25:0685(57)CA - Military Entrance Processing Station, Los Angeles, CA and AFGE Local 2866 -- 1987 FLRAdec CA



[ v25 p685 ]
25:0685(57)CA
The decision of the Authority follows:


 25 FLRA No. 57
 
 MILITARY ENTRANCE PROCESSING STATION 
 LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
 Respondent
 
 and
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT 
 EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 2866, AFL-CIO
 Charging Party
 
                                            Case Nos. 8-CA-50566
                                                      8-CA-60005
 
                            DECISION AND ORDER
 
    I.  Statement of the Case
 
    This consolidated unfair labor practice case is before the Authority
 based on exceptions filed by the General Counsel and cross-exceptions
 filed by the Respondent to the attached Decision of the Administrative
 Law Judge.  The exceptions and cross-exceptions are limited to the
 Judge's Decision in Case No. 8-CA-50566.  The Respondent also filed an
 opposition to the General Counsel's exceptions.
 
    The complaint in Case No. 8-CA-60005 alleged that the Respondent
 violated section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Federal Service
 Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute) when it unilaterally
 confiscated the Union's filing cabinet.  The Judge concluded that the
 Respondent's conduct in unilaterally confiscating the Union's filing
 cabinet constituted a violation of section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the
 Statute.  The Judge found that because the Respondent had provided the
 Union with the cabinet in 1983, it was obligated to bargain with the
 Union prior to depriving the Union of its use.  No exceptions were filed
 by any party with respect to the Decision of the Judge in Case No.
 8-CA-60005.  Noting that the Judge's conclusion is supported by
 substantial reasoning and noting particularly the absence of exceptions,
 we adopt the Judge's conclusion and supporting rationale in Case No.
 8-CA-60005.
 
    The complaint in Case No. 8-CA-50566 alleged that the Respondent
 unilaterally implemented a change in the procedure concerning (1) how
 non-employee representatives of the Charging Party gain access to the
 Respondent's facility, and (2) when such representatives can meet with
 bargaining unit employees.  The complaint alleged that this unilateral
 change violated section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute.
 
    II.  Background of Case No. 8-CA-50566
 
    There are two separate allegations in this case.  The first concerns
 whether the Respondent unilaterally changed the manner in which the
 Union president, a non-employee of the Military Entrance Processing
 Station (the Station), gained access to the Station.  The Judge noted
 that the parties disagreed over when the change occurred.  The
 Respondent maintained that the change occurred at a meeting in January
 1985, more than six months prior to the date on which the charge was
 filed.  The Respondent argued therefore that the complaint must be
 dismissed as untimely filed under section 7118(a)(4)(A).  The General
 Counsel argued that the change did not occur until July 1985, when the
 Union representative received a letter in which he was reminded that he
 was to schedule his meetings in advance through the Commander.
 
    The Judge found that for many years the Union president had gained
 access to the Station through the Respondent's supervisors, and that
 this practice was unilaterally changed by the Commander at a meeting on
 January 15, 1985, when she informed the president that thereafter all
 permission for access to the Station would be through her office.  The
 Judge further found that the July letter merely reiterated the January
 15 instruction.  Therefore, he concluded that section 7118(a)(4)(A) of
 the Statute mandated dismissal of the complaint because the charge was
 filed on September 18, 1985, more than six months after the change in
 the manner of access to the Station had occurred.
 
    The Judge rejected the General Counsel's contention that because the
 instruction was not conveyed to subordinate supervisors and the Union
 president continued to follow the past procedure, the change did not
 occur until July.  The Judge noted that (1) because the Union president
 was the only non-employee affected, there was no reason for the
 Commander to suspect that he would not follow the procedure;  and (2)
 when the Union president was observed violating the procedure the
 Respondent took immediate action.  The Judge also concluded that if the
 charge had been timely filed, he would have found that the unilateral
 change in the manner of access to the Station was a change in a
 condition of employment established by past practice in violation of
 section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute.
 
    The second allegation of the complaint concerned the Respondent's
 alleged change in the scheduling of meetings between Union
 representatives and employees without negotiating over the substance of
 the change.  As to this allegation, the Judge concluded that the
 Respondent violated section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute.  He found
 that both the Union steward and the president were informed on or about
 September 12, 1985, that thereafter all meetings would have to be
 scheduled after 11:30 a.m.  He further found that no restraint had been
 placed on the scheduling of these meetings prior to this change.  The
 Judge concluded that the Respondent unilaterally changed an established
 condition of employment without engaging in the bargaining required by
 the Statute.
 
    III.  Positions of the Parties
 
    The General Counsel excepted to the Judge's dismissal for
 untimeliness of the aspect of the consolidated complaint in Case No.
 8-CA-50566 concerning the alleged unilateral change in the manner in
 which non-employee Union representatives gained access to the Station.
 The General Counsel reiterated arguments previously made to the Judge
 that the change in the manner of access did not occur until July 1985.
 
    The Respondent opposed the General Counsel's exceptions, repeating
 arguments previously made to the Judge concerning both timeliness and
 the merits of the unfair labor practice allegations.  The Respondent
 repeated these arguments in its cross-exceptions, where it contends that
 (1) the change in the manner of access to the Station was not negotiable
 because it was an exercise of the Respondent's right to designate its
 representatives and (2) the change in the scheduling of meetings between
 Union representatives and bargaining unit employees was not negotiable
 because it was an exercise of its right to assign work which had an
 insufficient impact on working conditions to trigger an obligation to
 bargain.
 
    IV.  Analysis
 
    We conclude, in agreement with the Judge, that the unfair labor
 practice charge in Case No. 8-CA-50566 concerning the change in the
 manner of access to the Station was not filed within six months of the
 occurrence of the change, and therefore the complaint must be dismissed
 under section 7118(a)(4)(A) of the Statute.  The Judge's findings and
 conclusions are supported by substantial evidence in the record, and we
 affirm them.  Because we agree with the Judge that the charge was
 untimely filed, we find it unnecessary to consider and do not pass upon
 the Judge's discussion as to what his conclusion would have been had the
 charge been filed timely.
 
    We also conclude, in agreement with the Judge, that the Respondent's
 unilateral change in the scheduling of Union representatives' meetings
 with bargaining unit employees constituted a change in a condition of
 employment in violation of section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute.
 We reach this conclusion for the following reasons.
 
