33:0711(86)NG - - IAM and Treasury, Bureau of Engraving and Printing - - 1988 FLRAdec NG - - v33 p711



[ v33 p711 ]
33:0711(86)NG
The decision of the Authority follows:


33 FLRA No. 86

FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY

WASHINGTON, D.C.

INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF

MACHINISTS AND AEROSPACE WORKERS

UNION

and

DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY

BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING

0-NG-1541

DECISION AND ORDER ON NEGOTIABILITY ISSUES

October 31, 1988

Before Chairman Calhoun and Member McKee.

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 the negotiability of 15 proposals. Proposals 1 and 2 address the Department of the Treasury, Bureau of Engraving and Printing (the Agency) policy governing employee requests for sick leave on a "call-in" basis. Proposal 3 prescribes employee rights when requests for sick leave are denied. Proposal 4 concerns the treatment of requests for emergency annual leave.

Proposal 5 prohibits management from requiring employees to schedule or use annual leave unless the employees are in danger of losing accrued leave at the end of the leave year. Proposal 6 provides for the granting of leave without pay and prohibits the consideration of an employee's current annual and sick leave balances in deciding whether to approve the request. Proposal 7 concerns the granting of leave without pay to disabled employees pending approval of requests for compensation or disability retirement. Proposal 8 concerns the distribution of overtime weekend assignments.

Proposal 9 authorizes breaks for employees, prescribes the approximate timing of paid lunch periods and permits employees to leave the premises during scheduled breaks. Proposal 10 concerns the treatment of unit employees who are designated as essential. Proposal 11 requires that the most senior employee on a night shift be designated and paid as a working leader unless a qualified supervisor is also assigned to the shift. Proposal 12 authorizes grants of paternity leave. Proposal 13 requires that employees assigned to the "order desk" for any part of the workday be paid at the assistant foreman rate for that day. Proposal 14 obligates the Agency to take every possible action to qualify temporary employees for career or career-conditional vacancies. Proposal 15 requires management either to provide transportation or to pay the cost of transportation home for employees who have transportation difficulties stemming from overtime assignments.

For the following reasons, we find that Proposal 1 does not interfere with management rights and, therefore, is negotiable. The first part of Proposal 2 is dismissed because it is insufficiently specific and delimited for us to determine its negotiability. The second part of the proposal is nonnegotiable because it is inconsistent with the rights to direct employees and to assign work under section 7106(a)(2)(A) and (B) of the Statute. Proposal 3 is negotiable because it does not conflict with law, regulation or management rights under the Statute. The first part of Proposal 4 is not sufficiently specific and delimited to provide us with a basis for determining its negotiability and is dismissed. The second part of the proposal is nonnegotiable because it conflicts with the rights to direct employees and to assign work under section 7106(a)(2)(A) and (B). Proposal 5 interferes with the rights to assign employees and work under section 7106(a)(2)(A) and (B) of the Statute and is nonnegotiable. Proposal 6 does not interfere with any management rights under the Statute. Therefore, it is negotiable.

Because Proposal 7 conflicts with an applicable Government-wide regulation and interferes with the right to assign work under section 7106(a)(2)(B), it is nonnegotiable. Proposal 8 is nonnegotiable because it interferes with management's right to assign work under section 7106(a)(2)(B). Proposal 9 is nonnegotiable because it interferes with the Agency's right to determine its internal security practices under section 7106(a)(1). All but the first sentence of Proposal 10 interferes with the rights to assign employees and work under section 7106(a)(2)(A) and (B) and is nonnegotiable. Proposal 11 is nonnegotiable under section 7106(b)(1) because it dictates the types of positions to be assigned to a tour of duty. Because it neither interferes with the right to assign work under section 7106(a)(2)(B) nor conflicts with applicable law and regulation, Proposal 12 is negotiable. Proposal 13 is nonnegotiable because it is expressly excluded from "conditions of employment" by section 7103(a)(14)(B). Proposal 14 is nonnegotiable because it interferes with the right under section 7106(a)(2)(B) to assign work. Finally, we find Proposal 15 to be in conflict with applicable law and regulation and, consequently, to be nonnegotiable.

II. Proposal 1

Article 7 - Section 2

Failure to report and give notice of anticipated need for sick leave within two hours of the time established to report for duty will not, in itself, be a reason to deny sick leave.

A. Positions of the Parties

The Agency contends that the proposal conflicts with its right to discipline under section 7106(a)(2)(A) of the Statute by 1) removing an employee's obligation to notify management of absences within a specified time period, and 2) eliminating the right to deny sick leave when timely notice of an absence is not given. The Agency also asserts that the proposal excessively interferes with its authority to assign and direct the workforce under section 7106(a)(2)(A). It points out that supervisors need to know what personnel will be available in order to make assignments and the proposal would prevent managers from receiving that information in a timely manner.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (the Union) contends that the proposal merely prohibits the failure to report within the prescribed time frame from being the sole basis for a denial of sick leave. The Union argues that under existing regulations, if the employee is ill or injured so as to incapacitate him or her for work, sick leave should be granted, but should be denied in all other instances. Thus, the Union argues that a denial of sick leave based solely on employee's failure to report his or her absence within prescribed time limits violates regulations governing sick leave administration. Consequently, the Union claims that the proposal, in banning such denials, is negotiable. The Union also states that the proposal would not prevent the Agency from denying sick leave to an employee who failed to report his or her absence at all, or if the employee could not establish proper cause for failing to report for work.

B. Analysis and Conclusions

The Agency claims that Proposal 1 would prevent it from requiring that employees request sick leave in a timely manner. The proposal, however, only prevents the Agency from denying sick leave requests exclusively on the basis that the requests were not made within its established time frame. The proposal in no way abolishes the time frame itself. Therefore, the proposal does not prevent the Agency from establishing a time frame within which sick leave must be requested.

The proposal does not leave management powerless to direct the workforce so as to assure employees' adherence to the established time frame: an unjustified failure to comply with the Agency's reporting requirements could subject the employee to discipline. In like manner, the Agency retains authority to require that employees report absences in a timely manner so that adjustments in work assignments can be made, since employees can be penalized for failure to so notify the Agency. Consequently, the proposal does not affect the Agency's authority under section 7106(a)(2)(A) and (B) to direct the workforce and to assign work. The Agency retains authority to impose discipline for unjustified failures to notify management of absences on a timely basis.

In addition, we find that the proposal, as it relates to the issue of denying sick leave, is consistent with applicable Government-wide regulations. Federal Personnel Manual (FPM) Chapter 630, subchapter 4 concerns the granting and use of sick leave. FPM Chapter 630 is a "Government-wide" regulation within the meaning of section 7117(a)(1) of the Statute because it is applicable generally to the Federal civilian workforce. American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, National Council of SSA Field Operations Locals and Social Security Administration, 25 FLRA 622, 626-27 (1987) (Social Security Administration), affirmed as to other matters sub nom. American Federation of Government Employees, National Council of SSA Field Operations Locals v. FLRA, 836 F.2d 1408 (D.C Cir. 1988). Subchapter 4-2 provides that sick leave will be granted for the following reasons:

a. Purpose. Sick leave is for use when an employee is physically incapacitated to do his job, or for related reasons. Such related reasons are:

(1) Exposure to a contagious disease that would endanger the health of coworkers;

(2) Presence of contagious disease in an employee's immediate family which requires his personal care;

(3) Dental, optical, or medical examination or treatment.

Subchapter 4-2 also sets forth management's and employees' responsibilities with respect to sick leave:

b. Agency authority. An agency has the authority and responsibility to determine that the nature of the employee's illness was such as to incapacitate him for his job and that the other reasons for which sick leave is granted are true.

c. Employee responsibility. The employee who becomes ill is responsible for notifying his supervisor as soon as practicable and within the period specified by his agency's leave regulations. Leave for prearranged medical, dental, or optical examination or treatment should always be applied for in advance.

Thus, subchapter 4-2 limits management's authority to deny sick leave to circumstances where the use of that type of leave is not permitted, or when sick leave to undergo examination or treatment is not sought in advance. Consequently, Proposal 1, which prevents the Agency from denying sick leave solely because of belated requests for that kind of leave, is consistent with the FPM requirements. We do not construe the proposal as relieving employees of their obligation under the regulation to comply with reporting requirements established by the Agency since the proposal does not bar disciplinary action for noncompliance. The proposal also would not allow employees to ignore the regulatory requirement that sick leave to undergo examination or treatment be requested in advance. Furthermore, the proposal would not prevent management from denying a belated sick leave request when an employee fails to submit adequate justification for using sick leave.

The proposal does not interfere with the rights cited by the Agency and is consistent with applicable Government-wide regulations. The balancing of employee and employer interests in the procedures by which sick leave is granted or denied are best accomplished at the bargaining table. Therefore, we conclude that Proposal 1 is negotiable.

III. Proposal 2

Article 7

Approved sick leave requests will not be treated as "call-in's" for the purpose of establishing a quota and in no case will approved sick leave requests be considered in an employee's performance appraisal.

A. Positions of the Parties

The Agency contends that Proposal 2 would inhibit it from taking progressive disciplinary action against employees for leave abuse. The Agency points out that, in order to take steps short of removal for leave abuse, it would be forced arbitrarily to deny call-in sick leave requests so as to be in a position to examine the legitimacy of any future requests. Therefore, according to the Agency, the proposal interferes excessively with leave administration and the right to discipline under section 7106(a)(2)(A) and (B) of the Statute. Furthermore, the Agency asserts that the prohibition against recording approved sick leave requests as "call-ins" interferes with management's right to keep whatever legal records are deemed appropriate. Consequently, according to the Agency, the proposal also is inconsistent with the right to determine the "methods and means" by which supervisors will perform work under section 7106(a)(2)(A) and (B).

The Union denies that the proposal impairs management's authority to take disciplinary action for leave abuse. According to the Union, the proposal only requires that the Agency treat approved sick leave requests in the manner prescribed by law: as an excusal for a legitimate reason. The Union further claims that management's "quota system" is not required by either applicable law or regulation, but has been established unilaterally by the Agency. Therefore, the Union argues that, because the negotiation of the content of such a "quota system" does not infringe on a reserved management right, the content is negotiable.

B. Analysis and Conclusions

The first clause of Proposal 2 refers to "call-in's" and a "quota." However, neither party has explained the specific meaning and implication of those terms. The Agency contends that the first clause's concern with "call-in's" and a "quota" interferes with certain specified management rights. The Union contends that the clause does not conflict either with management right or with applicable law or regulation. Because neither party has provided a clear definition of the terms, we cannot determine the negotiability of the clause under the Statute.

In American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 1858 and Department of the Army, U.S. Army Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, 10 FLRA 440, 445 (1982) (Proposal 5), the Authority dismissed an appeal as to a proposal which was not sufficiently specific and delimited to provide a basis for determining its negotiability. In that case, the purpose and effect of the proposed language was not sufficiently clear to permit a determination as to whether its negotiation would be consistent with applicable law and regulations.

Similarly, the first clause of Proposal 2 does not indicate its purpose and effect with sufficient clarity for us to assess its impact on the management rights identified by the Agency. Consequently, there is no basis on which to judge the negotiability of the clause and the petition for review of the first clause of Proposal 2 must be dismissed.

The last clause of Proposal 2 (after the "and") bars consideration of approved sick leave requests in appraising employee performance. Although the Agency voiced no specific objection to that prohibition, we note that proposals establishing a general, nonquantitative requirement by which the application of management-developed performance standards could be evaluated in a subsequent grievance proceeding are negotiable. However, proposals restricting management's authority to establish performance standards are inconsistent with the rights to assign work and to direct employees under section 7106(a)(2)(A) and (B) of the Statute. See, for example, American Federation of Government Employees, Local 32, AFL-CIO and Office of Personnel Management, 19 FLRA 93, 94-95 (1985) (Proposals 1, 2 and 3) (Office of Personnel Management).

We find that the last part of Proposal 2 seeks negotiation over the content of performance standards themselves. It describes a work-related situation, "approved sick leave requests," and seeks to insulate employees from penalties attributable to the occurrence of such situations. Hence the proposal's last part is not limited to the subsequent assessment of the application of standards established by management, but, rather prescribes what may not be included in those standards. Consequently for the reason set forth in Office of Personnel Management and elsewhere, including American Federation of Government Employees, Local 32, AFL-CIO and Office of Personnel Management, 28 FLRA 714, 724-25 (1987) (Proposals 7, 8 and 9), the final clause of Proposal 2, beginning with "and in no case," is nonnegotiable.

We, therefore, dismiss the petition for review as it relates to the first clause of Proposal 2, which begins with "Approved sick leave" and ends with "establishing a quota." We find that the last clause of the proposal, which begins with "and in no case," is nonnegotiable.

