 or meaningful discussions.  Fitzgerald's missive concluded that he was
 proceeding with the shift change effective April 29, 1984.  All this
 despite clear evidence that at the February 23, 1984, meeting the Union
 proposed that the tour of duty remain at 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  Further,
 Fitzgerald on cross-examination stated that although Farrell declared
 that the Union wanted the 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. tour, in Fitzgerald's
 opinion, no proposals were offered at the second meeting.  His opinion
 was that Farrell's proposal was not a proposal at all and could not,
 therefore, be the subject of negotiations.  I find that the Union
 clearly requested negotiations concerning the change in tour of duty at
 that meeting.
 
    Around April 19, 1984, 3 days after receiving Fitzgerald's second
 memorandum the Union filed the instant unfair labor practice charge
 alleging that Fitzgerald had again refused to negotiate concerning the
 shift change.  Respondent's Personnel department also took no action.
 Thereafter, Fitzgerald implemented a negotiable change in work hours on
 April 29, 1984.  On that date the employees were changed by 1 hour, from
 a 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. tour to 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. shift.
 
    In the meantime, but prior to completing bargaining on the issue,
 Fitzgerald implemented the proposed dress code.  A few days before March
 1, 1984, Fitzgerald spoke at unit meetings of Service housekeeping aides
 and explained the new dress code.  According to him, the hats would have
 to come off and the code would be enforced beginning March 1, 1984.
 Supervisors distributed the dress code to employees and enforced it
 through disciplinary action beginning March 1, 1984.  Supervisor Pearl
 Harrington "wrote up" housekeeping aide Roger Howard because he came to
 work with his hat on.  Prior to March 1, 1984, in 17 years, Howard had
 never been disciplined for wearing a hat on the job.  Other employees
 were also disciplined due to the unilateral enforcement of the dress
 code.  It appears that terminations also were part of the discipline.
 
    Following her unit meeting, housekeeping aide Theresa Phillips spoke
 to her supervisor Ms. Metcalf and the Assistant Chief Alva Bonds.
 Phillips was wearing a long sleeved sweater under her short sleeved aqua
 tunic.  Bond noticed the sweater and told Phillips that she could be
 disciplined.  Phillips pointed out that first, sweaters were not
 included in the dress code and second, it was freezing outside.  There
 had been no mention of any prohibition against sweaters during the unit
 meeting and the published dress code itself is silent in that respect.
 Phillips went home and cut the sleeves off of her sweaters.  A few days
 later, Metcalf told her that she could still be written up.
 
                        Discussion and Conclusions
 
    Respondent contends that the issue here is solely one of notice and
 chicanery on the part of the Union.  It further asserts that the case
 involves only a refusal of the exclusive representative to deal with
 Respondent's designated representative and its attempts to make
 decisions as to whom it will deal with in management.  Despite inference
 and rumor that Mr. Fitzgerald was intent on making certain changes
 earlier in his term as chief of the Service and despite the fact that
 Fitzgerald met with the Union well prior to any official notification of
 changes Respondent seeks to create an illusion that the Union was not
 dealing with the proper management representative and for that reason
 assumes that it has in this matter "attempted to deal with the Union in
 good faith, but due to the relative lack of labor expertise of the
 management 'representative' the Union had to deal with, and a consequent
 failure to at the time understand the reality of Labor-management
 relations with this Union, that good faith has not as of yet brought
 about the sought after results."
 
    The General Counsel does not see this as such a simple matter, but
 maintains that a past practice of wearing certain clothing in addition
 to the issued uniform existed;  that notification of implementation of
 the dress code was defective;  that there was no notification that
 certain items such as sweaters and jackets were prohibited by the dress
 code;  that Respondent failed to complete substantive bargaining of the
 dress code;  that there was no waiver of bargaining on the dress code;
 that Fitzgerald the Chief of Service indeed had authority to bargain
 over the dress code;  and, as well that the change in work hours without
 completing bargaining constituted a violation of the Statute.
 