    The Agency unilaterally changed its policy concerning when unit
 employees can use official time to meet with non-employee union
 representatives.  That change involves the use of official time which
 section 7131(d) of the Statute authorizes the parties to negotiate.  In
 section 7131(d), Congress provided that agencies and unions should
 jointly determine through negotiations the amount of official time to be
 available to employees during any given time period that is "reasonable,
 necessary, and in the public interest." See American Federation of
 Government Employees, Council of Locals No. 214 (v.) FLRA, 798 F.2d
 1525, 1530 (D.C. Cir. 1986).  To the extent that the Agency's objection
 to negotiating over the substance of its decision to change its policy
 regarding amounts of official time available to employees during morning
 hours is grounded in a generalized concern to carry out its mission,
 such as generalized concern "cannot displace a specific congressional
 provision providing for the negotiability of official time proposals."
 Id.  Further, insofar as the Agency's objection to negotiating over the
 substance of its policy change is based on management's right to assign
 work under section 7106(a) of the Statute, this objection must also be
 rejected.  Section 7131(d) "carves out an exception" to management's
 right to assign work;  otherwise, that right "would preclude any
 negotiation of official time provisions, since official time always
 affects an agency's ability to assign work." 798 F.2d at 1530-31 (n).8.
 See also, National Association of Government Employees, SEIU, AFL-CIO
 and Veterans Administration Medical Center, Brockton/West Roxbury, Ma.,
 23 FLRA No. 74 (1986), slip op. at 4.
 
    Therefore, the use of official time under section 7131(d) -- that is,
 its amount, allocation and scheduling -- is negotiable absent an
 emergency or other special circumstances not present in this case.  See,
 for example, section 7106(a)(2)(D).  Parties may protect their interests
 in the negotiation process.  See AFGE, Council of Locals No. 214, 798
 F.2d at 1530 ("An agency has no obligation to abandon what it conceives
 to be the best interests of the agency merely because it must negotiate
 on an official time proposal.").
 
    The substance of the Agency's decision to change its policy regarding
 amounts of official time to be available to employees during morning
 hours was therefore negotiable, and consequently the Agency's decision
 to implement this change without bargaining was an unfair labor
 practice.  /*/
 
    V.  Conclusion
 
    Pursuant to section 2423.29 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations
 and section 7118 of the Statute, we have reviewed the rulings of the
 Judge made at the hearing, find that no prejudicial error was committed,
 and affirm those rulings.  We have considered the Judge's Decision and
 the entire record, and adopt the Judge's findings, conclusions and order
 as modified above.
 
                                   ORDER
 
    Pursuant to section 2423.29 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations
 and section 7118 of the Statute, the Military Entrance Processing
 Station, Los Angeles, California, shall:
 
    1.  Cease and desist from:
 
    (a) Failing or refusing to negotiate in good faith with American
 Federation of Government Employees, Local 2866, AFL-CIO, the exclusive
 representative of its employees, by unilaterally changing the past
 practice whereby Union officials are allowed to meet for
 representational purposes prior to 11:30 a.m.
 
    (b) Failing or refusing to negotiate in good faith with American
 Federation of Government Employees, Local 2866, AFL-CIO, the exclusive
 representative, by confiscating the filing cabinet and confidential
 files of the Union.
 
    (c) In any like or related manner interfering with, restraining, or
 coercing its employees in the exercise of their rights assured by the
 Statute.
 
    2.  Take the following affirmative action in order to effectuate the
 purposes and policies of the Statute.
 
    (a) Restore the past practice whereby Union officials are permitted
 to meet for representative purposes prior to 11:30 a.m.
 
    (b) Post at the facilities of the Military Entrance Processing
 Station, 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 shatl be signed by the Commander 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 staps shall be taken to
 ensure that the Notices are not altered, defaced, or covered by any
 other material.
 
    (c) 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.
 
    Further, the remaining allegation of the consolidated complaint in
 Case No. 8-CA-50566 is dismissed.
 
    Issued, Washington, D.C., February 13, 1987
 
                                       Jerry L. Calhoun, Chairman
                                       Henry B. Frazier III, Member
                                       Jean McKee, 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 fail or refuse to negotiate with American Federation of
 Government Employees, Local 2866, AFL-CIO, the exclusive representative
 of our employees, by unilaterally changing the past practice whereby
 Union officials are allowed to meet for representational purposes prior
 to 11:30 a.m.
 
    WE WILL NOT fail or refuse to negotiate with American Federation of
 Government Employees, Local 2866, AFL-CIO, the exclusive representative
 of our employees, by confiscating the filing cabinet and confidential
 files of the Union.
 
    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
 Statute.
 
    WE WILL restore the past practice whereby Union officials are
 permitted to meet for representational purposes prior to 11:30 a.m.
 
                                       Military Entrance Processing
                                       Station,
                                       Los Angeles, California
 
    Dated:  . . . By:  . . .Commander
 
    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:  (213) 894-3805.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 -------------------- ALJ$ DECISION FOLLOWS --------------------
 
 Case NoS.: 8-CA-50566 and 8-CA-60005
 
 MILITARY ENTRANCE PROCESSING STATION, 
 LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
    Respondent
 
                                    and
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT 
 EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 2805, AFL-CIO
    Charging Party
 
    John R. Pannozzo, Esquire.  For General Counsel
 
    Lt. Colonel Wade B. Morrison, for Respondent
 
    Before:  BURTON S. STERNBURG
    Administrative Law Judge
 
                                 DECISION
 
                           Statement of the Case
 
    This is a proceeding under the Federal Service Labor-Management
 Relations Statute, Chapter 71 of Title 5 of the U.S. Code, 5 U.S.C.
 Section 7101, et seq. and the Rules and Regulations issued thereunder.
 
    Pursuant to charges filed on September 18, 1985 and October 4, 1985
 in Case Nos. 8-CA-50566 and 8-CA-60005, respectively, by American
 Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 2866, (hereinafter
 called the Union or Local 2866), a Consolidated Complaint and Notice of
 Hearing was issued on December 30, 1985 by the Regional Director for
 Region VIII, Federal Labor Relations Authority, Los Angeles, California.
  The Consolidated Complaint alleges that the Military Entrance
 Processing Station, Los Angeles, California, (hereinafter called the
 Respondent or MEPS), violated Sections 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Federal
 Service Labor-Management Relations Statute, (hereinafter called the
 Statute), by unilaterally changing the working conditions of unit
 employees by virtue of its actions in (1) confiscating a file cabinet
 containing confidential union files and (2) altering the procedures
 governing both the time and manner in which non-employee Union
 representatives may enter the MEPS facility for purposes of meeting with
 unit employees.  The above changes were allegedly implemented without
 giving prior notice to the Union and affording it the opportunity to
 negotiate over such changes in working conditions.
 
    A hearing was held in the captioned matter on February 26, 1986, in
 Los Angeles, California.  All parties were afforded the opportunity to
 be heard, to examine and cross-examine witnesses, and to introduce
 evidence bearing on the issues involved herein.  The General Counsel and
 the Respondent submitted post-hearing briefs on April 9 and 10, 1985,
 respectively, which have been duly considered.
 
    Upon the basis of the entire record, including my observation of the
 witnesses and their demeanor, I make the following findings of fact,
 conclusions and recommendations.
 
                             Findings of Fact
 
    MEPS, which is responsible for processing applicants for the armed
 services, was formerly located in a multi-storied building on Wilshire
 Boulevard prior to May 1985 when it moved to its present location on
 Rodeo Road in Los Angeles, California.  The Wilshire Boulevard location
 contained a security desk on the first floor, an operations section on
 the second floor, a medical section on the third floor and a testing
 area along with headquarters on the fourth floor.  The present location
 of MEPS on the Rodeo Road is composed of two buildings with a connection
 corridor shaped in a letter B configuration.  Although not clear it
 appears that the MEPS operation is conducted on the first floors of the
 connecting buildings and egress is solely through a corridor connecting
 both buildings.
 
    According to the record the applicants for military service processed
 by MEPS fall into two groups.  One group are those applicants who have
 already been accepted and are reporting for medical processing prior to
 being shipped later in the day to a military installation.  Although not
 entirely clear from the record, the second group appears to be first
 time applicants for enlistment who are undergoing medical examinations.
 /1/ Both groups arrive at about 5:00 a.m.  The shippers, who are
 preparing for basic training, are given a quick physical and then meet
 with their counselors prior to disembarking by plane between the hours
 of 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. for basic training.  The dep ins following
 their medical examinations are sent to the operations section for
 further processing.
 
    Local 2866 is the recognized exclusive representative of the Civilian
 employees at MEPS.  The president of Local 2866 for the past nine years
 has been Mr. Gil Sanchez.  In his capacity as president of Local 2866 he
 has represented unit employees in such matters as grievances under the
 negotiated grievance procedure, ULP's, employee complaints and
 employment discrimination.  The shop steward is Ms. Mae Lapadula, who
 has been employed in the medical section of MEPS for approximately ten
 years.  Her immediate supervisor is Mr. Lee Sturgis.  According to Ms.
 Lapadula, who assumed her position as shop steward in August 1983, when
 changes in conditions of employment were made at MEPS notification of
 such changes were given to both her and Local 2866.
 
    Lt. Colonel Karen Rankin has been the Commander at MEPS since August
 1984.  Her adjunct is Captain Reynolds.  Lt. J. G. Glover is the medical
 administrative officer and Mr. Charles Stafford is the supervisor of
 operations.  The MEPS labor relations are handled, pursuant to a
 servicing agreement, by the Los Angeles Air Force Station.  Mr. Kenneth
 Oprisko is the Chief of Employee and Labor Management Relations at the
 Los Angeles Air Force Station and Ms. Kristen Ogley is a Labor Relations
 Specialist at the same installation.
 
    Case No. 8-CA-60005, Alleged Illegal Confiscation of File Cabinet and
 Files.
 
    In September 1983, shortly after assuming the position of Union
 Steward, Ms. Lapadula spoke to the former Supervisor of Operations, Mr.
 Henry Patrick, and informed him that her personal locker was not large
 enough to store her union files.  Whereupon, Mr. Patrick obtained a five
 drawer file cabinet from the storage room for use by Local 2866.  The
 file cabinet was kept in various locations throughout the MEPS facility.
  Upon the move from the Wilshire Boulevard location to the Rodeo Road
 location the file cabinet was placed in the ladies lounge which is
 located across from the medical department.  The file cabinet which
 contained, among other things, ULP charges, personal data, grievances,
 reprimands and various other materials associated with labor-management
 relations, remained in the ladies lounge until on or about October 3,
 1985 when it was confiscated and/or appropriated by MEPS
 representatives.
 
    According to Lt. Col. Rankin, in late August or early September 1985,
 MEPS was ordered to conduct AIDS testing of all applicants for
 enlistment in the armed services.  The results of such AIDS tests were
 to be contained in a "secured" file.  Following a search of its existing
 filing facilities it was determined that the five drawer file, being
 utilized by Ms. Lapadula in her capacity as Local 2866 Steward was the
 "most available" since it contained the least amount of documents, could
 be locked and its use would be less disruptive to the MEPS mission.
 
    Thereafter, Sgt. Bratcher, Ms. Lapadula's second line supervisor,
 approached Ms. Lapadula and inquired if she could get along with a four
 drawer file because MEPS was in need of a file similar to the five
 drawer file being utilized by Local 2866.  Being under the impression
 that the switch of files was only a temporary situation, Ms. Lapadula
 indicated her assent to the switch.  At approximately the end of
 September, Ms. Lapadula was called into Lt. Col. Rankin's office and
 told of MEPS' intention to switch the Union's five drawer file for a
 smaller file.  When Ms. Lapadula replied that she was ready at any time,
 Lt. Col. Rankin informed her that the switch would take place within the
 hour.  Subsequently, when Ms. Lapadula met with Sgt. Bratcher to switch
 her Union memoranda from the five drawer file cabinet she was presented
 with four separate field lockers rather than a file cabinet with four
 drawers.  The field lockers resembled a foot locker and each possessed a
 separate key.  Further, according to Ms. Lapadula, the field lockers
 were rusty and dirty.  Ms. Lapadula informed Sgt. Bratcher that she
 could not make the switch because it would be too hard on her to open
 each lock separately every time she needed a paper.  According to Ms.
 Lapadula, whom I credit, she was under the impression that she was
 getting a four drawer file cabinet.
 
