31:0003(1)NG - NFFE, Bureau of Indian Affairs Council and DOI, Bureau of Indian Affairs -- 1988 FLRAdec NG


[ v31 p3 ]
31:0003(1)NG
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.
The work schedules indicate only that  Mr. Nopah was
performing work in support of the Power Unit during the periods
covered by the schedules. We conclude, based on the record, that
Mr. Nopah's position is organizationally assigned to the O&M;Section. 
In view of this conclusion, the proposal would require
the Agency to reassign Mr. Nopah's position from one
organizational subdivision, the O&M Section, to another, the
Power Unit.

     The Union argues that the parties have previously negotiated
over which classifications would be covered under the
supplementary agreements on pay for the Power Unit. However, the
Union does not assert or show that the parties ever negotiated to
transfer an employee or position into the Power Unit from another
organizational subdivision.  1/  Thus, there is no basis in the
record for concluding that the Union's proposal to reassign Mr.
Nopah's position to the Power Unit concerns a subject matter
which was negotiated prior to August 19, 1972.

     2. The Proposal Conflicts with a Management Right

     The proposal would require the reassignment of Conrad
Nopah's position from the O&M Section to the Power Unit. Under
section 7106(b)(1) the numbers, types and grades of employees or
positions assigned to any organizational subdivision are
negotiable only at the election of an agency. Insofar as the
proposal requires the Agency to negotiate over the relocation of
a particular employee and his position to a particular
organizational subdivision, it conflicts with section 7106(b)(1).
See American Federation of Government Employees, AFL - CIO,
Council 236 and General Services Administration, 9 FLRA  825
(1982) (Proposal 1). In view of this conclusion, we do not reach
the Agency's argument that the proposal conflicts with other
management rights as well. 

     3. The Proposal Concerns the Classification of a Position

     In addition to requiring the organizational relocation of a
position, the proposal would also change the title of the
position. The determination of the title of a position is a
matter which relates to the classification of the position. Under
5 U.S.C. 5346 the Office of Personnel Management is responsible
for establishing and maintaining within the prevailing rate pay
system a "job grading system" which, among other things, includes
the establishment of occupational alinements and job titles
within occupations. This "job grading system" is a classification
system for wage board jobs.  2/   Under section 7103(a)(14) of the
Statute, matters relating to the classification of any position
are specifically excluded from the definition of condition of
employment. Insofar as the proposal seeks to change the title of
Mr. Nopah's position, we conclude that the proposal relates to
the classification of his position and does not concern a
condition of employment.

     4. Summary and Conclusions

     The proposal does not concern a subject matter which was
negotiated between the parties prior to August 19, 1972. It
conflicts with the management right to determine the numbers,
types and grades of employees or positions assigned to any
organizational subdivision, work project or tour of duty. It does
not concern conditions of employment because it relates to the
classification of a position. The proposal is not within
the duty to bargain.  3/  In view of these conclusions it is
unnecessary to resolve the Agency's other contentions as to the
nonnegotiability of the proposal.

     VI. Order

     The Union's