IV. Proposal 3

Sick Leave

Denial of such leave shall be provided the employee in writing outlining all of the reasons and conditions used to support that denial. When an employee's request for sick leave is denied, the employee shall be entitled to substitute a request for annual leave or leave without pay unless the Employer takes disciplinary action against the employee. An employee's right to substitute a request for annual leave or leave without pay for a denied sick leave request shall not be waived as a result of a grievance emanating from such denial.

A. Positions of the Parties

The Agency reads the proposal as requiring approval of requests to substitute annual leave or leave without pay (LWOP) for sick leave. The Agency states that it would not object to the proposal if it provided only that "an employee may substitute an annual leave request for consideration when sick leave is not approved . . . ." Statement of Position at 3. Therefore, the Agency views Proposal 3 as forcing it to take disciplinary action to prevent an employee's switching from one leave category to another, thus, impairing the Agency's ability to control use of leave without pay. The Agency asserts that the inability to control LWOP would decrease the efficiency and effectiveness of its operations. Based on its understanding, the Agency contends that the proposed language is inconsistent with the right to take, or to decline to take, disciplinary action under section 7106(a)(2)(A) and with the authority to administer a leave program under Government-wide regulations. The Agency also contends that the proposal precludes its preventing sick leave abuse in violation of section 7106(a)(2)(B).

The Union points out that an employee may submit a request for any type of leave available under controlling regulations, with or without the proposal. The Union characterizes the Agency's view that the entitlement to make a request necessarily requires that the request be approved as "ridiculous." Petition for Review at 2.

B. Analysis and Conclusions

We do not find that Proposal 3 mandates the approval of an employee's substituted leave request. Rather, the proposal only permits employees to request the substitution of one type of leave for another. The Agency retains the right to grant or deny such a request based on its merits.

Proposal 3 describes the procedures to be followed by employees in requesting the substitution of another form of leave for a denied sick leave request. It does not obligate the Agency to approve the substituted request. Rather, under the terms of the proposal, management retains its right to evaluate the propriety of any sick leave request and to determine whether any substituted request should or should not be granted on its own merits. In addition, the proposal does not affect management's authority to decide whether to grant a substituted request for annual leave or LWOP based on its need for the requester's presence during the period covered by the request. Therefore, the proposal does not interfere with the right to deny or grant leave requests.

Further, Proposal 3 is not inconsistent with Government-wide regulations. The applicable regulations, issued by the Office of Personnel Management, impose certain limitations on the substitution of annual leave for sick leave. We have previously noted that these regulations are "Government-wide." See part II B. of this decision. Specifically, FPM Chapter 630.3-4(b)(3) provides:

(3) Annual leave in lieu of sick leave. Approved absence otherwise chargeable to sick leave may be charged to annual leave if requested by the employee before the time the employee has exercised the right to have sick leave charged for an absence and approved by the agency. The Comptroller General has held that substitution of annual leave for sick leave previously granted may not be made retroactively, except for the liquidation of advanced sick leave, and even then only when the substitution is made before the time the annual leave would otherwise have been forfeited and the agency, if requested, would have granted time off for leave purposes.

The proposal is not clear as to when employees may request the substitution of another type of leave for sick leave. Even if the proposal authorized retroactive requests, it nonetheless would be negotiable because management would not be constrained to approve any such requests. Consequently, the proposal would not conflict with the applicable regulations.

Further, the proposal neither authorizes employees to submit retroactive requests to substitute one type of leave for another nor does it require management to grant any such request. Rather, the proposal leaves management the discretion to grant or deny leave requests based on its need to require employees to remain on duty to perform necessary work. Hence, the proposal does not interfere with management's right to assign work under section 7106(a)(2)(B) of the Statute. Moreover, contrary to the Agency's interpretation of the proposal, there is no requirement that management initiate disciplinary action against an employee in order to avoid granting a request to substitute one type of leave for another. Accordingly, Proposal 3 is within the duty to bargain.

V. Proposal 4

Article 8 - Annual Leave

Approved requests for emergency annual leave shall not be treated as "call-in's" for the purpose of establishing a quota on [sic] in no case will such approved requests for emergency annual leave be considered in an employee performance appraisal.

A. Positions of the Parties

The Agency contends that Proposal 4 excessively interferes with its rights under section 7106(a)(2) to assign, direct, and conduct operations in an effective and efficient manner. Concerning the effectiveness and efficiency of operations, the Agency points out that the proposal's impact on leave administration would adversely affect its ability to conduct its operations. The Agency contends that approval of requests for emergency annual leave must be based on a previous record of not having abused the privilege of calling in to request such leave. In order to assure that there is no abuse of the privilege, the Agency asserts that it must have the right to maintain records of prior requests. Additionally, the proposal's prohibition on maintaining records of prior call-in requests for emergency annual leave would prevent the Agency from exercising its right under section 7106(a)(2)(A) to discipline for abuse of the privilege. The Agency also argues that the last part of the proposal, barring use of approved emergency annual leave as a factor in evaluating employee performance, constitutes an attempt by the Union to bargain over critical elements and standards of employee performance.

The Union denies that the proposal interferes with any management rights. It contends that the criterion for granting or denying any type of annual leave is the same, that is, whether the existing workload will permit the excusal. Consequently, treating the method of requesting such leave differently for disciplinary purposes is not required by applicable law or regulation.

B. Analysis and Conclusions

The parties have again failed to inform us as to the meaning of the terms "call-in's" and "quota." Therefore, for the same reasons as set forth for dismissing the first clause of Proposal 2, we dismiss the petition for review of the first clause of Proposal 4 which begins with "Approved requests" and ends with "a quota on."

The last clause of this proposal contains a prohibition on using approved leave request in evaluating employee performance. The last clause of Proposal 4, therefore, has the same effect as the last clause of Proposal 2, discussed above, which imposed a similar prohibition. Consequently, for the reasons stated respecting the negotiability of the last clause of Proposal 2, we also find that the last clause of Proposal 4, beginning "in no case," is nonnegotiable.

VI. Proposal 5

Article 8 - Annual Leave

In no instance will an employee be required to pre-schedule or use annual leave except to assure that the employee shall not lose accrued annual leave prior to the end of the leave year. This does not affect the understanding of the parties that it is to the advantage of the employee and the employer for employees to submit all requests for annual leave at the earliest opportunity to assure that a maximum number of requests can be granted.