    On October 1, 1985, Ms. Lapadula met twice with Lt. Clover concerning
 the Union's file cabinet.  Upon being told during the first meeting by
 Ms. Lapadula that there would be no switch until she received a suitable
 four drawer file cabinet, Lt. Glover replied that he intended to have
 the five drawer file and to get the key to the file even if he was
 forced to break into the file.  At the second meeting that afternoon,
 Lt. Glover reiterated his intention of breaking into the file.  Ms.
 Lapadula replied that she had no intention of surrendering the file
 cabinet until she had a suitable replacement.
 
    On October 2, 1985, Ms. Lapadula met with Captain Reynolds who
 reiterated the position of Lt. Glover.  Ms. Lapadula stuck to her
 position and informed Captain Reynolds that if he intended to forcefully
 open her file cabinet he should do it in her presence.
 
    Upon hearing of the position taken by Ms. Lapadula, namely, that she
 was unhappy with the appearance of the field lockers and the fact that
 they had to be unstacked and placed on the floor to be opened, Lt. Col.
 Rankin, without any further discussion with Ms. Lapadula, ordered her
 subordinates to effectuate the switch.
 
    On October 2, 1985, between 2:45 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. after Ms.
 Lapadula's departure from work, Respondent's representatives removed the
 Union's files from the filing cabinet and transferred them to the four
 field lockers which were stored under lock and key in the supply room.
 
    Upon arrival at work on October 3, 1985, Ms. Lapadula discovered that
 her file cabinet had been removed and immediately proceeded to Lt.
 Glover's office where she was informed of the switch and Respondent's
 willingness to give her the keys to the field lockers if she
 relinquished the key to the file cabinet.  At this time Ms. Lapadula was
 unaware of where her union files were located.  Moreover, she was also
 unaware that Respondent had a duplicate key to her files.
 
    Thereafter, Ms. Lapadula held a number of telephone conversations
 with Union President Sanchez who ultimately instructed her to give the
 key to the file cabinet to Respondent representatives with the
 understanding that they would surrender the keys to the field lockers.
 Ms. Lapadula relinquished her key to the file cabinet but Lt. Glover
 refused to give her the keys to the field lockers.  Lt. Glover informed
 Ms. Lapadula that Mr. Sanchez would have to come in a personally get the
 keys.
 
    Later that day Mr. Sanchez made arrangements with Lt. Col. Rankin to
 pick up the keys to the field lockers at 11:00 a.m. on October 4, 1985.
 However, when Mr. Sanchez did not arrive at MEPS until approximately
 12:30 p.m. Respondent refused to make the keys available since the
 specific people she wanted to witnesses the exchange of the files were
 not present.
 
    On October 8, 1985, Mr. Sanchez drafted a letter to Lt. Col. Rankin
 wherein he requested the keys be turned over to Ms. Lapadula and
 informed Lt. Col. Rankin that once she had the keys he would schedule a
 visit to the MEPS facility for purposes of taking inventory of the
 Union's files.  On October 11, 1985 Lt. Col. Rankin called Ms. Lapadula
 into her office, apologized for the way the file cabinet switch had been
 handled and gave her the keys to the field lockers.  At approximately
 the same time Lt. Col. Rankin directed her staff to secure another
 filing cabinet for the Union.  According to Ms. Lapadula and Mr. Sanchez
 they finally got access to the locked storage room and their files on
 October 17, 1985.  The files were then transferred to a five drawer file
 cabinet supplied by MEPS and the file cabinet was moved back to its
 original location in the ladies lounge where, as in the past, they had
 unrestricted access to the union files.  /2/
 
    The record reveals that the implementation of the AIDS program did
 not commence until October 15, 1985 at the earliest.
 
    Case No. 8-CA-50566 Alleged Unilateral Change Concerning The Manner
 In Which Non-employee Representatives Achieve Access To MEPS and The
 Time When Such Access Will Be Allowed.
 
    According to the uncontested testimony of Mr. Sanchez, the
 non-employee President of the Union, for the past nine years he had been
 visiting the MEPS facility on the average of three times a month.  Many
 of the visits were for purposes of meeting with a unit employee in his
 specific work area.  The visits were always approved in advance in
 accordance with Article VI, Section 2(b) of the collective bargaining
 contract in effect between the Union and MEPS.  Upon being contacted by
 the employee, Mr. Sanchez would schedule an appointment with the
 employee subject to the employee securing approval of the time and place
 from his or her immediate supervisor.  Upon subsequently being informed
 by the employee that he had secured permission for the meeting from the
 immediate supervisor to confirm that he, the supervisor, had approved
 the time and place of the meeting, etc., at the MEPS facility.  At no
 time, prior to the events herein, did Mr. Sanchez check with any other
 management official prior to entering the MEPS facility.
 
    On January 15, 1985, Lt. Col. Rankin, Ms. Ogley, Mr. Sanchez and Mr.
 Shoats, an AFGE Local Representative, met at the MEPS facility for
 purposes of bargaining over the issue of wearing white uniforms in the
 medical section.  During a break in the proceedings while the parties
 awaited the appearance of Union Steward Lapadula, Mr. Sanchez and Mr.
 Shoats took a walk around the facility.  Upon their return Lt. Col.
 Rankin, who had been concerned about the presence of unauthorized people
 in the facility spoke to Mr. Sanchez and informed him that thereafter
 all permission for access to the MEPS facility would be through her, the
 Commander's office.  /3/
 
    Lt. Col. Rankin acknowledged that she knew that she was changing
 procedure when she informed Mr. Sanchez that access to the MEPS facility
 would only be through her office.  Lt. Col. Rankin further acknowledges
 that she did not inform either security or her lower ranking supervisors
 of the change in the access procedure imposed upon Mr. Sanchez.
 
    Despite Lt. Col. Rankin's instructions, Mr. Sanchez during the period
 January 15 - July 23, 1985 continued to shchedule meetings with the unit
 employees through their respective immediate supervisors.  Thus,
 according to Mr. Sanchez' appointment log, Mr. Sanchez met on the
 following dates with the immediate supervisors of various unit
 employees;  February 1, 11, 19;  March 4, 12, 15, 27, and 29;  April 4,
 9, 12, 19, and 25;  May 15 and 20;  June 7 and 18;  July 9 /4/ and 23,
 1985.
 
