28:1108(144)NG - NTEU VS HHS, FAMILY SUPPORT ADMINISTRATION
[ v28 p1108 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
28 FLRA NO. 144
NATIONAL TREASURY EMPLOYEES UNION Union and DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, FAMILY SUPPORT ADMINISTRATION Agency Case No. 0-NG-1384
I. Statement of the Case
This case is before the Authority because of a negotiability appeal filed by the Union under section 7105(a)(2)(E) of the Federal Service Labor - Management Relations Statute (the Statute) and presents issues concerning the negotiability of two proposals. For the reasons discussed below, we find that both proposals are negotiable.
II. Proposals 1 and 2
6. Employees can select their office in the new building site. Selections will be made by seniority, to be determined by the date service began with the federal government.
7. If employees share offices, they must be able to choose their office mate.
A. Position of the Parties
The Agency argues that these proposals violate management's right to select the technology, methods and means of performing work, and to assign work, under sections 7106(b)(1) and 7106(a)(2)(B) of the Statute.
The Agency indicates that its wish to group employees according to the program in which they work is to facilitate communication between employees, thus enhancing the Agency's ability to accomplish its mission more efficiently. In sup-port of this position, the Agency notes that employees who work together on projects need to share files, computers and data bases. Furthermore, the Agency argues that its telephone system was designed to fit the program grouping arrangement, and that it cannot easily be changed. In essence, the Agency's claim is that the assignment of office space is directly related to the assignment of work, and the methods and means of performing work.
The Union's position is that the Agency's argument regarding the need to place employees in the same work pro-gram in related spaces (corridors) is moot. The Union indicates that the matter is moot because it has agreed to implement its proposals within the program grouping arrangement established by the Agency. The Union claims that office selection is a procedure under 5 U.S.C. 7106(b)(2) and that it addresses a condition of employment. The Union also con-tends that the Agency has failed to show that the proposed arrangement would in any manner affect the Agency's right to select the technology, methods and means of performing work. In addition, the Union notes that the Agency has failed to state which persons and programs