25:0622(50)NG - AFGE, National Council of SSA Field Operations Locals and SSA -- 1987 FLRAdec NG



[ v25 p622 ]
25:0622(50)NG
The decision of the Authority follows:


 25 FLRA No. 50
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF 
 GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO 
 NATIONAL COUNCIL OF SSA FIELD 
 OPERATIONS LOCALS
 Union
 
 and
 
 SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
 Agency
 
                                            Case No. 0-NG-1304
 
                DECISION AND ORDER ON NEGOTIABILITY ISSUES
 
                         I.  Statement of the Case
 
    This petition for review comes before the Authority pursuant to
 section 7105(a)(2)(E) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations
 Statute (the Statute).  It raises issues concerning the negotiability of
 three Union proposals.  For the reasons discussed below, we find
 Proposals 1 and 3 to be outside the duty to bargain and Proposal 2 to be
 within the duty to bargain.
 
                              II.  Proposal 1
 
          The assignment of volunteers and stay-in-schools to SSA
       programs will be for the purpose of supplementing and not
       replacing SSA employees.  This will be accomplished consistent
       with applicable laws and Government-wide rules and regulations.
 
    A.  Positions of the Parties
 
    The Agency contends that the proposal:  (1) is inconsistent with
 management's right to assign work under section 7106(a)(2)(B) of the
 Statute;  (2) does not concern unit employees insofar as it relates to
 volunteers and "stay-in-schools" /1/ who are not in the bargaining unit;
  and (3) improperly limits the Agency's right to lay off and/or make
 selections for appointment from any appropriate source.
 
    The Union contends that the intent of the proposal is not to deny
 management the right to hire "stay-in-schools" or to accept volunteer
 services but rather to provide a statement of purpose which is
 consistent with the Agency's own policy that the volunteer service will
 not be used to displace any employee or to staff a vacancy which is a
 normal part of SSA's work force.
 
    B.  Analysis
 
    As understood by the Agency and as the plain language states, the
 proposal provides that work assignments to volunteer and
 "stay-in-school" appointees can only be made for the purpose of
 supplementing SSA employees and may not be made in any way that results
 in replacing SSA employees.  Regarding the Agency's assertion that the
 proposal does not concern unit employees, we find that the assignment of
 bargaining unit work to volunteer and "stay-in-school" appointees who
 are not included in the bargaining unit relates to the working
 conditions of unit employees.  Volunteer and "stay-in-school" appointees
 work side-by-side with unit employees and are jointly engaged in the
 furtherance of a common agency objective.  They perform duties which
 "make the office operation more efficient and the regular employees'
 jobs less hectic." Union Petition at 1.  Proposal 1 therefore affects
 the working conditions of unit employees.  American Federation of
 Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 3748 and U.S. Department of
 Agriculture, Agricultural Reserach Service, Northern States Area, 23
 FLRA No. 20 (1986) (Proposals 1 and 2), petition for review filed sub
 nom.  Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service v. FLRA,
 No. 86-1533 (D.C. Cir. Oct. 1, 1986).  See also Antilles Consolidated
 Education Association and Antilles Consolidated School System, 22 FLRA
 No. 23 (1986).
 
    As noted above, the proposal states that work assignments to
 volunteer and "stay-in-school" appointees will not be made for the
 purpose of replacing SSA employees.  That language is mandatory.  The
 proposal is therefore in the nature of a work preservation requirement.
 That is, management could make no work assignments to volunteer and
 "stay-in-school" appointees which might result in the loss of work for
 unit employees.  By limiting the Agency's ability to make assignments to
 volunteer and "stay-in-school" appointees the proposal directly
 interferes with management's right to assign work.  We have previously
 held that a proposal prohibiting the assignment of work or duties to
 nonunit employees violates the Agency's right to assign work under
 section 7106(a)(2)(B) of the Statute.  American Federation of Government
 Employees, AFL-CIO, National Joint Council of Food Inspection Locals and
 Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Quality Service, Washington,
 D.C., 9 FLRA 663, 664 (1982) (Proposal 1).  See also Southwestern Power
 Administration and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers,
 Local 1002, 22 FLRA No. 48 (1986) (arbitrator's award prohibiting agency
 from assigning bargaining unit work to nonbargaining unit personnel
 deficient as contrary to section 7106(a)(2)(B) of the Statute).
 
    Moreover, even if, as the Union contends, the proposal simply
 requires adherence to an existing Agency policy, that policy is itself
 an exercise of management's right to assign work and any attempt to
 incorporate that policy in a negotiated agreement would constitute an
 independent limitation on that right.  See National Association of Air
 Traffic Specialists and Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation
 Administration, 6 FLRA 588, 591 (1981).
 
    C.  Conclusion
 
    Proposal 1 is nonnegotiable because it conflicts with management's
 right to assign work under section 7106(a)(2)(B) of the Statute.  We do
 not reach the Agency's other contentions as to the nonnegotiability of
 the proposal.
 
                             III.  Proposal 2
 
          Union personnel will have access to SSA facilities in carrying
       out their labor relations responsibilities.
 
    A.  Positions of the Parties
 
    The Agency contends that this proposal concerns access to facilities
 and services for individuals employed by the Union who are not
 bargaining unit employees and as a result, does not pertain to
 negotiable conditions of employment.
 
    The Union states that Union personnel are not limited to bargaining
 unit employees who hold Union positions.  It contends that the proposal
 establishes conditions under which the Union can accomplish its
 labor-management work.  The Union also argues that its proposal neither
 mandates nor precludes any controls by SSA in such areas as security,
 hours of work, or the like.
 
    B.  Analysis
 
    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, slip op. at 2-3 (1986), petition for review
 filed sub nom.  Department of Treasury, U.S. Customs Service v. FLRA,
 No. 86-1198 (D.C. Cir. March 27, 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 t