    It has long been established that parties may create conditions of
 employment by practice and such practices may not be altered without
 bargaining thereon.  Internal Revenue Service and Brookhaven Service
 Center, 6 FLRA 713 (1981).  Respondent supplies female housekeeping
 aides with an aqua dress or an aqua tunic top and pants.  Similarly, the
 male housekeeping aides receive charcoal grey trousers and light grey
 shirts.  It is undisputed that for over 7 years housekeeping aides have
 worn their own personal outerwear and apparel in addition to the issued
 uniforms while on duty.  Also undisputed is the fact that employees wore
 their own sweaters, jackets, hats, caps, headbands, and sweatbands with
 the knowledge of and acquiescence of Service management.  In addition to
 outer apparel the male employees wore their shirts either tucked into
 their trousers or on the outside of their pants.  These practices were
 consistently exercised for an extended period of time, unchallenged, and
 acquiesced in by Respondent thereby ripening into conditions of
 employment.  Accordingly, if Respondent desires to change this
 established condition of employment, it must give proper notification
 and bargain.  Failure to do so violates the Statute.
 
    The law is clear that an activity must specifically notify the
 exclusive representative of any intended change and a passing reference
 to a general subject is "neither specific nor clear enough to provide
 adequate notice" of changes in conditions of employment as are
 anticipated by the Statute.  Department of the Army, Harry Diamond
 Laboratories, Adelphi, Maryland, 9 FLRA 575 (1982);  U.S. Department of
 Air Force, Air Force Systems Command, Electronic Systems Division,
 Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts, 5 FLRA 637 (1981).  In January 1984, rumors
 were circulating in the bargaining unit that Fitzgerald was going to
 impose a dress code.  On January 10, the Union met with Fitzgerald to
 discuss the task lists that he had already unilaterally implemented
 where he mentioned a possible dress code.  At that time the Union
 requested to bargain even though it did not have the specifics of the
 plan.  Approximately one month later, Butler received formal notice of
 the dress code, but no implementation date was indicated.  Later, on
 February 9, 1984, Butler requested that Fitzgerald negotiate concerning
 the code, the tour of duty, and the task lists.  In my view, the Union
 did all it could to perfect its right to bargain about the dress code.
 Although, it did not receive proper notice, pursuant to suggestions it
 contacted the responsible official in an attempt to start negotiations
 over the matter.
 
    The record is clear that Respondent never, at any time from December
 1983 to March 1, 1984, notified the Union of the March 1, 1984,
 implementation date.  Failure to adequately notify the Union and
 surprise implementation of a condition of employment, in my view,
 constitutes a failure to bargain in good faith which is violative of the
 Statute.
 
    While the Authority has not decided whether or not dress codes are
 substantively negotiable, in American Federation of Government
 Employees, Meat Graders' Council, AFL-CIO, and Department of
 Agriculture, Food Safety and Quality Service, Meat Grading Branch,
 Washington, D.C., 8 FLRA 118 (1982), it found a union proposal that the
 employer furnish protective clothing such as a cooler coat and gloves to
 employees was negotiable.  /6/ The Authority there noted that the
 statutory and regulatory provisions placed the decision as to whether to
 provide protective clothing within the discretion of the agency.  That a
 discretionary past practice of dress existed in this case is
 unquestioned.  In this regard, changes in the practice should be
 negotiated to the full extent of that discretion.  With or without a
 dress code, the housekeeping aides still perform their assigned cleaning
 and maintenance duties with their respective tools.
 
