36:0524(62)CA - - Air Force, HQ, Air Force Logistics Command, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH and AFGE Council 214 - - 1990 FLRAdec CA - - v36 p524

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[ v36 p524 ]
36:0524(62)CA
The decision of the Authority follows:


36 FLRA No. 62

FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY

WASHINGTON, D.C.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE

HEADQUARTERS, AIR FORCE LOGISTICS COMMAND

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, OHIO

(Respondent)

and

AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES

COUNCIL 214

(Charging Party)

5-CA-80086

DECISION AND ORDER

August 3, 1990

Before Chairman McKee and Members Talkin and Armendariz.

I. Statement of the Case

This unfair labor practice case is before the Authority on exceptions filed by the Respondent to the attached decision of the Administrative Law Judge. The General Counsel filed an opposition to the exceptions and a motion to strike portions of the Respondent's exceptions.

The complaint alleges that the Respondent violated section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute) by "failing and refusing to bargain concerning 'Last Chance Agreements' and the issuance of temporary credentials for union representatives who are not Air Force employees." Judge's Decision at 2. The Judge found that the Respondent failed and refused to bargain in good faith and, thus, violated section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute.

For the following reasons, we conclude that the Respondent violated section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute by its failure and refusal to bargain in good faith with the Union.

II. Background and Administrative Law Judge's Decision

The Respondent and the Charging Party (the Union) are parties to a Master Labor Agreement (MLA) covering 73,000 employees located at several facilities throughout the United States.

By letters dated October 15 and November 3, 1987, respectively, the Union requested bargaining and submitted proposals concerning "Last Chance Agreements" and the issuance of temporary credentials for Union representatives who are not Air Force employees. Id. at 2. On November 6, 1987, the Respondent notified the Union that "it was not refusing to bargain over the Union's proposals . . . and that it would respond to those proposals once an agreement on procedures for conducting Union-initiated mid-term bargaining had been reached." Id. at 2-3. The Respondent included a list of 16 proposed procedures for conducting mid-term bargaining.(1) The Respondent also returned the Union's November 3, 1987, letter and its proposal concerning the issuance of temporary credentials.

On November 10, 1987, the Union's President, Paul Palacio, spoke with Dale Biddle, the Respondent's Labor Relations Specialist, who had been assigned to the Union-initiated mid-term bargaining, about setting up a meeting to discuss the Respondent's proposals. Biddle told Palacio that he "was real busy and that he may be available towards the latter part of the year." Transcript at 26. Later that day, Palacio complained to Biddle's supervisor, Sheila Hostler, that he could not get Biddle to schedule a meeting to discuss Respondent's proposals. Although Hostler replied that Biddle would meet with Palacio the following week, she did not mention a date, time or place for the meeting.

On November 13, 1987, Palacio sent three letters to Biddle which included, among other things, the Union's counterproposals to the Respondent's proposals and a reiteration of the Union's request to bargain over the two proposals which it had submitted on November 3. On November 17, 1987, Biddle returned Palacio's letters without action, and set up a 30-minute meeting for November 19, 1987.

The November 19 meeting between Biddle and Palacio had lasted for an hour when Biddle "abruptly got up and said he had to go home." Transcript at 29. The parties discussed some of the Respondent's proposals during the course of the meeting. They did not discuss all 16 proposals before Biddle left, however, and did not set a date for the next meeting.

The Union filed the unfair labor practice charge in this case on November 23, 1987. Shortly thereafter, Palacio met with Biddle and Hostler and explained that he had filed the unfair labor practice charge because he believed that the Respondent was refusing to bargain. Palacio also complained again to Hostler that Biddle would not meet with him. Biddle did schedule another meeting but informed Palacio that he was cancelling the meeting until the unfair labor practice charge filed by Palacio was resolved. Hostler required Biddle to reschedule the meeting and the parties met several times after that to discuss the Respondent's proposals. No agreement was reached on the procedures to be followed for the Union-initiated mid-term bargaining. At the time of the unfair labor practice hearing in this case, the parties had reached impasse on the procedures to be followed for Union-initiated mid-term bargaining and requested assistance from the Federal Service Impasses Panel.(2)