    On July 23, 1985, Mr. Sanchez arrived at 11:30 a.m. for a scheduled
 appointment with Acting Commanding Reynolds.  Supervisor Charles
 Stafford noticed Mr. Sanchez, inquired if he had an approved appointment
 and, upon being informed that he did at 1:30 p.m., escorted Mr. Sanchez
 from the building.  Thereafter by letter dated July 24, 1985, Ms. Ogley
 wrote a letter to Mr. Sanchez which read in pertinent part as follows:
 
          "There have been several instances of subject visits by you
       over the past several months.  On each occasion you have been
       reminded by a management representative that you must schedule
       your visits to the LA MEPS in advance through the Commander so
       that appropriate arrangement for such visits can be made at a time
       and place convenient to all parties.  I was present at such a
       discussion between LTC Rankin, LA MEPS Commander, you and Mr.
       Shoats, AFGE Local regional representative on 15 Jan 85, where the
       requirement to schedule your visits in advance through the
       Commander was very clearly stated to you.
 
          "On 23 July 85 at approximately 11:30 a.m. you again made an
       unscheduled visit to LA MEPS.  The fact that you had a 1:30 p.m.
       appointment with the acting Commander, CPT Reynolds, does not
       change or waive the requirement placed on you to schedule all
       visits in advance through the Commander."
 
    By letter 2 August 1985, Mr. Sanchez replied to the Ms. Ogley letter.
  The Union took the position that it had been complying with the
 provisions of the collective bargaining contract /5/ and accused the
 Respondent of attempting to discourage the Union representative from
 visiting the premises in violation of the Statute.
 
    On September 10, 1985, Mr. Sanchez received a telephone call from Ms.
 Lapadula requesting a meeting.  Time, date and place were tentatively
 discussed and Mr. Sanchez informed her that she should schedule a
 meeting for 10:00 a.m. on September 12, 1985, with her immediate
 supervisor, Mr. Lee Sturgis.  Later that same day, Mr. Sanchez received
 another telephone call from Ms. Lapadula stating that Mr. Lee Sturgis
 had approved the 10:00 a.m. meeting for September 12, 1985.
 
    On September 11, 1985, Mr. Sanchez received a telephone call from Ms.
 Lapadula in which he was informed by Ms. Lapadula that Mr. Sturgis had
 cancelled the previously approved meeting.  According to Ms. Lapadula,
 Mr. Sturgis had informed her that he no longer had the authority to
 grant Mr. Sanchez permission to come onto the facility, and that
 approval and arrangements for subsequent representational meetings would
 have to be made through Lt. Col. Rankin or her staff.  Mr. Sanchez then
 called Mr. Sturgis to confirm the cancellation of the approved meeting.
 Mr. Sanchez was told that the Commander required all non-employee
 visitors to coordinate with the Command Section before they entered the
 installation.  According to Mr. Sanchez, this incident represented the
 first time that he was not permitted to coordinate his access onto the
 MEPS facility through the employee's immediate supervisor.  Mr. Sanchez
 called Mr. Ogley and took the position that Respondent had arbitrarily
 changed policies and procedures regarding representation.
 
    On September 12, 1985, Mr. Sanchez, under protest, called Captain
 Reynolds to rechedule the previously cancelled meeting.  Captain
 Reynolds approved Mr. Sanchez' request for an 11:00 a.m. meeting on
 September 13, 1985.  That same day, Lt. Glover informed Ms. Lapadula
 that the scheduled 11:00 a.m. meeting for the following day had been
 cancelled and rescheduled to 1:30 p.m.  Ms. Lapadula requested that the
 meeting be changed to 12:30 p.m. and her request was granted.  According
 to Ms. Lapadula, Lt. Glover or Sgt. Bratcher informed her that there had
 been a change in policy and no more morning meetings, which were
 scheduled prior to 11:30 a.m., would be approved.  This morning
 restriction was imposed by Respondent because of applicant processing
 and such restriction has been adhered to by the Local.  Mr. Sanchez then
 called Lt. Glover and discussed the change in policy.  Lt. Glover stated
 that he would check into the matter and return Mr. Sanchez' phone call.
 Not hearing from Lt. Glover, Mr. Sanchez again called Lt. Glover at 2:25
 p.m. and was then informed that, pursuant to orders from Lt. Col.
 Rankin, there would no longer be any morning meetings with Ms. Lapadula.
  In addition, Lt. Glover told Mr. Sanchez that Captain Reynolds did not
 recall making any arrangements relating to an 11:00 a.m. meeting for
 September 13, 1985.
 
    Prior to September 12, 1985, Ms. Lapadula's release was not dependent
 on work load considerations.  However, in practice, arrangements to
 conduct union business were usually made around her work schedule, since
 Supervisor Sturgis had advance notice of her meetings and ample time was
 provided to secure a replacement whether at 10:00 a.m. or 11:00 a.m.
 Prior to September 12, 1985, Ms. Lapadula had never been denied official
 time and if she requested a meeting for a particular time, e.g., 10:00
 a.m., she received it.  Thus, prior to this time, it was always within
 Ms. Lapadula's discretion when she would meet with Mr. Sanchez.  After
 September 12, 1985, and continuing to the present, Ms. Lapadula's and
 Mr. Sanchez' representational meeting time was governed by the
 restrictions imposed by Respondent.  Ms. Lapadula has requested official
 time at 10:00 a.m. to conduct various representational duties, primarily
 with non-employee Union representative Sanchez since September 12, 1985.
  She has been denied such request and been informed that she cannot
 conduct official union business until 11:30 a.m.
 
                        Discussion and Conclusions
 
    The General Counsel takes the position that the Respondent violated
 Sections 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute by virture of its actions in
 (1) confiscating the Union's filing cabinet, (2) unilaterally changing
 the manner in which non-employee Union representatives achieved access
 to the MEPS facility and (3) unilaterally determining that all such
 meetings involving the union president or other union representatives
 should commence after 11:30 a.m.
 