    Around February 23, 1984, the Union made oral proposals regarding the
 wearing of caps or hats.  Whether or not such proposals were negotiable,
 Respondent was obligated to give the Union an opportunity to revise its
 proposals, pursuant to any non-negotiability argument raised by
 Respondent, and continue to bargain on those proposals which were
 negotiable as well as the remaining issues surrounding the dress code.
 Adjutant General's Office, Puerto Rico Air National Guard, 3 FLRA 343
 (1980).  Respondent did not provide such an opportunity because it
 failed to state an implementation date during the course of bargaining.
 In the instant case the Union acted with reasonable dispatch and should
 not be penalized because new proposals were not submitted between
 February 23 and March 1, 1984.  Department of the Treasury, Internal
 Revenue Service, Midwest Regional Office, Chicago, Illinois, 16 FLRA 141
 (1984).  Furthermore, no overriding exigency which required a dress code
 was shown on this record.
 
    The record does disclose that Respondent eliminated the past practice
 of wearing sweaters and jackets without first notifying the Union or
 bargaining on the matter.  The dress code did not contain a prohibition
 against either item and the issues were not raised prior to
 implementation.  On March 1, 1984, Respondent imposed the prohibitions,
 but the Union did not discover that the change was in effect until
 several days later when employees began complaining to the Union.  Such
 a change without first properly notifying an exclusive representative
 and affording it an opportunity to bargain is violative of the Statute.
 See Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Virginia, 6 FLRA 74 (1981).
 
    The corroborated testimony reveals that on January 10, February 9,
 February 23, and March 12, 1984, the Union requested to negotiate
 concerning the dress code.  Respondent implemented the dress code on
 March 1, 1984 or during the course of what should have been continued
 bargaining.  The record shows that at the February 23 meeting, the
 subject of hats was discussed extensively.  At that time the Union
 proposed that the hat practice continue or alternatively, it would buy
 hats.  However, the parties failed to agree and did not even reach the
 other dress code issues such as sweatbands or whether or not shirts
 could be worn outside one's trousers.
 
    Sweaters and jackets while part of the new dress code were not
 discussed during any of these meetings.  Notwithstanding no discussion
 Fitzgerald walked out of the February 23 meeting and implemented the
 dress code several days later on March 1, 1984.
 
    There is no direct relation between the extra apparel such as
 sweaters, jackets and caps which the employees concerned herein wore and
 the duties they performed.  The principal reasons the outer garments
 were worn appears to be to protect employees from cold weather, which
 indeed does occur in Southern California, and against some health
 hazards found on the job.  The evidence does not reveal any hazard
 presented by wearing these outer garments and hats.  Furthermore, there
 is no showing that the outer garments and hats worn by these employees
 interfered with their work performance in any way.
 
    Cases such as, Division of Military and Naval Affairs, State of New
 York, Albany, New York, 15 FLRA No. 65 (1984), concerning uniforms are
 distinguishable on their facts.  The uniforms of the civilian
 technicians in such cases constitute a method and means of performing
 work because the employees belong to a military organization which is
 theoretically subject to mobilization at any time.  Because of the
 necessity to be prepared to act immediately the Guard uniforms are
 clearly a military symbol of that preparedness.  They are therefore not
 aids to the comfort, health or safety of the guard employees.  The issue
 here is not whether or not a uniform will be worn, but is whether an
 agency which has allowed certain items of dress to become permissible
 apparel can change that practice without negotiations with the exclusive
 representative.  Even assuming, arguendo, that dress constitutes a
 "method and means" of performing cleaning work as Respondent earlier
 suggested, it still has failed to meet its obligation to bargain
 concerning the impact of the change.
 
    Respondent through Fitzgerald also makes a meretricious argument that
 Fitzgerald had no authority to negotiate "as I understand negotiations."
 First, Respondent's Labor-Relations Specialist testified that Fitzgerald
 did have authority to negotiate.  Second, the record shows negotiations
 with past Services chiefs on a variety of topics.  Third, there were
 three separate meetings held between Fitzgerald and high level union
 personnel without a mention of lack of authority or ability to
 negotiate.  Following this the Union complained to the chief of
 personnel and still there was no mention of any lack of authority to
 negotiate.  Thus, all of Respondent's actions appear inconsistent with
 its contention that Fitzgerald could not negotiate or was the wrong
 individual for the Union to seek out for attempted negotiations.  I
 find, therefore, that Fitzgerald had authority to negotiate the items
 concerned.
 