A. Positions of the Parties

According to the Agency, the proposal's effect is to provide for an unlimited number of "call in's". The Agency contends that Proposal 5 excessively interferes with its rights under section 7106(a)(2) to conduct operations, to assign work and to run its operation efficiently. The Agency also asserts that the proposal, interacting with Proposal 1, limits its right to discipline under section 7106(a)(2)(A).

The Union contends that Proposal 5 does not prevent employees from scheduling annual leave prior to its usage.

Rather, according to the Union, the proposal's objectives are to prevent management from requiring such scheduling and to bar management from requiring involuntary use of annual leave to cover, for example, temporary closings of the activity. The Union points out that the proposal does not affect management's authority to grant or deny annual leave. The Union argues that the proposal's goal, to assure that annual leave is taken at a time desirable to the employee, is fully consistent with governing law and regulation.

B. Analysis and Conclusions

We find that the Agency has misinterpreted Proposal 5. Rather than authorizing employees to arrange for annual leave through an unlimited number of called in requests, one of the proposal's main objectives, as the Union explains, is to prevent the Agency from placing employees involuntarily on annual leave. Nevertheless, we find the proposal to be nonnegotiable.

The Union expressly states that one of the proposal's objectives is to prevent management from requiring that leave "be pre-scheduled to facilitate shut down or other causes unrelated to use of annual leave." Petition for Review at 3. This objective is consistent with the wording of the proposal. The proposal is, therefore, nonnegotiable because it interferes with the management rights to assign employees under section 7106(a)(2)(A) and to assign work under section 7106(a)(2)(B) of the Statute.

Proposal 5 expressly prohibits management from directing that annual leave be taken at a specified time, particularly at a time management plans to curtail its activities. Proposals which prevent curtailment of agency operations by depriving management of its right to require employees to take leave are nonnegotiable. American Federation of Government Employees, Local 2185 and Tooele Army Depot, Tooele, Utah, 23 FLRA 193, 195 (1986) (Tooele Army Depot). Thus, under Proposal 5, a single employee or a group of employees could thwart the Agency's decision temporarily to curtail its operations by simply refusing to take annual leave during the period of the closing. Proposal 5, therefore, is nonnegotiable because it is inconsistent with management's right to assign employees and work under section 7106(a)(2)(A) and (B) of the Statute.

VII. Proposal 6

Article 11 - Leave Without Pay

Employees shall be entitled to request leave without pay in the same manner as they request annual leave for reporting absence for emergency reasons. Annual or sick leave balance shall not be a matter for consideration in granting or denying a request for leave without pay. Employees who are granted a request for annual or sick leave but have no such leave available will have their leave status changed to leave without pay.

A. Positions of the Parties

The Agency contends that by denying management the right to consider employee leave balances in deciding whether to grant leave without pay (LWOP), the proposal creates several problems: (1) excessive overtime in the unit resulting from an overall unlimited leave balance; (2) year end loss of adequate staffing because of required use of excess annual leave; and (3) abuse of the accepted Government-wide limitations on LWOP as outlined by the Office of Personnel Management. Further, the Agency argues that the statement "shall be entitled to request leave without pay" would mislead employees to believe that the right to make the request also entitles them to approval of the request. The Agency additionally asserts that the proposal, in concert with other leave proposals, would limit severely its right under section 7106(a)(2)(B) of the Statute to determine the personnel by which its operations shall be conducted.

The Union contends that Proposal 6 is consistent with applicable law and regulation, does not interfere with management rights under the Statute, and permits management to approve or deny a request for LWOP. Therefore, it argues, the proposal is negotiable.

B. Analysis and Conclusions

We do not construe Proposal 6 as obligating management to approve an employee's request for LWOP. Rather, the proposal only provides that employees "shall be entitled to request" LWOP and that they shall be entitled to request it "in the same manner as they request annual leave for reporting absence for emergency reasons." We note that the Union has asserted that the proposal "permits management the right to approve or deny a request for Leave Without Pay". Petition for Review at 4. We find the Union's assertion to be consistent with the proposal's wording. Further, contrary to the Agency's claim, the wording of the proposal does not tend to mislead employees into believing they have an inherent right to have requests for LWOP granted. The proposal expressly states that employees "shall be entitled to request leave without pay in the same manner as they request annual leave".

We also reject the Agency's assertion that the proposal interferes with management rights under section 7106(a)(2)(B) of the Statute. Both the wording and the Union's explanation of Proposal 6 indicate that management retains exclusive authority to approve or deny requests for LWOP based on whether the employee submitting the request can be spared from his or her work assignment. The proposal's option--allowing employees to request to be absent on LWOP rather than on annual leave--does not alter in any way management's authority to decide whether to grant the requested leave. Accordingly, the proposal does not infringe on management's rights.

We find the Agency's argument that the proposal would create problems attributable to excess annual leave balances to be speculative. Initially, we note that the proposal applies only to requests for emergency reasons and does not concern annual leave requests generally. Moreover, the Agency has not indicated that employees prefer to take unpaid leave over paid annual leave as a regular practice. In the absence of supporting evidence, we are not convinced that requests for LWOP for emergency reasons are so prevalent as to lead to the problem posited by the Agency.

Additionally, we note that the applicable regulations, FPM Chapter 630, subchapter 12, do not preclude grants of LWOP to employees who have annual or sick leave balances, nor do they prevent employees without sick or annual leave from being placed in a LWOP status upon request. Consequently, for the reasons stated, Proposal 6 is within the Agency's duty to bargain.

VIII. Proposal 7

Article 11 - Leave Without Pay

Employees who are medically unable to fulfill their duties will be carried in a leave without pay status pending determination by OPM and/or OWCP of their claim for disability retirement or compensation, if appropriate.

A. Positions of the Parties

The Agency contends that Proposal 7 excessively interferes with its rights to hire and remove employees under section 7106(a)(2)(A) of the Statute.

The Union contends that the proposal is consistent with regulations issued by the Office of Personnel Management governing the granting of leave without pay. The Union also asserts that the proposal is appropriate for negotiation because the decision to carry an employee on leave without pay or to terminate the employee is discretionary with the Agency.

B. Analysis and Conclusions

We find Proposal 7 to be nonnegotiable, but not for the reasons advanced by the Agency. Proposal 7 conflicts with a regulation which we held to be "Government-wide" in AFSCME, Local 2027 and ACTION, 27 FLRA 191, 192 (1987) (ACTION). That regulation, 5 C.F.R. § 831.501(d), provides that "[a]n employee's application for disability retirement shall not preclude or delay any other appropriate personnel action by the employing agency." Thus, under the applicable regulation, an agency cannot be required to delay taking a personnel action, such as an involuntary separation, against an employee merely because that employee has applied for disability retirement. This proposal is distinguishable from the proposal involved in ACTION. The ACTION proposal was negotiable because the agency was only obliged "to consider" a request for LWOP when either a removal action or an employee's application for disability retirement was involved. In contrast, Proposal 7 requires the Agency to carry the employee in a leave without pay status.

Proposal 7 is also nonnegotiable because it interferes with the Agency's right to assign work under section 7106(a)(2)(B). Proposal 7 requires the Agency to carry on LWOP those employees who are medically unable to execute their assigned duties pending disposition of their requests for disability retirement or compensation. That requirement would apply even if there was work available for the employees to perform, taking into account their medical disabilities. A similar proposal was found to be inconsistent with management's right to assign work under section 7106(a)(2)(B) in National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 15 and U.S. Army Armament Munitions and Chemical Command, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, 19 FLRA 48, 48-49 (1985) (Proposal 1, Section 13a.3)) (Rock Island Arsenal).

Proposal 1, Section 13a.3, at issue in Rock Island Arsenal, stated that "[i]t shall be the policy of the employer to grant leave without pay" pending disposition by OPM of a request for disability retirement, or pending final action by the Bureau of Employees' Compensation on a claim for work-related injury or disease. The Authority found that the proposal would require the agency to grant LWOP to any employee meeting the specified criteria. Because the proposal mandated the granting of LWOP to certain employees without regard to management's need for the employees' services during the period covered by the leave request, it violated management's right under section 7106(a)(2)(B) of the Statute to assign work and was nonnegotiable.

Proposal 7 also interferes with the Agency's right to assign work under section 7106(a)(2)(B) because it requires the granting of LWOP to certain employees without regard to management's need for the employees' services.

Accordingly, Proposal 7 is nonnegotiable under section 7117(a)(1) of the Statute because it is inconsistent with an applicable Government-wide regulation. Proposal 7 is also outside the duty to bargain because it interferes with the Agency's right to assign work under section 7106(a)(2)(B) of the Statute.

IX. Proposal 8

Article 6 - Overtime

When an employee's name is reached for a Saturday or Sunday assignment and that employee is not eligible for overtime premium payment[,] that employee shall be omitted from Saturday and/or Sunday assignment until all employees who are eligible for premium pay have been scheduled or refuse such assignment.

A. Positions of the Parties

The Agency contends that Proposal 8 interferes with its right to assign work under section 7106(a)(2)(B) of the Statute because overtime pay eligibility is not an appropriate criterion for determining who will perform overtime work.

The Union contends that its proposal is negotiable for three reasons: (1) the employees on an overtime roster are in the same job classification and pay grouping; (2) the parties have agreed that management may bypass the overtime roster when an employee is working on a special job or project requiring application of his or her particular skill, knowledge or qualifications; and (3) the parties have also agreed that management need not resort to the overtime roster when a job is such as to require experience or qualifications possessed by only one or a few employees.

B. Analysis and Conclusions

A proposal requiring strict adherence to an overtime roster, particularly where the employees on the roster do not all perform the same duties, violates management's reserved right to assign work under section 7106(a)(2)(B) of the Statute. American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, International Council of U.S. Marshals Service Locals and Department of Justice, U.S. Marshals Service, 11 FLRA 672, 674-76 (1983) (Proposal 3) (U.S. Marshals Service).

Proposal 8 establishes ineligibility for overtime pay as a barrier to overtime assignments. The barrier is not waived where a particular employee, because of special skills, qualifications, or experience, is best equipped to perform the overtime work, or even when an overtime assignment is a continuation of work assigned to the employee during regular working hours. In barring the use of such considerations as these in making overtime assignments, Proposal 8, like Proposal 2 in U.S. Marshals Service, removes management's discretion to assign work to employees under section 7106(a)(2)(B).

The Union asserts that the employees on the overtime roster "are within the same job classification and pay grouping." Petition for Review at 5. We view the Union's statement as indicating that the employees involved are generally interchangeable. However, the Agency does not acknowledge "equal qualification of employees in all aspects of employment." Statement of Position at 7. The Union also states that the parties "have already agreed" that the overtime roster may be bypassed in certain circumstances involving specialized skills, knowledges, qualifications or experience. Petition for Review at 6. The Agency denies that any such agreement has been reached, stating that the proposed article containing the proviso described by the Union is at impasse. Id. The Agency's denials of the Union's assertions were not challenged by the Union. Therefore, we cannot accept the Union's position that certain extraneous factors bear upon the effect of the proposal. Consequently, we must determine the proposal's negotiability based on its wording as submitted. Hence, for the reasons stated above, Proposal 8 is nonnegotiable.

X.Proposal 9

To the extent practicable and consistent with assigned requirements[,] employees shall have breaks established near mid shift so that they may eat lunch. Other breaks for coffee, smoking, etc. shall be permitted so long as they are prudently utilized by employees to avoid loss of effective working time. An employee on a scheduled break shall be permitted to leave the Bureau premises. [Only the underlined portion of the proposal is in dispute.]

A. Positions of the Parties

The Agency points out that the employees covered by this proposal come in contact with "millions of dollars and stamps." Statement of Position at 8. Therefore, the Agency has established a paid lunch period so that, except for overtime, employees normally are not required to remain at the work site beyond eight hours. Entering and leaving the installation "during sporadic hours" are limited to those employees who must conduct business off the premises. Statement of Position at 8. Scheduling of police is arranged so that there will be an augmented staff during shift changes. Consequently, the Agency asserts that, by permitting employees to leave the premises on breaks, Proposal 9 would interfere with its right to determine its internal security practices under section 7106(a)(1) and with its right "to assign" under section 7106(a)(2)(A).

The Union argues that the proposal should be held to be negotiable because the Agency has failed to cite any provision of the Statute to support its position and because no information has been furnished in support of a compelling need determination, if a governing regulation exists.

B. Analysis and Conclusions

The dispute over Proposal 9 concerns only its last sentence. In agreement with the Agency, we find that the last sentence of the proposal concerns the Agency's internal security practices. An agency's right to determine its internal security practices under section 7106(a)(1) of the Statute includes the formulation of those policies and measures which are part of the agency's plan to secure or protect its physical property against internal or external risks, to prevent improper or unauthorized disclosure of information, or to prevent the disruption of the agency's activities. See, for example, American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, National Archives and Record Administration Council of AFGE Locals (Council 1260) and National Archives and Record Administration, 31 FLRA 878 (1988).

