29:0268(28)CA - Treasury, IRS (District Office Unit) and NTEU -- 1987 FLRAdec CA
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The decision of the Authority follows:
29 FLRA No. 28 INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE (DISTRICT OFFICE UNIT) DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Respondent and NATIONAL TREASURY EMPLOYEES UNION Charging Party Case No. 3-CA-774 (18 FLRA 361)
This case is before the Authority pursuant to a remand from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The court set aside the Authority's original decision and remanded the case for further proceedings consistent with its opinion.
The issue is whether the Respondent violated section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Federal Service Labor - Management Relations Statute (the Statute) by refusing to negotiate with the Charging Party (the Union) on proposals submitted by the Union during the term of a collective bargaining agreement between the Respondent and the Union. In accordance with our recent Decision and Order on Remand in Internal Revenue Service, 29 FLRA No. 12 (1987), we conclude that the Respondent violated the Statute as alleged.
During the term of a collective bargaining agreement between the Union and the Respondent, the Respondent notified the Union that the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) had delegated authority to the Department of the Treasury for the [PAGE] recruitment and examination of applicants for the position of Internal Revenue Agent, GS-512, at the GS-5 and GS-7 levels, and that Treasury had delegated the authority to the Respondent. Although not required to do so, the Respondent decided to use the same procedures, methodology and criteria previously utilized by OPM in the staffing activities. The Union submitted a number of proposals on the subject for negotiations. The Respondent maintained that since there was no change in the manner in which the staffing activities were to be performed, other than a change in the location of the offices where applications would be filed, it did not have an obligation to bargain with the Union on the matter and would not do so. The Union filed an unfair labor practice charge and a complaint was issued.
The complaint alleged that the Respondent violated section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute by refusing to bargain with the Union over the impact and implementation of the delegation of authority. The General Counsel contended that the Union's proposals were related to terms and conditions of employment; were negotiable under the Statute; and were not contrary to the provisions of the OPM delegation. The Respondent did not challenge the General Counsel's contentions, but did dispute the conclusion that its refusal to bargain was a violation of the Statute. The Respondent continued to maintain that no change in conditions of employment occurred and, therefore, that there was no duty to bargain.
The Judge concluded that the Respondent violated the Statute as alleged in the complaint. In reaching his conclusion, the Judge found that although no change in the recruitment and selection procedures had occurred, the Respondent had a duty to bargain on the Union's impact and implementation proposals. The Judge reasoned that the Respondent's new authority over matters affecting working conditions gave rise to a duty to bargain because any "past practice" which had developed when the function was under OPM "has no bearing on the practice which the Respondent might now choose to utilize...."
On June 7, 1985, the Authority issued its previous Decision and Order in this case, Internal Revenue Service (District Office Unit), Department of the Treasury, 18 FLRA 361 (1985). Relying on its decision in Internal Revenue Service, 17 FLRA 731 (1985), the Authority concluded that the Respondent had no duty to bargain on the Union's proposals in [ v29 p2 ] the circumstances involved. In Internal Revenue Service, the Authority had determined that except for union proposals related to changes in established conditions of employment made by management, an agency did not have an obligation under the Statute to bargain over union-initiated proposals during the life of a collective bargaining agreement. The Authority found that since a collective bargaining agreement was in effect when the Respondent notified the Union of the delegation of authority from OPM, and since the "procedures, methodology and criteria" utilized in the staffing process were not changed, the Respondent was not obligated to bargain with the Union on the Union's proposals. The Authority held that the Respondent's refusal to bargain did not constitute an unfair labor practice. The Authority therefore dismissed the complaint and the Union appealed.
In NTEU v. FLRA, 810 F.2d 295 (D.C. Cir. 1987), the court set aside the Authority's decisions in Internal Revenue Service and in this case and remanded the cases to us.
In brief, the court concluded that in light of clear private sector precedent on the specific issue presented, express congressional intent to promote and encourage collective bargaining, and basic principles of labor law, the Authority's decision was contrary to the intent of Congress and the purposes of the Statute.
As indicated above, we recently issued our Decision and Order on Remand in the Internal Revenue Service case. In that decision, we concluded that the duty to bargain in good faith imposed by the Statute requires an agency to bargain during the term of a collective bargaining agreement on negotiable union-initiated proposals concerning matters which are not contained in the agreement, unless the union has clearly and unmistakably waived its right to bargain about the subject matter involved during negotiation of the agreement.
In this case, the delegation of authority to the Respondent for the staffing of the Internal Revenue Agent position occurred after the Respondent and the Union negotiated their agreement. It is therefore clear that the impact and implementation of the delegation is a matter not covered