    Moving to Respondent's assertion that it was free to implement the
 dress code because the Union never requested to bargain.  And, if it did
 request to bargain, the request was untimely because of the 15 day
 response parameter contained in the Local Agreement.  In discrediting
 Fitzgerald, it is found that the Union requested and met with a
 management official capable of negotiations covering both the dress code
 and the tour of duty, in a timely fashion.  Butler made one request in
 January, two in February and a final one in March 1984.  Respondent
 denies that the Union requested to negotiate concerning the dress code,
 thus, an argument that Butler's request was too late is impossible to
 prove.  /7/ Respondent must, however, acknowledge that it never told
 Butler she was untimely, since in its view the request never occurred.
 Similarly, timeliness according to the provisions of Article 6 of the
 Local Agreement was not raised prior to the hearing.  Further, the Union
 did not receive any notification that the Respondent was enforcing the
 15 day provision which the Local Agreement contains.  Butler maintained
 at the hearing, that in her view the Master Agreement superceded the
 Local's provision with regard to notice and bargaining.  The Master
 Agreement's language at Article 5, Section 1, and Article 6, Section 6,
 supports that argument.  Obviously, Respondent disagrees with Butler's
 construction of the Agreement and maintained at the hearing that the
 Local Agreement was in effect.  The parties are essentially differing
 over the interpretation of Article 5, Section 1, in the Master Agreement
 and its effect on Article 6, Section 2, of the Local Agreement.  The
 status of that provision of the Local Agreement is arguable and unclear
 and therefore clearly not suitable for resolution in the unfair labor
 practice forum.
 
    With regard to the change in starting and quitting times, the cases
 are legion which state that "the decision to change starting and
 quitting times is subject to the duty to bargain unless it can be
 demonstrated that such a change directly or integrally relates to the
 numbers, types or grades of employees or positions assigned to a work
 project or tour of duty so as to be determinative of such numbers, types
 or grades and therefore negotiable solely at the election of the agency
 under section 7106(b)(1) of the Statute." Department of the Treasury,
 U.S. Customs Service and U.S. Customs Service, Region IX, Chicago,
 Illinois, 17 FLRA 221 (1985);  Department of the Air Force, Lowry Air
 Force Base, Colorado, 16 FLRA 1104 (1985);  National Federation of
 Federal Employees, Local 1461 and Department of the Navy, U.S. Naval
 Observatory, 16 FLRA 995 (1985);  Department of Health and Human
 Services, Social Security Administration, Baltimore, Maryland, 16 FLRA
 674 (1985);  Veterans Administration, Hines Hospital, Hines, Illinois,
 16 FLRA 3 (1984).  See also, Department of Transportation, Federal
 Aviation Administration, Washington, D.C., 16 FLRA 479 (1984);  U.S.
 Customs Service, Region V, New Orleans, Louisiana, 9 FLRA 116 (1982);
 and National Treasury Employees Union, Chapter 66 and Internal Revenue
 Service, Kansas City Service Center, 1 FLRA 926 (1979);  Department of
 the Treasury, United States Customs Service, Region I, Boston,
 Massachusetts, and St. Albans, Vermont District Office, 10 FLRA 566
 (1982).
 
    There is no evidence to suggest that the instant change directly or
 integrally related to the numbers, types or grades of employees or
 positions assigned to a work project or tour of duty so as to be
 determinative of such numbers, types or grades and negotiable solely at
 the election of the agency.  Establishing such elements would of course
 be incumbent on Respondent who admittedly was prepared only to bargain
 the impact of the change in starting and quitting times herein.  Since
 the change which occurred herein only changed an existing tour of duty,
 and there is no evidence to indicate that the change was in any manner
 determinative of the numbers, types or grades of employees assigned to
 the tours of duty, it is found that Respondent was obligated to bargain.
  Its failure to do so constitutes a violation of section 7116(a)(1) and
 (5) of the Statute.
 