Here, the Agency has stated that its objective in limiting employee egress from the workplace except at the end of shifts is to protect against the pilfering of both bills and stamps with which the employees come in contact. The Agency points out that reducing or eliminating the controlled access and exit requirement would adversely affect its ability to protect against unauthorized removal of these valuable and negotiable Agency products.

In these circumstances, we find that the determination that employees may not leave the Agency workplace except at the end of their work period constitutes the exercise of the management right to determine internal security practices under section 7106(a)(1). Because Proposal 9 interferes with the Agency's chosen practice, it conflicts with the Agency's right to determine its internal security practices under section 7106(a)(1) and is outside the duty to bargain. See, Federal Union of Scientists and Engineers, National Association of Government Employees, Local R1-144 and Naval Underwater Systems Center, Newport, Rhode Island, 28 FLRA 352, 355 (1987) (Naval Underwater Systems Center) (Proposal 2).

The Union contends that the proposal is negotiable because the Agency failed to support its existing limited egress policy with compelling need arguments. However, bargaining is barred on Proposal 9 because the proposal interferes with management's right to determine its internal security practices. The fact that the selected internal security practices may have been promulgated in a written policy does not subject that policy to a compelling need challenge. See American Federation of Government Employees, Local 32, AFL-CIO and Office of Personnel Management,19 FLRA 93, 97-98 (1985).

XI. Proposal 10

An employee who is designated as essential shall be so notified in writing explaining the reasons for such designation. Essential employees shall not suffer any loss of pay or benefit for such designation and the sole purpose of such designation shall be to establish that the employee(s) must report for duty at such times that other employees are administratively excused. Employees who are designated essential shall be permitted to work during the Christmas, or any other, [sic] shut down on request. No employee shall be designated essential for more than one calendar year beginning January 1. Only the number of employees necessary to carry out the mission of the agency shall be designated each year and those employees so designated shall be rotated utilizing the seniority list beginning at the bottom each year.

A. Positions of the Parties

The Agency indicates that none of the employees in the bargaining unit are designated as "essential." It contends that Proposal 10 interferes with the right "to assign" under section 7106(a)(2)(A) of the Statute and its right under section 7106(b)(1) to determine the numbers, types and grades assigned during a shutdown. The Agency also asserts that it is not obligated to bargain because the proposal bears no relationship to the impact and implementation of a changed working condition.

The Union indicates that the Agency has elected not to designate an entire classification of employees as "essential." Therefore, the Union contends, the proposal assures a fair and equitable method of assigning and/or rotating individual employees to an "essential" designation. Thus, according to the Union, the proposal is negotiable because it does not substantially or irreparably harm management.

B. Analysis and Conclusions

The Agency has not specifically objected to the first sentence of Proposal 10. We find that portion to be negotiable. It does not require management to designate any unit employee as "essential." Rather, it only requires management to inform an employee in writing as to why he or she was selected, should management decide on such a designation. Therefore, the first sentence does not interfere with any management rights.

The balance of Proposal 10 is nonnegotiable for a number of reasons. First, it would permit employees to decide to work during periods when management has decided to curtail operations temporarily. This aspect of the proposal imposes an obligation like that imposed on management by Proposal 1 in Tooele Army Depot, 23 FLRA 193. There, as here, the agency was required to find work for employees who declined to take annual leave or leave without pay during a partial closing of the activity. The Authority found that "the proposal is outside the duty to bargain because it could result in depriving management of its rights to require employees to take leave, and ultimately prevent the closing of operations, contrary to management's rights to assign employees under section 7106(a)(2)(A) and to assign work under section 7106(a)(2)(B) of the Statute." 23 FLRA at 195. In like manner, Proposal 10 would require the Agency to keep the specified employees on duty at their request regardless of the need for their services during periods of curtailment, and thereby force management to forego its decision to cease operations temporarily.

Second, the proposal would limit the duration of a designation as "essential" to no longer than one year. This part of the proposal conflicts with management's right to assign employees under section 7106(a)(2)(A). Proposals which limit the length of assignments are nonnegotiable because they conflict with the right to assign employees. American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 3804 and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Madison Region, 21 FLRA 870, 892-93 (1986) (FDIC, Madison Region) (Proposal 13) and American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 1770 and Department of the Army, Fort Bragg Dependent Schools, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, 28 FLRA 493, 510-14 (1987) (Provision 5, Sections 2, 3, 4 and 6). Therefore, this proposal is outside the duty to bargain.

Third, the proposal requires the rotation of the "essential" designation among employees, using a seniority list as the sole criterion. The proposal does not indicate that management retains the right to make the designation from among a group of employees qualified to perform the type of work required during periods of reduced activity. Consequently, it infringes on management's right to use its judgment in establishing the particular skills and qualifications required to perform the work to be done in the special circumstances and to determine which employees possess the qualifications and skills necessary for the assignment. Therefore, the proposal is nonnegotiable because it violates management's rights to assign employees and to assign work under section 7106(a)(2)(A) and (B) of the Statute. National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 1853 and U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York, Brooklyn, N.Y., 29 FLRA 94 (1987) (Provision 2). Compare National Association of Government Employees, Local R4-75 and U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Blue Ridge Parkway, 24 FLRA 56 (1986) (Provision 5) (provision requiring rotation of "mission essential" designation among employees performing the same function held to be negotiable because it permitted management to decide which employees to so designate and to revise its decision as deemed necessary).

Accordingly, for the reasons stated above, all but the first sentence of Proposal 10 is nonnegotiable.

XII. Proposal 11

If a night shift or night shifts are established for unit members in the Office of Engineering[,] the most senior employee shall be made a Working Leader at the appropriate 15% pay differential unless a supervisor who is qualified in the Engraving Act is also assigned to provide the type and quality of supervision necessary.

A. Positions of the Parties

The Agency asserts that, to the extent that Proposal 11 concerns the assignment of a single, unsupervised employee to a night shift, the proposal violates management's right to assign work under section 7106(a)(2)(B). The Agency also contends that the proposal is nonnegotiable because it requires that promotions be based on seniority and because it concerns the Agency's right to determine the numbers, types and grades of employees under section 7106(b)(1).

The Union contends that the proposal is intended to "alert the Employer" to a situation requiring an employee to work without supervision. In such a case, the Union argues, the situation must be reflected in the employee's current job description and could result in a higher classification and pay level. The Union rejects the Agency's seniority argument, contending it is inapplicable to a one-man shift.

B. Analysis and Conclusions

We are not persuaded that the object of Proposal 11 is to assure that job descriptions properly reflect the work assigned to employees. That purported objective is at odds with the wording of the proposal. The proposal makes no mention of job descriptions. Rather, the proposal requires that a night shift be staffed with a "Working Leader" unless a supervisor, "qualified in the Engraving Act," is assigned to the same shift. Consequently, the proposal prescribes the type of employee who must be assigned to a night shift.

In our view, these requirements are inconsistent with the Agency's right to determine the types of employees who will be assigned to a tour of duty, a matter which may only be negotiated at management's election under section 7106(b)(1) of the Statute.

Proposal 11 is also similar to Proposal 15 in American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, National Immigration & Naturalization Service Council and U.S. Department of Justice, Immigration & Naturalization Service, 8 FLRA 347 (1982), which also was found to conflict with section 7106(b)(1). The proposal in that case, requiring that certain trainees work under the supervision and guidance of a journeyman or supervisor, was found to "directly affect and be determinative of both the numbers and the types of employees that Agency management would assign to work projects or tours of duty under the circumstances covered." 8 FLRA at 381.

Proposal 11 concerns a matter which is negotiable only at the Agency's option under section 7106(b)(1). Since the Agency has elected not to bargain on the proposal, it is nonnegotiable.

XIII. Proposal 12

Maternity leave shall be provided new fathers which shall include grants of annual leave, sick leave and leave without pay to the maximum extent permitted by statute and regulation.

A. Positions of the Parties

The Agency contends that Proposal 12 interferes with its authority to assign work under section 7106(a)(2)(B) of the Statute. It points out that the proposal would entitle male employees to leave in the covered situation to the maximum extent permitted by statute or regulation. Therefore, the discretion to deny leave would be negated. The Agency also asserts that granting sick leave for the purpose of paternity leave would be inappropriate.

The Union argues that because the grants of leave, as proposed, would be based on controlling statute and regulation, there is no violation of management's rights under the Statute.

B. Analysis and Conclusions

Applicable regulations do not establish maternity leave as a distinct leave category. Absence from duty for birth of a child, or maternity leave, is a combination of sick leave, annual leave, and leave without pay. See FPM Chapter 630, subchapter 13. FPM Chapter 639 states that sick leave appropriately may be used to preserve the health of the mother and the unborn child and to cover the period of incapacity caused by delivery and recuperation. Subchapter 13-5. Leave for matters relating to child care, for example, well-baby care, illness of the infant, adoption or foster care are chargeable to either annual leave or leave without pay. FPM 630 subchapter 13-6 and 7. FPM Chapter 630, subchapter 4-6 lists the circumstances for which the use of sick leave is authorized. None of the enumerated circumstances includes care of the child or mother, except when there is a contagious disease in an employee's immediate family requiring the employee's personal care. FPM Chapter 630, subchapter 4-2a(1). Hence, the governing regulations do not provide for any situation in which a new or expectant father may be authorized sick leave for child care. Consequently, any grant of sick leave to an expectant or new father in connection with the birth or adoption of a child is inconsistent with governing regulations, and would not be authorized by Proposal 12.

Additionally, the proposal states that "{m}aternity leave {sic} shall be provided new fathers{.}" As such, the proposal appears to require granting the requested leave without regard to management's need for the employee's services during the period covered by the leave request. However, the proposal limits the grants of leave "to the maximum permitted by statute and regulation." Therefore, Proposal 12 does not interfere with the Agency's discretion to deny leave, because management may deny leave when the denial is based on its right under section 7106(a)(2)(B) of the Statute to assign work.

We agree with the Union that the proposal's reference to grants of leave "to the maximum extent permitted by statute and regulation" supports a finding that it is negotiable. This reference indicates that the Agency would be free to deny leave to expectant or new fathers if the granting of the leave was inconsistent with applicable law or regulation. Similarly, requests for leave could be denied by management when the requester's services are required during the period covered by the request. Accordingly, Proposal 12 is within the duty to bargain. Compare American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 1458 and U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the U.S. Attorney, Southern District of Florida, 29 FLRA 3, 23-24 (1987) (Provision 15) (proposal stating that arbitration awards would be binding on the parties, but that either party could file exceptions with the Authority under regulations prescribed by the Authority, held to be negotiable because referenced regulations enumerated types of exceptions to awards Authority would not consider).

XIV. Proposal 13

Any employee assigned to the order desk shall be compensated at Assistant Foreman's rate for eight (8) hours for any part of each day so assigned.

A. Positions of the Parties

The Agency asserts that Proposal 13 represents an attempt to classify an assignment rather than a position. It also contends that the employees covered by the proposal already have the assignment at issue included in their position descriptions and the assignment is one of the factors used in justifying their current grades. Therefore, the proposal concerns the classification of positions, a matter which is nonnegotiable under the Statute.

The Union states that the proposal does not interfere with any management rights under the Statute. Rather, according to the Union, the proposal involves only temporary promotions.

B. Analysis and Conclusions

Contrary to the Union's characterization, Proposal 13 is not concerned merely with temporary promotions. The proposal does not involve the consequence of the Agency's selecting an individual to perform the work of a position established at a higher grade level on a temporary basis.

The proposal identifies a certain function--assignment to the order desk--and requires that the employee assigned that function receive the pay of an assistant foreman. The Agency does not agree that the order desk assignment warrants the pay required by the proposal. The Agency indicates that the assignment already has been taken into account in establishing the grades at which the positions of employees covered by the proposal are currently classified. However, the proposal seeks to overcome the Agency's grade level determination by requiring contractually that the work be designated as that of an assistant foreman and that additional pay be received for its performance. In establishing the title and pay level to be assigned to an identified task, the proposal concerns a matter relating to the classification of a position. The classification of positions is excluded from the definition of condition of employment by section 7103(a)(14)(B) of the Statute. Therefore, Proposal 13 is not within the Agency's duty to bargain. See Police Association of the District of Columbia and United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service, National Capital Region, 11 FLRA 594 (1983) and American Federation of Government Employees, Meat Graders Council, AFL-CIO and Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Quality Service, Meat Grading Branch, Washington, D.C., 8 FLRA 118, 124-26 (1982) (Proposal IV).

XV. Proposal 14

The Bureau agrees to take every possible action to qualify temporary employees so that they can fill vacancies of career or career conditional nature.

A. Positions of the Parties

In the Agency's view, Proposal 14 "strongly implies" that vacancies must be filled by temporary employees. Statement of Position at 10. Therefore, according to the Agency, the proposal conflicts with management's right to fill positions from any appropriate source under section 7106(a)(2)(C) of the Statute.