The Judge concluded that the Respondent violated section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute by refusing to bargain over "Last Chance Agreements" and the issuance of temporary credentials for Union representatives who are not Air Force employees. The Judge stated that, in his view, "the issue here is whether the parties were . . . engaged in ground rule negotiations or whether they [were] involved in substantive negotiations concerning the Respondent's proposals of November 6, 1987 entitled 'Procedures for Union Initiated Mid-Term Bargaining.'" Judge's Decision at 4. According to the Judge, if the parties were involved in ground rule negotiations only, no violation of the Statute would exist. The Judge stated, however, that if the parties were not involved in ground rule bargaining, then the Respondent's action to require bargaining on the Respondent's "substantive proposals before conducting mid-term bargaining with the Union might well be violative of the Statute." Id. Consequently, the Judge found that the "first question to be resolved is what constitutes ground rules." Id. at 5.

The Judge found that, consistent with the Authority's decision in Department of Health and Human Services, Region VII, Kansas City, Missouri, 14 FLRA 258 (1984) (Department of Health and Human Services, Region VII), ground rules are comprised only of matters relating to the "framework" of negotiations. Id. at 5. In examining the proposals set forth by the Respondent in this case, the Judge found that the proposals included matters which clearly could not be classified as ground rules. The Judge noted, for example, that the Respondent's proposals included such issues as "negotiations on a 'zipper clause' by AFGE, about which the Union probably has no authority to bargain; waiver of the Union's right to obtain information or data; limitations on the number of proposals the Union can make; [and] waiver of date and times for negotiations." Id. The Judge concluded that "what was proposed as ground rules by Respondent constituted, at best, a mixed bag." Id.

The Judge determined further that the ground rules proposed by the Respondent were not offered in good faith. The Judge found that the "mere fact that Respondent offered as ground rules matters which were for the most part substantive and then sought to bargain to impasse on those matters in the name of 'ground rule' bargaining belies any good faith[] argument it might make." Id. Further, the Judge found that "what Respondent required to be completed before negotiations began on the 'Last Chance [Agreements]' and temporary credentials [were] not merely ground rule negotiations, but contained substantive matters on which it was conditioning bargaining on the two proposals requested by the Union." Id.

The Judge concluded that "[i]mposing such onerous conditions, in the name of 'ground rules' which had to be resolved prior to bargaining on any Union mid-term proposals, . . . subverts the collective bargaining process." Id. Consequently, the Judge rejected Respondent's assertion that it was engaged in good faith bargaining over ground rules and found that the Respondent violated section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute.

III. Exceptions

The Respondent excepts to the Judge's findings and conclusions on three grounds. First, the Respondent objects to the definition of ground rules relied on by the Judge. The Respondent contends that the definition of ground rules used by the Judge "unduly limits [the] parties." Respondent's Brief in Support of Exceptions at 2. The Respondent claims that ground rules have been defined "rather succinctly as merely '. . . the arrangements between [ . . . ] parties as to how [ . . . ] negotiations will [sic] be conducted.'" Id. (quoting Environmental Protection Agency, 16 FLRA 602, 613 (1984) (EPA)). According to the Respondent, the Authority has found that negotiating a ground rules agreement "is an inherent aspect of an agency's obligation to bargain in good faith[.]" Respondent's Brief in Support of Exceptions at 3 (emphasis in original) (quoting Veterans Administration, Washington, D.C. and Veterans Administration Medical and Regional Office Center, Fargo, North Dakota, 22 FLRA 612, 633 (1986) (VA Fargo)). The Respondent argues that if an agency is obligated to bargain on ground rules, then a union should also be required to bargain on ground rules in the circumstances of union-initiated mid-term bargaining.

Second, the Respondent disputes the Judge's conclusion that the Respondent's proposals were not offered in good faith. According to the Respondent, none of the proposals which were cited by the Judge as being substantive created the onerous conditions found by the Judge. The Respondent contends first that the "zipper" clause proposal "may be characterized as premature[,] but certainly not one which the [U]nion has no authority to bargain." Respondent's Brief in Support of Exceptions at 3. The Respondent argues that, as to its proposal concerning the waiver of the Union's right to obtain information, "[t]here is no right to any and all information. The Statute at [section] 7114 requires only data not excluded by law and further which is reasonably relevant and necessary." Id. at 4. Further, with respect to the proposal which would relieve the Respondent of the obligation to conduct a "meeting" when the Union initiates mid-term bargaining, the Respondent does not specify the type of meeting to which the proposal refers. The Respondent asserts, however, that provisions in the parties' master agreement require it to hold "a meeting upon the request of the union when a management midterm proposal is initiated." Id. The Respondent claims that "[i]t did not seem logical to require a similar meeting when the union initiates a midterm proposal." Id.