    Based on all of the foregoing, it is concluded that Respondent
 violated section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute by changing the dress
 code of its housekeeping aides and by changing the duty hours of certain
 of its housekeeping aides without good faith negotiations with the
 exclusive representative of those employees.
 
    Considering the criteria set out in Federal Correctional Institution,
 8 FLRA 604 (1982) and noting that Respondent was not exercising any
 reserved rights under Section 7106 of the Statute, I agree with the
 General Counsel that a status quo ante remedy is appropriate in this
 matter in order to effectuate the purposes and policies of the Statute.
 Accordingly, it is recommended that the Authority adopt the following:
 
                                   ORDER
 
    Pursuant to section 2423.29 of the Federal Labor Relations
 Authority's Rules and Regulations of section 7118 of the Statute, it is
 hereby ordered that the Veterans Administration, West Los Angeles
 Medical Center, Los Angeles, California shall:
 
    1.  Cease and desisit from:
 
          (a) Unilaterally instituting changes in duty hours and dress
       code in the Building Management Service without first notifying
       the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1061,
       AFL-CIO, the exclusive representative of the employees involved
       herein, and providing it with an opportunity to negotiate
       concerning the above changes and the impact and implementation of
       those changes.
 
          (b) In any like or related manner interfering with,
       restraining, or coercing employees in the exercise of their rights
       assured by the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute.
 
    2.  Take the following affirmative action in order to effectuate the
 purposes and policies of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations
 Statute:
 
          (a) Rescind the change in duty hours implemented on April 29,
       1984 and restore the previously existing duty hours of 6:00 a.m.
       to 2:30 p.m.
 
          (b) Rescind the dress code, including the prohibition against
       wearing jackets and sweaters implemented on March 1, 1984 and
       rescind any disciplinary actions initiated as a result of the
       dress code and remove all reference to such disciplinary actions
       from the personnel files of those employees involved.
 
          (c) Notify and upon request, negotiate with the American
       Federation of Government Employees, Local 1061, AFL-CIO, or any
       other exclusive representative of the employees in Building
       Management Service concerning the change in duty hours and dress
       code and the impact and implementation of such changes.
 
          (d) Post at its Veterans Administration, West Los Angeles
       Medical Center, Los Angeles, California the attached Notice marked
       "Appendix A" on forms to be furnished by the Authority.  Upon
       receipt of such forms, they shall be signed by the Director, and
       shall be posted and maintained by him for 60 consecutive days
       thereafter, in conspicuous places, including all bulletin boards
       and other places where notices to employees are customarily
       posted.  The District Director shall take reasonable steps to
       insure that such notices are not altered, defaced, or covered by
       any other material.
 
          (e) Pursuant to Section 2423.30 of the Authority's Rules and
       Regulations, notify the Regional Director, Region VIII, Federal
       Labor Relations Authority, in writing within 30 days from the date
       of this Order as to what steps have been taken to comply herewith.
 
                                       /s/ Eli Nash, Jr.
                                       ELI NASH, JR.
                                       Administrative Law Judge
 
    Dated:  December 4, 1985
    Washington, D.C.
 
 
 
 
                ---------------  FOOTNOTES$ ---------------
 
 
    (1) Howard v. Veterans Administration, No. 85-2128 (Fed. Cir. Nov.
 19, 1985), slip op. at 2.
 
    (2) United States Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation
 Administration, 19 FLRA No. 89 (1985);  Department of Health and Human
 Services, Social Security Administration, Baltimore, Maryland, 16 FLRA
 674 (1984) and Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation
 Administration, Washington, D.C., and its Chicago Airways Facilities
 Sector, 16 FLRA 479 (1984).
 
    (3) See, for example, Long Beach Naval Shipyard, Long Beach,
 California, 17 FLRA 511 (1985).  More generally, the Authority has wide
 discretion to fashion remedies under section 7105(g)(3) and section
 7118(a)(7) of the Statute, including status quo ante remedies where
 appropriate.  See also United States Department of Transportation,
 Federal Aviation Administration, 19 FLRA No. 89 (1985) and U.S.
 Immigration and Naturalization Service, 16 FLRA 1007 (1984), in which
 stated status quo ante remedies are generally found appropriate in
 circumstances where agency decisions to change conditions of employment
 were within the duty to bargain.
 
    (4) According to Respondent the applicable provisions are Article 6,
 section 6 of the Master Agreement, and Article VI, section 2 of the
 Local Agreement.  Article 6, section 6 of the Master Agreement read as
 follows:
 
          Section 6 -- Notification of Changes in Conditions of
       Employment
 
          The Agency shall notify the appropriate union official prior to
       changing conditions of employment which affect bargaining unit
       employees.  The notification will be adequate with sufficient
       information to provide the Union an opportunity to exercise their
       full rights to bargain as appropriate prior to implementation.
       Notification will be in writing when the changes are significant.
 
          Article VI, section 2 of the Local Agreement reads:
 
          Section 2.  The Employer agrees to refer any proposed changes
       in personnel policies, practices or other policies, programs or
       procedures affecting the working conditions of unit employees to
       the Union at least fifteen (15) calendar days prior to anticipated
       implementation.  The Union agrees that it will respond as soon as
       practicable and if it does not respond within fifteen (15)
       calendar days, the Employer will be free to proceed with
       implementation.  This time limit may be extended upon request and
       mutual agreement of the parties.  If the Union notifies the
       Employer within fifteen (15) calendar days that it does not concur
       in the proposed change(s), the parties agree to meet promptly and
       bargain concerning the matter.  (emphasis added).
 
    Based on these articles Respondent asserts that it is the obligation
 of the Union to respond to management's notice if the Union desires to
 negotiate over the change.  It sees no conflict with the Master
 Agreement, inasmuch as the Master Agreement is silent on the issue of
 the Union's obligation to respond.  Thus, where the Master Agreement is
 silent, the Local Agreement prevails.
 
    (5) The charges was later withdrawn when the instant unfair labor
 practice, Case No. 8-CA-40223, was filed because the instant charge
 included the alleged violative conduct.
 
    (6) The establishment of minimum dress standards altering existing
 past practices of dress have been found by my colleague Administrative
 Law Judge Garvin Lee Oliver to be substantively bargainable.  See, Army
 and Air Force Exchange Service, Fort Carson, Colorado, 7-CA-30581, 39
 ALJDR (1984);  United States Department of the Treasury, Internal
 Revenue Service, Austin Service Center, 6-CA-20356, 31 ALJDR (1983).
 
    (7) Respondent does not directly raise nor does it appear necessary
 to resolve in this matter the effect of conduct of Union President
 Butler in using profanity, during and at the conclusion of one of the
 bargaining sessions.
 
 
 
 
 
                                APPENDIX A
 
                          NOTICE TO ALL EMPLOYEES
 
  PURSUANT TO A DECISION AND ORDER OF THE FEDERAL LABOR
 RELATIONS
 AUTHORITY AND IN ORDER TO EFFECTUATE THE POLICIES OF CHAPTER 71
 OF TITLE
 5 OF THE UNITED STATES CODE FEDERAL SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT
 RELATIONS
 STATUTE
 
                   WE HEREBY NOTIFY OUR EMPLOYEES THAT:
 
    WE WILL NOT unilaterally institute changes in working conditions for
 bargaining unit employees by inaugurating changes in duty hours and a
 dress code in the Building Management Service without first notifying
 the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1061, AFL-CIO,
 the exclusive representative of those employees or any other exclusive
 repr