    In conncection with the Respondent's action in confiscating the
 Union's filing cabinet, the General Counsel points out that while it was
 owned by Respondent the Union's authorized use of the cabinet had
 ripened into a condition of employment over which Respondent was
 obligated to bargain prior to depriving the Union of the use of the
 filing cabinet.  According to the General Counsel, Ms. Lapadula's
 original agreement to surrender the five drawer file was predicated on
 the understanding that it would be replaced with a four drawer filing
 cabinet, not four separate field lockers.  Thus, in the absence of any
 exigency, when Ms. Lapadula balked at switching her cabinet for the four
 field lockers, Respondent was under an obligation to bargain over the
 removal of the filing cabinet prior to unilaterally confiscating same.
 
    With respect to the change in the manner that President Sanchez
 gained access to MEPS facility, the General Counsel takes the position
 that change in procedure occurred in July 1985 when he received Ms.
 Ogley's letter.  In support of his position the General Counsel relies
 on the fact that prior to such time Lt. Col. Rankin issued no
 instructions to her subordinate supervisors changing the past procedure
 whereby access to the MEPS facility was arranged through such
 subordinate supervisors and the fact that from January-July 1985, Mr.
 Sanchez followed past practice without incident.
 
    Finally the General Counsel takes the position that Respondent's
 action in making the Union schedule all meetings subsequent to 11:30
 a.m. constituted a unilateral change in the past practice of allowing
 the union steward to schedule meetings at an earlier hour, provided that
 she received permission from her supervisor who was responsible for
 making sure that adequate female personnel were available to insure that
 female recruits, etc., could be appropriately processed.
 
    Finally the General Counsel takes the position that the three changes
 concerned conditions of employment, the substance of which, the
 Respondent was obligated to bargain over prior to instituting changes
 therein.  Having unilaterally changed such conditions of employment
 without bargaining, it is the General Counsel position that the
 Respondent violated Sections 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute.
 
    The Respondent on the other hand takes the position that inasmuch as
 the change in the manner in which President Sanchez achieved access to
 the MEPS facility occurred in January 1985, more than six months prior
 to the filing of the charge based thereon, Section 7118(4)(A) mandates
 that the instant complaint should be dismissed as being untimely.
 Additionally, the Respondent takes the position that the mere change in
 the management representative empowered to approve access to the MEPS
 facility does not amount to a change in a condition of employment.  In
 support of this position Respondent points out that neither party can
 dictate the others representative, and accordingly a mere change in
 representative is not a unilateral change within the meaning of the
 Statute which requires prior notice and bargaining.
 
    With respect to the confiscation of the Union's files, Respondent
 takes the position that the Union had acquiesced in the exchange and, in
 any event, inasmuch as the dispute concerns what the parties had agreed
 to, the matter should be resolved through the contract grievance
 procedure.  Additionally, the Respondent takes the position that the
 impact was minimal and, since the matter was resolved after a short
 period of time by giving the Union another five drawer filing cabinet,
 it would not effect the policies of the Statute to give a remedial
 order.
 
    Finally, with respect to the hours wherein meetings could be
 scheduled, Respondent denies that it instituted any change.  According
 to Respondent, each request for a meeting at a scheduled time is
 considered on a case by case basis and there is no hard and fast rule
 governing when meetings will be held.  Moreover, and in any event,
 inasmuch as Ms. Lapadula is not busy during the period 11:30 a.m. to
 2:30 p.m. any impact upon the Union is minimal.
 
    With respect to Case No. 8-CA-60005 involving the removal of the
 Agency owned five drawer filing cabinet, I find, that under all the
 circumstances present herein, Respondent's action in confiscating the
 filing cabinet violated Sections 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute.
 
    Thus, the record reveals that the Union had used the filing cabinet,
 with the knowledge and blessing of the Respondent, for some two years
 prior to its removal.  In such circumstances, I find that Union's use of
 the five drawer filing cabinet had ripened into a condition of
 employment which could not be changed by Respondent without prior notice
 to the Union and bargaining thereon.  U.S. Department of the Treasury,
 Internal Revenue Service, New Orleans District, A/SLMR No. 1034;
 Arkansas Army National Guard, 1 FLRA No. 877.
 
    Although not specifically stated, Respondent's counsel does not
 appear to take issue with the above conclusion.  Rather, he takes the
 position that the retrieval was based upon Ms. Lapadula's consent and,
 in any event, in view of the "de minimis impact" upon the Union and
 "timely rectification" no remedial order is warranted.
 
    While it is true that Respondent's representatives did talk to Mas.
 Lapadula and secure her consent to switch and/or remove her five drawer
 filing cabinet, the record reveals that such consent was predicated upon
 her understanding that she would receive a four drawer filing cabinet in
 return.  Thus, to the extent, that Respondent's representatives
 testified that they merely told Ms. Lapadula she would receive four
 drawer filing capacity, I find such statement was a deliberate attempt
 to deceive Ms. Lapadula into believing that she would be receiving a
 conventional four drawer filing cabinet rather than four separate field
 storage files.  /6/ Having mislead Ms. Lapadula, I find that Respondent
 failed to bargain in good faith with her prior to achieving her consent,
 and that its subsequent activity in unilaterally confiscating her filing
 cabinet without further bargaining, after she became aware that she was
 to receive four field storage lockers and voiced her objection thereto,
 amounted to a unilateral change in a condition of employment in
 violation of Sections 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute.
 
    Inasmuch as the use of the filing cabinet is a condition of
 employment not falling within the purview of Section 7106(a) of the
 Statute, Respondent was obligated to bargain over the decision to remove
 the filing cabinet, not merely the manner of implementation and impact
 on the employees.  Accordingly, the degree of impact, is not a matter to
 be considered.  Department of Health and Human Services, Social Security
 Administration, Baltimore, Maryland, 19 FLRA No. 123.
 
    With respect to Respondent's final argument against a remedial order
 which is based upon the fact that some eight days later Respondent
 obtained a five drawer filing cabinet for the Union's use, I find, under
 all the circumstances that a posting is in order.  Thus, the record
 shows, and I find, that Respondent deliberately mislead Ms. Lapadula in
 the first instance, there was no exigency to justify the confiscation,
 and the confiscation prevented the Union from utilizing its files.
 Having played fast loose with the Union's files the Respondent demeaned
 the Union in front of its constituency and committed a blatant violation
 of the Statute.  Accordingly, contrary to Respondent's contention, I
 find that a cease and desist order as well as a posting is warranted.
 