The Respondent also objects to the Judge's conclusion that the Respondent must bargain over the Union's mid-term bargaining proposals prior to establishing the procedures for mid-term bargaining. The Respondent argues that because there has been no finding that the parties did not meet at reasonable times and places, further restrictions "on the contents of [its] initial proposals would constitute form over substance." Id. at 4.

Finally, Respondent argues that the need for a bargaining order in this case has been rendered moot by subsequent action of the parties. According to the Respondent, the parties agreed to and signed procedures for mid-term bargaining on October 25, 1988, a copy of which was attached to Respondent's exceptions. The Respondent claims further that pursuant to the mid-term bargaining procedures adopted by the parties, the parties met and exchanged data on the two Union proposals involved in this case. Consequently, the Respondent contends that an "order to bargain would be duplicative and unnecessary." Id.

IV. Opposition and Motion to Strike Portions of Respondent's Exceptions

The General Counsel filed an opposition to, and motion to strike portions of, the Respondent's exceptions.

In the motion to strike, the General Counsel objects to the attempt by the Respondent to introduce into the record a copy of the "Procedures For Union Initiated Mid-Term Bargaining," which the Respondent attached to its exceptions. The General Counsel argues that this document is dated subsequent to the hearing and close of the record in this case. The General Counsel contends that to allow this document to become part of the record would deprive the General Counsel and the Union of their rights to question the admissibility of the document.

In its opposition to the Respondent's exceptions, the General Counsel contends that a party violates the Statute when the "party causes unnecessary delay" or "conditions bargaining upon the resolution of extraneous matters[.]" Brief to Administrative Law Judge attached to Opposition at 5. In the General Counsel's view, a duty to bargain arose when the Union submitted its proposals to the Respondent, and the Respondent's conduct in "[r]eturning the proposals, as compared to retaining them and delaying action on them," constitutes an "outright refusal to bargain." Id. at 6.

The General Counsel asserts that "ground rules are not separate from the collective bargaining process but are part of the mutual obligation to bargain in good faith[.]" Id. at 9. The General Counsel contends further that a party does not have a right "to refuse to consider any subject matter proposals until such time as general procedures for . . . bargaining" are agreed on. Id. The General Counsel contends that the Respondent "brought a halt to any negotiation of the Union's proposals[] by returning them and refusing to even consider them." Id. at 11 (emphasis in original). The General Counsel also contends that previous Authority decisions "point up the principle that bargaining obligations regarding ground rules are important because ground rules are part and parcel of the collective bargaining process, and should be in furtherance of that process, not because parties have an absolute right to ground rules, in a vacuum." Id. at 15 (emphasis in original).

The General Counsel claims further that, contrary to the allegations of the Respondent, VA Fargo does not stand for the proposition that a party has the right to insist on completing the negotiation of ground rules prior to bargaining on substantive proposals. Rather, according to the General Counsel, VA Fargo holds that "ground rules are part and parcel of the mutual obligation to bargain in good faith." Id. at 17 (emphasis in original). Finally, the General Counsel contends that "[n]o Authority case holds or even suggests that a party has a right to final agreement on general procedures for all bargaining before proceeding with the business of bargaining." Id. at 18 (emphasis in original).

V. Analysis and Conclusion

A. The General Counsel's Motion to Strike Portions of Respondent's Exceptions is Granted

We agree with the General Counsel's contention that the parties' agreed-upon procedures for Union-initiated mid-term bargaining, attached by the Respondent to its exceptions, should not be considered by the Authority. Section 2429.5 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations provides that the Authority will not consider evidence which was not presented in proceedings before the Administrative Law Judge. The procedures were not presented in the proceeding before the Administrative Law Judge and, accordingly, we will not consider them here. See United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine, 26 FLRA 630 (1987).

B. The Respondent Violated Section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute

We find that the Respondent violated section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute by its failure and refusal to bargain with the Union in good faith. We do so, however, for reasons other than those of the Judge.

Section 7103(a)(12) of the Statute defines collective bargaining as the "performance of the mutual obligation of the representative of an agency and the exclusive representative of employees in an appropriate unit in the agency to meet at reasonable times and to consult and bargain in a good-faith effort to reach agreement with respect to the conditions of employment affecting such employees[.]" Further, section 7114(b)(1) and (3) states that "[t]he duty of an agency and an exclusive representative to negotiate in good faith . . . shall include the obligation . . . to approach the negotiations with a sincere resolve to reach a collective bargaining agreement . . . [and] . . . to meet at reasonable times and convenient places as frequently as may be necessary, and to avoid unnecessary delays[.]" In determining whether a party has fulfilled its bargaining responsibility, the totality of the circumstances in a case must be considered. See, for example, Department of Defense, Department of the Air Force, Armament Division, AFSC, Eglin Air Force Base, 13 FLRA 492, 505 (1983).

We find that the totality of the circumstances in this case supports the conclusion that the Respondent did not bargain in good faith. First, we find that the record establishes that the Respondent did not approach negotiations with a sincere resolve to reach agreement on the proposals submitted by the Union. Rather, in our view, the record establishes that the Respondent was attempting to avoid bargaining on the Union's proposals. For example, we note that the Respondent did not respond at all to the Union's October 15 request to bargain. In addition, although the Respondent responded to the Union's second request to bargain, that response consisted of the Respondent's returning the Union's proposals with the statement that mid-term bargaining procedures would have to be agreed upon before the Union's proposals would be considered. The response, which included the Respondent's 16 proposals, did not set, or propose, a date for bargaining, however.

Thereafter, when the Union's representative, Palacio, sought to set a date for the parties to bargain, the Respondent's representative, Biddle, stated that he was too busy to meet until the end of the year. Although Palacio complained to Biddle's supervisor about his inability to schedule a meeting with Biddle and the supervisor replied that a meeting would be scheduled, no date, time or place for bargaining was suggested. When Palacio made his third request to bargain on the Union's proposals and sought again to set a date for bargaining, Biddle responded by offering to meet with Palacio for 30 minutes on November 19. The parties met that date. However, Biddle walked out of the meeting before they had finished discussing all of the Respondent's proposals and when Palacio attempted to set a date for another meeting, Biddle refused.

Palacio again complained to Biddle's supervisor about his difficulty in arranging a meeting with Biddle. Although Biddle set up a meeting for "a couple of days later," he cancelled the meeting. Transcript at 30. The supervisor again intervened and the meeting was rescheduled. Although the parties met on several occasions in December, no agreement was reached on the ground rules at that time and the Union's proposals were not discussed.

As a result of the Respondent's conduct between October 15, 1987, when the Union first requested bargaining, and November 23, 1987, when the Union filed its unfair labor practice charge, the parties met for only 1 hour and none of the Union's proposals were discussed. During this time period, the Union made three separate requests to bargain and three attempts to schedule dates for bargaining. The Union's representative was required, on two occasions, to seek assistance from the Respondent's representative's supervisor to schedule negotiations. Although, on one of these occasions, the supervisor stated that a bargaining session would be scheduled, a session was not scheduled until the Union made another request. In our view, Respondent's conduct establishes that it was not bargaining, or attempting to bargain, in good faith. See Army and Air Force Exchange Service, McClellan Base Exchange, McClellan Air Force Base, California, 35 FLRA 764, 769 (1990) ("Stated simply, the parties' disagreement could not be resolved without discussion between their representatives.").

We note that, at the hearing, Biddle testified that he was unable to set dates for bargaining because he had a vacation planned for the end of the year and he was scheduled for training. We also note, however, that section 7114(b)(2) of the Statute requires that the Respondent provide "duly authorized representatives . . . to discuss and negotiate on any condition of employment[.]" If Biddle was unable to meet with the Union, therefore, a duly authorized substitute representative should have been made available.

