35:1230(141)CA - - Air Force, Sacramento Air Logistics Center, McClellan AFB, CA and AFGE Local 1857 - - 1990 FLRAdec CA - - v35 p1230

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[ v35 p1230 ]
35:1230(141)CA
The decision of the Authority follows:


35 FLRA No. 141

FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY

WASHINGTON, D.C.

DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE

SACRAMENTO AIR LOGISTICS CENTER

McCLELLAN AIR FORCE BASE, CALIFORNIA

(Respondent)

and

AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES

LOCAL 1857

(Charging Party)

9-CA-80498

DECISION

May 31, 1990

Before Chairman McKee and Members Talkin and Armendariz.

I. Statement of the Case

The Administrative Law Judge issued the attached decision in the above-entitled proceeding finding that the Respondent violated section 7116(a)(1) and (8) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute) by conducting a formal discussion, within the meaning of section 7114(a)(2) of the Statute, with a bargaining unit employee concerning a grievance and failing to notify the Union and afford it an opportunity to be present.

The Respondent did not file an exception to the Judge's Decision. The General Counsel filed an exception only to the Judge's recommended Order. The Respondent filed an opposition to the General Counsel's exception.

Pursuant to section 2423.29 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations and section 7118 of the Statute, we have reviewed the rulings of the Judge made at the hearing and find that no prejudicial error was committed. We affirm the rulings. Upon consideration of the Judge's Decision and the entire record, we adopt the Judge's findings, conclusions, and recommended Order, as modified below.

II. General Counsel's Exception

The General Counsel excepts to the Judge's recommended Order requiring that the Notice be signed by a "'responsible official.'" General Counsel's Exception at 1. The General Counsel argues that the Judge's recommended Order provides an inadequate remedy. According to the General Counsel, under the Judge's recommended Order, "almost anyone could be designated to sign the Notice, which would diminish the remedial aspects of the Notice[ ]" and "complicate compliance proceedings since the parties . . . could disagree regarding who should sign the Notice[.]" Id. at 2-3. The General Counsel asserts that "[r]equiring the Notice to be signed by the Respondent's Commanding Officer promotes the remedial power of a Notice by assuring the unit employees who read the Notice that the Respondent is aware of its responsibility to meet its statutory obligations." Id. at 1-2. Further, the General Counsel points out that in Department of the Air Force, Sacramento Air Logistics Center, McClellan Air Force Base, California, 29 FLRA 594 (1987), which involved the same parties and a similar violation, the Authority directed that the Notice be signed by the Commanding Officer.

III. Respondent's Opposition

The Respondent opposes the General Counsel's exception. The Respondent argues that "[t]here is authority and precedent for postings to be signed by responsible officials below the level of the highest management official." Respondent's Opposition at 1. In support of its position, the Respondent cites Social Security Administration and Northeastern Program Service Center, 18 FLRA 490 (1985), where the Authority ordered that the Notice be signed by the Chief of the Reconsideration Branch, or a designee.

IV. Analysis and Conclusion

We agree with the General Counsel that the Judge's recommended Order requiring that the Notice be signed by a "responsible official" should be modified. The remedial purposes of the Statute are best effectuated if a Notice is signed by an official designated by the Authority rather than by one determined by a respondent. See, for example, Army and Air Force Exchange Service, McClellan Base Exchange, McClellan Air Force Base, California, 35 FLRA No. 82 (1990) (Authority ordered that the Notice be signed by the Exchange Manager of the McClellan Air Force Base Exchange rather than by an "authorized representative"); Department of the Air Force, Air Force Logistics Command, Sacramento Air Logistics Center, McClellan Air Force Base, California, 35 FLRA 217 (1990) (Authority ordered that the Notice be signed by the Commanding Officer of the Sacramento Air Logistics Center, rather than by a "senior official"); U.S. Department of the Army, Lexington-Blue Grass Army Depot, Lexington, Kentucky, 34 FLRA 247 (1990) (Authority ordered that the Notice be signed by the Commanding Officer of the Lexington-Blue Grass Army Depot, rather than by "a designee").

In this case, we find that requiring the Commanding Officer of the Center to sign the Notice effectuates the remedial purposes of the Notice by signifying that the Respondent acknowledges its obligations under the Statute and intends to comply with those obligations. Accordingly, we will modify the Order to require that the Notice be signed by the Commanding Officer of the Sacramento Air Logistics Center.

II. Order

Pursuant to section 2423.29 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations and section 7118 of the Statute, the Department of the Air Force, Sacramento Air Logistics Center, McClellan Air Force Base, California, shall:

1. Cease and desist from:

(a) Conducting formal discussions with its employees in the bargaining unit exclusively represented by the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1857, AFL-CIO, concerning grievances or any personnel policy or practice or other condition of employment, including interviews conducted in preparation for third-party hearings, without affording the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1857, AFL-CIO, prior notice of and the opportunity to be represented at the formal discussions.

(b) In any like or related manner, interfering with, restraining, or coercing its employees in the exercise of rights assured by the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute.

2. Take the following affirmative action in order to effectuate the purposes and policies of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute:

(a) Post at its McClellan Air Force Base facilities where employees in the bargaining unit are located, copies of the attached Notice on forms to be furnished by the Federal Labor Relations Authority. Upon receipt of such forms, they shall be signed by the Commanding Officer of the Sacramento Air Logistics Center and shall be posted and maintained for 60 consecutive days thereafter, in conspicuous places, including all bulletin boards and other places where notices to employees of the Center are customarily posted. Reasonable steps shall be taken to insure that such Notices are not altered, defaced, or covered by any other material.

(b) Pursuant to section 2423.30 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations, notify the Regional Director, Region IX, Federal Labor Relations Authority, in writing, within 30 days from the date of this Order, as to what steps have been taken to comply herewith.




NOTICE TO ALL EMPLOYEES

AS ORDERED BY THE FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY

AND TO EFFECTUATE THE POLICIES OF THE

FEDERAL SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS STATUTE

WE NOTIFY OUR EMPLOYEES THAT:



WE WILL NOT conduct formal discussions with our employees in the bargaining unit exclusively represented by the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1857, AFL-CIO, concerning grievances or any personnel policy or practice or other condition of employment, including interviews conducted in preparation for third-party hearings, without affording the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1857, AFL-CIO, prior notice of and the opportunity to be represented at the formal discussions.

WE WILL NOT in any like or related manner, interfere with, restrain, or coerce our employees in the exercise of their rights assured by the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute.