31:0003(1)NG - NFFE, Bureau of Indian Affairs Council and DOI, Bureau of Indian Affairs -- 1988 FLRAdec NG
[ v31 p3 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
31 FLRA NO. 1 NATIONAL FEDERATION OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEES, BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS COUNCIL Union and DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS Agency Case No. O-NG-1444 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 the Federal Service Labor - Management Relations Service (the Statute). It concerns a proposal by the Union to include a position currently titled Heavy Mobile Equipment Mechanic within the scope of negotiations over wages conducted pursuant to section 704 of the Statute. The proposal would also retitle the position as Mechanic, Power Equipment. We find that the proposal is not within the duty to bargain under section 704 because it does not concern a subject matter which was negotiated between the parties prior to August 19, 1972. We find further that the proposal conflicts with the Agency's right under section 7106(b)(1) to determine the numbers, types and grades of employees or positions assigned to any organizational subdivision, work project or tour of duty and is excepted from the definition of conditions of employment under section 7103(a)(14) because it relates to the classification of a position. II. Background In 1969, the employees of the Power Unit (or Power Section) of the Agency's Colorado River Agency, who had previously negotiated wages, elected to be covered under the newly implemented Coordinated Federal Wage System (CFWS). Subsequently, the employees in the Power Unit were returned to a negotiated wage system. In 1970, the parties entered into an agreement which stated that wages would be established through collective bargaining for the specified labor classifications as well as any future labor classifications associated exclusively with the production, transmission and/or distribution of electric power. Based on that agreement, the parties have periodically entered into supplementary agreements governing the wages of covered labor classifications. III. The Proposal The Union proposes to include a position currently titled Heavy Mobile Equipment Mechanic, WG-5803-10, under the coverage of the supplementary agreement governing wages for the Power Unit. In addition to placing this position under the coverage of wage negotiations, the proposal would redesignate it as Mechanic, Power Equipment. IV. Positions of the Parties The Agency asserts that the proposal concerns matters which were not subject to negotiation prior to the enactment of Pub. L. No. 92-392 and, thus, is not negotiable under section 704 of the Statute. It requests that a hearing be conducted on this issue in order to establish a complete and accurate record in the matter. The Agency also asserts that the proposal conflicts with the rights to direct employees; to assign employees; to assign work; to determine mission, organization and number of employees; and to determine the numbers, types and grades of employees or positions assigned to any organizational subdivision, work project or tour of duty. Last, the Agency asserts that because the proposal concerns the classification of a position, it does not concern conditions of employment. The Union asserts that the parties have previously negotiated over which classifications will be covered under the supplementary agreements on pay for the Power Unit. Based on this history it contends that the proposal is negotiable under section 704 of the Statute. The Union opposes the Agency's request that a hearing be conducted in this case. V. Analysis and Conclusion 1. The Proposal Does Not Concern a Subject Matter Which Was Negotiated Prior to August 19, 1972 The Authority has found that under section 704, proposals concerning a subject matter which was negotiated between the parties prior to August 19, 1972 are negotiable even if they conflict with section 7106 of the Statute. Columbia Power Trades Council and United States Department of Energy, Bonneville Power Administration, 22 FLRA 998 (1986). The dispute here concerns one of three positions currently titled Heavy Mobile Equipment Mechanic, WG-5803-10. The Union asserts that the incumbent of this position, Conrad Nopah, has been exclusively assigned to perform work in the Power Unit for more than 3 years and that the Agency considers him to be part of the Power Unit. While the Agency does not dispute that Mr. Nopah currently performs work in the Power Unit, it contends that he is actually assigned to a different organizational subdivision--the Equipment Maintenance Unit, Operation and Maintenance section (O&M Section). The Agency has provided copies of relevant portions of its organization chart as well as Mr. Nopah's position description. The Union does not challenge the validity of these documents. However, it disputes the Agency's assertion that Mr. Nopah's position is not organizationally assigned to the Power Unit. The Union has provided work schedules which list Mr. Nopah with the employees of the Power Unit rather than with those of the O&M;Section. In our view, the work schedules relied upon by the Union do not override the Agency's organization chart and the position description. Organization charts and position descriptions are official Agency documents which, among other things, set forth the organizational location of positions within the Agency: The work schedules were issued for the purpose of informing employees of changes in their duty hours, not their organizational assignments. Union Response, attachments 39-40. In our view the organization chart and position description provide a definitive statement as to Mr. Nopah's organizational assignment. That is, as acknowledged by the Agency, an employee may be scheduled to perform work in an organizational location other than the one to which he or she is assigned without affecting the employee's organizational assignment. Agency Statement of Position at 1-2.