In addition, the nature of the 16 proposals offered by the Respondent further indicates that Respondent was seeking to delay, or avoid, the bargaining process. We find it unnecessary in this case to define, with precision, what would constitute purely ground rules proposals, as opposed to substantive proposals. Under the Statute, however, the obligation to bargain over any matter, including ground rules, stems from the parties' obligation to "bargain in a good faith effort to reach agreement with respect to . . . conditions of employment[.]" 5 U.S.C. § 7103(a)(12). As the obligation to bargain over ground rules is inseparable from the parties' mutual obligation to bargain in good faith, it is clear that a party may not insist on bargaining over ground rules which do not enable the parties to fulfill their mutual obligation. Stated simply, we conclude that ground rules proposals must, at a minimum, be designed to further, not impede, the bargaining for which the ground rules are proposed.

In this case, we are unable to conclude that the Respondent's proposals were designed to enable the parties to fulfill their mutual obligation to bargain in good faith. The Respondent's first proposal provided that "[t]he employer [would] not be obligated to negotiate over union initiated mid-term bargaining proposals and failure to do so [would] not constitute an unfair labor practice." Appendix, Proposal 1. The Respondent's second and third proposals would have required the Union to negotiate a "zipper" clause when the MLA was renegotiated and would have limited the Union to one mid-term bargaining initiative per year until the "zipper" clause was negotiated into the MLA. The Respondent's thirteenth proposal would have waived the Union's statutory right to seek assistance from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) and the Federal Service Impasses Panel (the Panel).(3)

It strains credulity, in our view, to assert that the nature of these proposals, which would relieve the Respondent of its obligation to bargain over either or both of the Union's substantive proposals and preclude the Union from requesting third-party assistance in resolving impasses over those proposals, was such that the Respondent was privileged, consistent with its statutory obligation to bargain in good faith, to insist on bargaining over them before addressing the Union's proposals. Rather, when viewed in the context of the Respondent's actions noted above, we find that the record as a whole, including the proposals themselves, supports the conclusion that the Respondent was not bargaining, or attempting to bargain, in good faith.

We emphasize, in this regard, that we are not ruling on the negotiability, or the merits, of the Respondent's proposals. We find, however, that when viewed in the context of the totality of the circumstances in this case, the nature of the Respondent's proposals belies the Respondent's assertion that it merely was attempting to set forth the "'arrangements . . . as to how negotiations will [sic] be conducted.'" Respondent's Brief in Support of Exceptions at 2 (quoting EPA). Instead, we conclude that the Respondent's ground rules were designed to set forth arrangements so that negotiations over the two Union proposals would not be conducted.

Consequently, we find that the Respondent violated section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute by refusing to bargain with the Union over "Last Chance Agreements" and the issuance of temporary credentials for certain Union representatives.

VI. Remedy

We conclude that, in addition to a cease and desist order, a bargaining order also is appropriate to remedy the Respondent's violation of section 7116(a)(1) and (5) in this case. In so concluding, we reject the Respondent's argument that a bargaining order has been rendered moot by subsequent action of the parties and, thus, an "order to bargain would be duplicative and unnecessary." Respondent's Brief in Support of Exceptions at 4.

As found above, the Respondent's actions, taken as a whole, clearly indicate that the Respondent did not bargain in good faith over the Union's proposals. Although the parties may have bargained over, and agreed to, procedures for mid-term bargaining, there is no indication in the record before us that the parties have concluded negotiations over "Last Chance Agreements" or the issuance of temporary credentials. Consequently, there is no basis on which to conclude that a bargaining order has been rendered moot, duplicative, or unnecessary. We shall,

therefore, order that the Respondent, upon request, and to the extent consistent with applicable law, rule and regulation, bargain with the Union over "Last Chance Agreements" and the issuance of temporary credentials for Union representatives who are not Air Force employees.(4)

VII. Order

Pursuant to section 2423.29 of the Federal Labor Relations Authority's Rules and Regulations and section 7118 of the Statute, the Department of the Air Force, Headquarters, Air Force Logistics Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, shall:

1. Cease and desist from:

(a) Refusing to bargain in good faith with the American Federation of Government Employees, Council 214, AFL-CIO, the exclusive representative of certain of its employees, concerning "Last Chance Agreements" and the issuance of temporary credentials for Union representatives who are not Air Force employees.

(b) In any like or related manner interfering with, restraining, or coercing employees in the exercise of their 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) Upon request, and to the extent consistent with applicable law, rule and regulation, bargain with the American Federation of Government Employees, Council 214, AFL-CIO, the exclusive representative of certain of its employees, concerning "Last Chance Agreements" and the issuance of temporary credentials for Union representatives who are not Air Force employees.

