31:0916(71)NG - AFGE Local 1482 and Marine Corps Logistics Base, Barstow, CA -- 1988 FLRAdec NG



[ v31 p916 ]
31:0916(71)NG
The decision of the Authority follows:


  31 FLRA NO. 71

AKA:              0-NG-1483
                  31 FLRA 916

Date:             23 MAR 1988


AMERICAN FEDERATION OF
GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES
LOCAL 1482

                      Union

       and

MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS
BASE, BARSTOW, CALIFORNIA

                      Agency

Case No. 0-NG-1483

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 Statute (the Statute). It concerns a
proposal which the Union submitted in response to the Agency's
decision to ban the use of all bicycles in the Repair Division
building at the Marine Corps Logistics Base, Barstow.

     The proposal seeks to allow employees to continue to use
their privately owned bicycles in the Repair Division building
during work hours. We find that the proposal is nonnegotiable
because it interferes with the Agency's rights under section 7106
of the Statute to determine its internal security practices and
the means of performing work.

     II. The Proposal

     a. That employees at Repair Division can continue to use
their private bicycles during work hours subject to the following
provisions:

     (1) that all bicycles meet minimum safety standards set by
safety; 

     (2) that the bicycles be marked with the employee name and
shop;

     (3) that the bicycle rider be licensed to ride bicycles;
and

     (4) that Repair Division establish a safe speed limit for
bicycles within Repair Division.

     b. If an employee is found to violate safety pertaining to
the riding of a bicycle, the following procedure will be
followed:

     (1) he/she will be counselled by his/her supervisor; and

     (2) his/her license will be revoked for 30  days for the
first offense; 90 days for the second offense; permanently
removed for the third offense.

     (Only the underscored portion is in dispute.)

     III. Positions of the Parties

     In its petition, the Union argues that this proposal is a
better alternative to the Agency's plan to ban the use of all
bicycles within the Repair Division. The Union further asserts
that its proposal adequately addresses the Agency's safety
concerns.

     The Agency states that it decided to ban bicycle use within
the Repair Division because of a mounting safety problem which
could cause serious injury to persons and property. It asserts
that the decision constitutes an exercise of its right to
determine its internal security practices. The Agency also argues
that employees use bicycles to perform work, such as delivering
parts and documents and performing inspections. In view of this
use, the Agency contends that bicycles are a method and means of
performing work within the definition of section 7106(b)(1) of
the Statute.

     The Agency asserts that because the proposal interferes with
these management rights, it is nonnegotiable. The Union did not
file a response to the Agency's statement of position. 

     IV. Analysis and Conclusions

     1. The Proposal Interferes with Management's Right to
Determine Internal Security Practices

     According to the uncontroverted statements of the Agency,
the building, which is the focus of the bicycle ban, encompasses
10 acres and houses maintenance repair facilities where jeeps,
tanks and other heavy equipment are overhauled. More than 1,000
employees work in the building. Approximately 200 bicycles--most
privately owned--were operated in the building along with various
industrial equipment. The Agency asserts that an increasing
number of "near misses" between the bicycles and the industrial
equipment as well as safety concerns over the increasing
vehicular traffic within the building led it to propose a ban on
bicycles in the building.

     An agency's right to determine its internal security
practices under section 7106(a)(1) includes the right to
determine policies and take actions which are part of its plan to
secure or safeguard its personnel and physical property. See, for
example, Defense Logistics Council of American Federation of
Government Employees Locals and Defense logistics Agency, 20 FLRA
166 (1985), reversed in part as to other matters sub nom. Defense
Logistics Council of American Federation of Government Employees
Locals v. FLRA,  810 F.2d 234 (D.C. Cir. 1987).

     Where a link has been established between an agency's action
and its expressed security concerns, we will not review the
merits of that action. See National Federation of Federal
Employees, Local 15 and Department of the Army, U.S. Army
Armament, Munitions and Chemical Command, Rock Island, Illinois,
30  FLRA  1046, 1056-57 (1988). We find that such linkage is
present in this case. The Agency states that it proposed the
bicycle ban as a method of preventing accidents and safeguarding
Agency personnel and property. The Union does not dispute this
purpose and, in fact, its proposal reflects various safety
concerns. We find, therefore, that the Agency's prohibition of
bicycle riding in its facilities constitutes an exercise of its
right under section 7106(a)(1) to determine internal security
practices.

     The proposal would limit the Agency's ability to ban bicycle
riding by exempting privately owned bicycles from the
prohibition. By doing so, the proposal conflicts with the
Agency's right to determine its internal security practice