The Union contends that the proposal does not interfere with any management rights. It explains that the proposal merely requires the Agency to assist employees in their efforts to become certified to fill career or career-conditional positions.

B. Analysis and Conclusions

We do not find that the proposal obligates management to fill permanent positions with temporary employees. Rather, the proposal merely requires the Agency "to take every possible action" to qualify the employees for career or career-conditional appointments.

Although the record sheds no light on what "action" the Agency would have to take to "qualify" employees, we assume that, among other things, training would be included. The proposal does not indicate whether the training would take place during duty hours. However, we previously have construed a proposal which also was silent on when training would take place as possibly requiring that training be provided during regular working hours. American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 1625 and Non-Appropriated Fund Instrumentality, Naval Air Station, Oceana, Virginia, 31 FLRA 1281, 1283 (1988) (proposal not specifying when training would take place "may" require training during duty hours).

Proposals requiring management to provide training during duty hours for the purpose of enabling employees to perform a new specialty or to qualify them for a new position are inconsistent with management's right to assign work under section 7106(a)(2)(B) of the Statute. Compare American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 1625 and Department of the Navy, Naval Air Station, Oceana, Virginia, 30 FLRA 1105, 1114-16 (1988) (Provision 4) and American Federation of Government Employees, Local 3231 and Social Security Administration, 22 FLRA 868, 872-73 (1986) (Proposal 3) (proposals requiring training for specified employees violated management's right to assign work, but held to be negotiable under section 7106(b)(3) as appropriate arrangements for employees adversely affected by exercise of management rights). Consequently, Proposal 14 is nonnegotiable because it violates management's right to assign work.

XVI. Proposal 15

If an employee is required to remain at the Bureau after normal working hours and that employee does not have transportation home at the conclusion of the overtime hours, the Bureau will either provide necessary transportation to the employee's home or pay for the employee's cost of such transportation home. An employee who can foresee transportation home problems [sic] for such reasons as car pools or lack of public transportation should notify his supervisor of that circumstance at the time of assignment.

A. Positions of the Parties

The Agency argues that the proposal imposes a condition on the assignment of overtime work which requires: 1) the provision of transportation at the conclusion of the assignment, or 2) the expenditure of additional funds to defray the employee's cost of transportation home. Therefore, according to the Agency, the proposal excessively interferes with the right to assign work under section 7106(a)(2)(B).

The Union contends that the proposal falls within the discretionary authority of the employer and, therefore, is negotiable.

B. Analysis and Conclusions

Proposal 15 would require the Agency either to provide transportation home or to defray the cost of such transportation for an employee directed to work overtime who "does not have transportation home at the conclusion of the overtime hours[.]" Thus, the proposal concerns an employee's commute to his or her home in the special circumstances described in the proposal.

As noted, the proposal provides management with two options concerning employee transportation at the conclusion of overtime assignments. The first option requires that the Agency furnish transportation. Use of passenger carriers owned by the Government is covered by 31 U.S.C. § 1344, which prescribes the circumstances in which funds available to a Federal agency may be expended for operation, maintenance or repair of such a vehicle. Under 31 U.S.C. § 1344, funds may be used for operation, repair or maintenance of passenger vehicles that are used only for official purposes. Within the meaning of 31 U.S.C. § 1344, "official purposes," with very limited exceptions, do not include transporting officers or employees of the Government between their residences and places of employment. See 31 U.S.C. § 1344(a)(1) and (2). Consequently, to the extent that Proposal 15 would obligate the Agency to furnish a Government-owned vehicle to "provide necessary transportation to the employee's home," the proposal conflicts with applicable law and is nonnegotiable under section 7117(a)(1) of the Statute.

In the alternative, Proposal 15 would require the Agency to pay the employee's travel expenses following an overtime assignment. The Federal Travel Regulations (FTRs) contain specific provisions governing the payment of expenses incurred in local travel. These regulations are Government-wide in scope because they apply generally to official travel of civilian employees of Government agencies. See, for example, National Council of Field Labor Locals, Local 2513, AFGE and U.S. Department of Labor, Employment Standards Administration, Region 2, 29 FLRA 451, 454 (1987) (Employment Standards Administration).

FTR 1-2.3(e) provides, as relevant to this proposal:

Between residence and office in cases of necessity. Reimbursement for the usual taxicab fare paid by an employee for travel between office and home may be authorized or approved incident to the conduct of official business at an employee's designated post of duty when the employee is dependent on public transportation for such travel incident to officially ordered work outside of regular working hours and when the travel is during hours of infrequently scheduled public transportation or darkness. Agencies are expected to establish stringent administrative controls at sufficiently high levels which ensure that reimbursements are authorized only when justifiable and when all circumstances set forth herein are met.

The proposal requires the payment of commuting expenses whenever an employee is required to remain at work beyond normal duty hours and the employee "does not have transportation home[.]" As we noted in Employment Standards Administration, "employees must place themselves at their regular places of work and return to their homes at their own expense absent statutory or regulatory authority to the contrary." 29 FLRA at 454.

FTR 1-2.3(e) authorizes the payment of taxicab fare in specified circumstances when an employee is officially ordered to work outside of regular working hours at his or her designated post of duty. We find that the proposal does not include all of the regulatory elements necessary to establish eligibility for payment of cab fare on completion of an overtime assignment. Initially, we note that the proposal makes no reference to taxicab fare. It only refers to the cost of transportation home. Arguably, under the terms of the proposal, an employee could demand and expect to receive reimbursement for the cost of a rental car. Additionally, the proposal's reference to "car pools or lack of public transportation," implies that payment would be authorized if the overtime assignment caused the employee to miss a carpool ride. The FTRs, however, authorize payment after an overtime assignment only "when the employee is dependent on public transportation" and "when the travel is during hours of infrequently scheduled public transportation or darkness." For these reasons, we find that the proposal is inconsistent with the applicable FTRs, which are Government-wide regulations within the meaning of section 7117(a)(1) of the Statute.

Accordingly, we conclude that Proposal 15 is nonnegotiable under section 7117(a)(1) of the Statute.

XVII. Order

The Agency must upon request, or as otherwise agreed to by the parties, bargain concerning Proposals 1, 3, 6, the first sentence of Proposal 10, and Proposal 12.(*) The petition for review, as it relates to Proposals 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, all but the first sentence of Proposal 10, Proposals 11, 13, 14 and 15, is dismissed.