30:0497(66)NG - AFGE Local 683 and Justice, Federal Correctional Institution, Sandstone, MN -- 1987 FLRAdec NG



[ v30 p497 ]
30:0497(66)NG
The decision of the Authority follows:


30 FLRA NO. 66

AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, LOCAL 683
Union

and

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, FEDERAL
CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION
SANDSTONE, MINNESOTA
Agency

Case No. 0-NG-1437

DECISION AND ORDER ON NEGOTIABILITY ISSUE

I. Statement of the Case

This case is before the Authority because of a negotiability appeal filed under section 7105(a)(2)(E) of theFederal Service Labor - Management Relations Statute (the Statute). It concerns the negotiability of a proposal addressing the shift rotations of cook foremen at a Federal correctional facility. We find that the proposal directly interferes with management's right to determine its internal security practices because the duration of the shift rotations under the proposal limits the ability of cook foremen to supervise inmates closely and detect possible breaches of security. We also find that the proposal is not a negotiable appropriate arrangement within the meaning of section 7106(b)(3) of the Statute. Therefore, the proposal is outside the duty to bargain.

II. Background

The employees involved in this case are cook foremen who are responsible for food preparation, meal presentation, and the supervision of inmates who work in the food service department of the Agency's correctional facility. On December 8, 1986, the Agency notified the Union of its intention to revise a local regulation concerning the rotation of cook foremen to and from morning, evening, and relief shifts. Before the regulation was revised, cook [PAGE] foremen rotated duty stations every 90 days from kitchen to dining hall. Within this quarterly rotation, cook foremen rotated morning, evening, and relief shifts on a regular basis. 1 After the regulation was revised, cook foremen continued to perform the same duties and continued to rotate duty stations on a quarterly basis, but worked a morning, evening, or relief shift for the entire quarter, instead of rotating those shifts within the quarter. The Union's proposal was in response to the change in the regulation eliminating the rotation of work shifts within the quarter.

III. Proposal

The union proposes that the Cook Rotation Roster not be changed as proposed by the Institution in Supplement 4705.1C.  The union proposes to retain the former work schedules and rotation. 

A. Positions of the Parties

The Agency argues that the proposal is nonnegotiable because it would interfere with management's rights to: 
1) carry out its mission under section 7106(a)(1) of the Statute because the monthly shift rotation would severely limit the ability of cook foremen to perform their duties effectively and efficiently;

2) determine its internal security practices under section 7106(a)(1) by limiting the length of work assignments and thereby making it difficult for cook foremen to become familiar with their assigned inmates and observe suspicious patterns of inmate behavior that would serve to reveal security breaches;

3) assign work under section 7l06(a)(2)(B) by preventing management from assigning cook foremen to a particular shift and limiting the duration of the work project; and 

4) determine the method of performing its work under section 7106(b)(1) because the 90-day rotation of shifts is a method of carrying out its correctional, custodial-related functions in a more efficient and effective manner.

The Agency also contends that the proposal does not establish a negotiable appropriate arrangement.

The Union contends that the proposal is negotiable because (1) it does not cancel or establish a shift or prevent the Agency from implementing its security arrangements, but would only continue a preexisting practice of rotating cook foremen to the three shifts within the quarterly rotation from kitchen to dining hall duties; and (2) it does not involve the assignment of work, since all cook foremen have similar duties and responsibilities and will continue doing them on different shifts within the Agency's 90-day rotation. The Union also contends that the proposal establishes a negotiable procedure or appropriate arrangement within the meaning of section 7106(b)(2) or (3) of the Statute. 

B. Discussion

We find that the proposal is nonnegotiable because it directly interferes with management's right to determine its internal security practices under section 7106(a)(1) of the Statute. 

As indicated in the record, in addition to their responsibilities for preparing and serving food, cook foremen are responsible for supervising inmates in the food service facility. As part of that responsibility, cook foremen attempt not only to facilitate the rehabilitation of inmates but also to monitor their conduct for actual or potential breaches of institutional security. The Agency states that the quarterly rotation of shifts established by management provides a longer period of time for cook foremen to establish working relationships with, and observe the behavior of, a specific group of assigned inmates and thus makes it easier for them to identify actual  or potential security problems. 

An agency's internal security practices "comprise actions taken by management to control the risks of activities affecting the integrity and safety of the federal facility." Defense Logistics Council of American Federation of Government Employees Locals v. FLRA, 810 F.2d 234, 237 (D.C. Cir. 1987), affirming in relevant part Defense Logistics Council of American Federation of Government Employees Locals and Defense Logistics Agency, 20 FLRA 166 (1985). The term "internal security practices" includes management's plan to secure or safeguard its physical property and its personnel against internal or external risk. See id. We find that the Agency's decision in this case to change to a quarterly shift rotation constitutes its judgment that the security of the institution would be enhanced by the closer supervision which cook foremen could provide over a longer period of time on a given shift. In reaching this conclusion we note particularly the fact that a Federal correctional facility has special security concerns which may not be present at other work locations. See American Federation of Government Employees, AFL - CIO, Council of Prison Locals and U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons, Federal Correctional Institution, Danbury, Connecticut, 29 FLRA No. 73 (1987). By replacing the quarterly shift rotation instituted by management with a much shorter rotation, the proposal directly interferes with management's decision as to the security requirements of the institution and with its ability to implement that decision. Consequently, we conclude that the proposal directly interferes with the Agency's right to determine its internal security practices under section 7106(a)(1) of the Statute.


As to whether the proposal is an appropriate arrangement within the meaning of section 7106(b)(3), we note that the quarterly shift rotation instituted by management may occasionally deprive cook foremen of three or four consecutive days off. The proposal seeks to preclude that result by replacing the quarterly rotation with the previous rotation policy. However, by doing so, the proposal completely negates management's decision, made for reasons of internal security, to establish the quarterly rotation system. The effect of the proposal therefore is the same as Proposal 3 in National Association of Government Employees Local R7-23 and Department of the Air Force, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, 23 FLRA 753, 758-60 (1986). In that case the Authority held that a proposal which would replace the standard of simple negligence instituted by management with the previous standard of gross negligence excessively interfered with mana