(b) Post at all of its facilities where bargaining unit employees represented by the American Federation of Government Employees, Council 214, AFL-CIO, 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 Commander and shall be posted and maintained for 60 consecutive days thereafter, in conspicuous places, including bulletin boards and other places where notices to employees are customarily posted. Reasonable steps shall be taken to ensure that such Notices are not altered, defaced, or covered by any other material.

(c) Pursuant to section 2423.30 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations, notify the Regional Director, Region V, Federal Labor Relations Authority, 175 W. Jackson Blvd., Suite 1359-A, Chicago, IL 60604, in writing, within 30 days from the date of this Order, as to what steps have been taken to comply.

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 refuse to bargain in good faith with the American Federation of Government Employees, Council 214, AFL-CIO, the exclusive representative of certain of our employees, concerning "Last Chance Agreements" and the issuance of temporary credentials for union representatives who are not Air Force employees.

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.

WE WILL upon request, and to the extent consistent with applicable law, rule and regulation, bargain with the American Federation of Government Employees, Council 214, AFL-CIO, concerning "Last Chance Agreements" and the issuance of temporary credentials for union representatives who are not Air Force employees.

_______________________
(Agency)

Dated:_________By:__________________________

(Signature) (Title)

This Notice must remain posted for 60 consecutive days from the date of posting and must not be altered, defaced, or covered by any other material.

If employees have any questions concerning this Notice or compliance with any of its provisions, they may communicate directly with the Regional Director of the Federal Labor Relations Authority, Region V, whose address is: 175 W. Jackson Blvd., Suite 1359-A, Chicago, IL 60604, and whose telephone number is: (312) 353-6306.

APPENDIX

PROCEDURES FOR UNION INITIATED MID-TERM BARGAINING

1. The employer will not be obligated to negotiate over union initiated mid-term bargaining proposals and failure to do so will not constitute an unfair labor practice.

In the event it is determined that the above management proposal is unacceptable then the following proposals are submitted:

2. AFGE promises to negotiate a "zipper clause" when the MLA is renegotiated.

3. Until (1) above is negotiated in the MLA, the AFGE will be limited to one (1) mid-term bargaining initiative per calendar year.

4. The subject the AFGE initiates for mid-term bargaining must not have been previously mentioned, discussed, or proposed at any bargaining table.

5. Union initiated mid-term bargaining must beaccompanied by written proposals.

6. The employer will have 180 workdays to respond to the AFGE's initiated mid-term proposals.

7. Negotiations will begin on a date and time determined by the employer.

8. All disputes over union mid-term bargaining will be subject to resolution under Articles 6 and 7 of the MLA.

9. The employer will not be obligated to furnish the AFGE with any information, data, etc., when the union initiates mid-term bargaining.

10. The employer will not be obligated to conduct a meeting when the union initiates mid-term bargaining.

11. When the AFGE initiates bargaining they will provide the employer with any and all information requested by the employer on the subject. This will be accomplished so the employer can engage intelligently in negotiations with the union on their initiated subject.

12. When AFGE initiates bargaining they will provide the employer, upon request, a meeting to discuss the matter.

13. The parties may seek assistance of the FMCS or the FSIP only by mutual agreement.

14. The employer may delegate the subject matter proposed by the AFGE for mid-term bargaining to a field activity of their choice to negotiate.

15. The employer reserves its right to submit additional proposals on this subject.

16. Nothing herein is considered or intended to waive any management right.




FOOTNOTES:
(If blank, the decision does not have footnotes.)
 

1. The Respondent's proposals are contained in the Appendix to this decision.

2. For reasons discussed in connection with our disposition of the General Counsel's Motion to Strike portions of the Respondent's exceptions, we do not consider evidence offered by the Respondent concerning events subsequent to the hearing.

3. Section 7119 of the Statute provides that either party may request assistance from FMCS and the Panel.

4. We note that on January 23, 1989, over 1 year after the events occurring in this case, two Union proposals concerning the issuance of temporary credentials at the Respondent's Air Logistics Centers at Tinker and Robins Air Force Bases which had been submitted in collective bargaining were declared nonnegotiable by the Agency. In American Federation of Government Employees, Council 214 and Department of the Air Force, Air Force Logistics Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, 34 FLRA 977 (1990), the Unio