    With respect to Case No. 8-CA-50566 wherein it is alleged that
 Respondent unilaterally change the manner in which Union President
 Sanchez achieved access to the MEPS facility, as well as the time he or
 Ms. Lapadula could hold meetings with employees, I find that the record
 evidence supports the conclusion that Respondent did unilaterally change
 such conditions of employment.
 
    With respect to the change in the manner in which Mr. Sanchez
 achieved access to the MEPS facility, the record evidence establishes
 and I find that for many years Mr. Sanchez, as Union President, had
 followed the practice of arranging access to the MEPS facility, for
 purposes of meeting with employees and their respective supervisors,
 through the Respondent's supervisors.  This practice continued without
 incident until January 15, 1985, when Lt. Col. Rankin, who had been
 concerned about the presence of unauthorized people in the facility,
 informed Mr. Sanchez that thereafter all permission for access to the
 MEPS facility would be through her, Lt. Colonel Rankin, office.  /7/
 
    Despite the above instructions from Lt. Colonel Rankin, who
 acknowledged that such instructions changed past practice, Mr. Sanchez
 continued to make appointments to visit the MEPS facility through the
 employee's various supervisors, who evidently had not been informed of
 the change in past practice.
 
    Mr. Sanchez's continued activities in the above respect did not come
 to the attention of Lt. Colonel Rankin until early June, 1985, when she
 noticed the presence of Mr. Sanchez at the Rodeo MEPS facility.  Upon
 discovering that he had not scheduled an appointment through her office,
 she escorted Mr. Sanchez from the facility.  On July 23, 1985, Mr.
 Sanchez arrived several hours early for a scheduled appointment and
 again was escorted from the facility.  This latter incident prompted a
 letter dated July 24, 1985 from Ms. Ogley who reiterated the January 15,
 1985 instruction from Lt. Colonel Rankin to the effect that all requests
 for access to the facility should be made through her, Lt. Colonel
 Rankin's immediate office.
 
    It is well established that parties may establish terms and
 conditions of employment by past practice.  Once established, a term and
 condition of employment may not be unilaterally altered by either party.
  A change in the mode of access to an agency's facility, without
 bargaining with Union, has been found by the Authority to be a violation
 of Section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute.  Department of Defense,
 Army and Air Force Exchange Service, Fort Eustis Exchange, Fort Eustis,
 Virginia, 20 FIRA No. 32.  Inasmuch as I find Department of Defense,
 Army and Air Force Exchange, Fort Eustis Exchange, to be right on point
 I normally would find a Section 7116(a)(1) and (5) violation.  However,
 I further find that inasmuch as the change in the manner of achieving
 access to the MEPS facility by President Sanchez occurred on January 15,
 1985, more than six months before the charging party filed its charge on
 September 18, 1985, Section 7118(4)(A) of the Statute mandates
 dismissal.
 
    Contrary to the contention of the General Counsel I can not conclude
 that since the instructions had not been conveyed to the subordinate
 supervisors and that Mr. Sanchez had continued to follow the past
 procedure with regard to achieving access through the subordinate
 supervisors, the change in procedure actually took place on or occurred
 July, 1985.  Thus, I note that since Mr. Sanchez appears to be the only
 non-employee union representative seeking access to the facility there
 was no reason to believe that he would not follow the change in
 procedure, hence no need to relay the change to subordinate supervisors.
  Also, there was no showing that Lt. Colonel Rankin was aware of the
 fact that Mr. Sanchez had been ignoring his instructions and was still
 requesting access through subordinate supervisors.  Thus, the record
 indicates that when it became apparent that Mr. Sanchez was ignoring the
 instructions, management then relayed the change in procedure to its
 subordinate supervisors as evidenced by the testimony of Ms. Lapadula
 that she had been informed by Mr. Sturgis that he no longer had
 authority to grant access to Mr. Sanchez.
 
    In view of the foregoing I shall recommend that this aspect of the
 complaint be dismissed.
 
    Turning now to the remaining issue of the complaint concerning the
 alleged change in the time when union meetings may be held, I credit the
 testimony of Ms. Lapadula and President Sanchez that they were informed
 on or about September 12, 1985, that thereafter all union meetings would
 have to be scheduled after 11:30 a.m.  I further find based on the
 record evidence and the testimony of Ms. Lapadula that prior to
 September 12, 1985, there had never been any hard and fast rule with
 respect to the time union meetings would be scheduled.  Thus, according
 to the credited testimony of Ms. Lapadula, union meetings were usually
 held at any time Ms. Lapadula desired, subject only to obtaining
 permission from her supervisor.
 
    Inasmuch as this change in the time for scheduling union meetings was
 made unilaterally by Respondent without affording the Union any prior
 notice or the opportunity to bargain over the substance of the change, I
 find that Respondent violated Sections 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the
 Statute.  Cf. Department of Health and Human Services, Social Security
 Administration, supra.  To the extent that Respondent argues that there
 was little or no impact since Ms. Lapadula had at least three free hours
 after 11:30 a.m., I find such argument to be without merit.  As noted
 above, the degree of impact is not to be considered when the Respondent
 is under an obligation to bargain the substance of the change as opposed
 to the manner of implementation and impact.
 
    Having concluded that the Respondent violated Sections 7116(a)(1) and
 (5) of the Statute by unilaterally changing the time when Union meetings
 could be held and by removing the five drawer filing cabinet utilized by
 the Union without prior notice and affording the Union the opportunity
 to bargain over the substance of the changes, I recommend that the
 Federal Labor Relations Authority issue the following order designed to
 effectuate the purposes and policies of the Statute.
 
    It is further recommended that the allegation concerning the change
 in the mode of access by non-employee union representatives to the MEPS
 facility be dismissed.
 
                                   ORDER
 
    Pursuant to Section 7118(a)(7)(A) of the Federal Service
 Labor-Management Relations Statute, 5 USC Section 7118(a)(7)(A), and
 Section 2423.29(b)(1) of the Rules and Regulations of the Federal Labor
 Relations Authority, the Station, Los Angeles, California shall:
 
    1.  Cease and desist from:
 
          (a) Failing or refusing to bargain in good faith with the
       American Federation of Government Employees, Local 2866, AFL-CIO,
       the exclusive bargaining representative, by changing the past
       practice whereby non-employee officials are allowed to meet with
       the Union shop steward, an employee, for representational
       purposes, prior to 11:30 a.m.
 
          (b) Failing or refusing to bargain in good faith with the
       American Federation of Government Employees, Local 2866, AFL-CIO
       the exclusive bargaining representative, by confiscating the
       filing cabinet and confidential files of the Union.
 
          (c) In any like or related manner interfering with,
       restraining, or coercing our employees in the exercise of their
       rights guaranteed by the Federal Service Labor-Management
       Relations Statute.
 
    2.  Take the following affirmative action designed and found
 necessary to effectuate the policies of the Statute:
 
          (a) Restore the past practice whereby non-employee officials of
       the Union are permitted to meet with the Union shop steward for
       representative purposes prior to 11:30 a.m.
 
          (b) Post at its Military Entrance Processing Station facility
       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 Commander of the Respondent and shall
       be posted and maintained for sixty (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.
 
          (c) Pursuant to Section 2423.30 of the Authority's Rules and
       Regulations, notify the Regional Director, Region 8, 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.
 
                                       BURTON S. STERNBURG
                                       Administrative Law Judge
 
    Dated:  July 9, 1986
    Washington, D.C.
 
 
 
 
 
                ---------------  FOOTNOTES$ ---------------
 
 
 
    (*) Based on our reasoning set forth above, we will no longer follow
 the approach in American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO,
 Council of Locals No. 214 and Department of the Air Force, Air Force
 Logistics Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, 19 FLRA No. 23
 (1985), rev'd, AFGE, Council of Locals No. 214, and in similar cases.
 
    (1) The first group of applicants are called "shippers" and the
 second group of applicants are called "dep ins".
 
    (2) There is a dispute as to the date of the transfer.  Thus, while
 Ms. Lapadula puts the date as October 11, 1985, Lt. Col. Rankin recalls
 the date as being approximately 3 days after her October 8th
 conversation with M. Lapadula, making it October 11, 1985.  In any event
 the Union was without access to its files for at least eight days.
 
    (3) Mr. Sanchez acknowledges having a conversation with Lt. Col.
 Rankin wherein she informed him that thereafter all requests for access
 to the MEPS facility would be made through her office.  However, he
 interpreted her instructions to be applicable to only those requests
 dealing with meetings on the Commander's level.  According to Mr.
 Sanchez whenever his business on the MEP's facility involved
 supervisors, etc., below the Command Level, he would continue his past
 practice of gaining access to the facility through such supervisors.
 Ms. Ogley supports the testimony of Lt. Col. Rankin to the effect that
 there was no discussion of any alternative manner in which Mr. Sanchez
 could gain access to the facility.  Further, according to Mr. Oprisko,
 who met separately the next day with Mr. Sanchez, he repeated Lt. Col.
 RankinS order to Mr. Sanchez, that permission for access to the MEPS
 facility would be solely through the Commander's office.  I credit Lt.
 Col. Rankin's testimony that on January 15, 1985 she instructed and/or
 informed Mr. Sanchez that all visits to the MEPS facility would have to
 be approved by her office.  I further credit her testimony that Mr.
 Sanchez gave her no argument and appeared to accept the change in
 procedure.  Mr. Sanchez might well have misinterpreted such instruction
 and believed that they only applied to meetings with Lt. Col. Rankin's
 staff, hence no objection from him.
 
    (4) Lt. Col. Rankin testified that in early June she observed Mr.
 Sanchez in the Rodeo MEPS facility and since he had not scheduled an
 appointment through her office she, Lt. Col. Rankin, escorted him from
 the building.
 
    (5) ARTICLE VI entitled UNION REPRESENTATIVES provides in pertinent
 part as follows:
 
          Section 2.  When it is necessary for the steward to leave his
       work station during working hours in the performance of his
       steward's duties, he will be granted reasonable time to leave the
       work area.  The Union agrees that time granted in accordance with
       the above will not be used for any matters connected with the
       internal management and or operations of the Union and other
       prohibited activities as specifically provided in the applicable
       regulations, including those set forth in Federal Personnel Manual
       Book.  It is further agreed that appropriate business matters of
       the Union concerning management or employee relations shall be
       scheduled in advance as far as is practicable in order to not
       interrupt planned work schedules.
 
          a.  Union officers, representatives and stewards prior to
       leaving their assigned work site, shall obtain oral permission
       from the appropriate supervisor.  The supervisor shall be advised
       by the steward as to the reason for leaving the area and the
       approximate duration of his absence.  The steward shall return to
       his assigned work site and notify his supervisor.
 
          b.  When a Union representative or steward desires to discuss a
       work related matter with an employee of a supervisor other than
       his own, upon entering the other supervisor's work area, he shall
       contact the supervisor and advise him of the reason for his
       presence and the employee he desires to contact.  Contact between
       employee and Union representatives will normally take place in the
       immediate vicinity of the employee's assigned work area or in a
       space designated by the supervisor concerned.
 
    (6) In reaching this conclusion I credit Ms. Lapadula's testimony
 and, I find it hard to believe that Respondent's representatives would
 not have described what they intended to substitute for the Union's five
 drawer file unless they intended to deceive Ms. Lapadula.  I think "four
 drawer filing capacity" would be understood by most people to be a four
 drawer filing cabinet, not four separate field storage files.
 
    (7) As noted supra, I have credited the testimony of Lt. Colonel
 Rankin with respect to the fact that the conversation did in fact occur
 and the substance of the conversation.
 
 
 
 
 
                                 APPENDIX
 
                          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 change existing conditions of employment of
 unit employees by confiscating the filing cabinet and confidential files
 of the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 2866, AFL-CIO,
 the exclusive representative of our employees, herein called the Union,
 without first notifying the Union and providing it with an opportunity
 to bargain concerning such changes.
 
    WE WILL NOT make unilateral changes in conditions of employment by
 changing the past practice whereby non-employee officials of the Union
 are allowed to meet with the Union shop steward, an employee, for
 representational purposes, prior to 11:30 a.m., without first notifying
 the Union and affording it the opportunity to bargain on said changes.
 
    WE WILL NOT in any like or related manner, interfere with, restrain,
 or coerce employees in the exercise of their rights assured under the
 Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute.