38:1485(119)CA - - Air Force, Space Systems Division, Los Angeles AFB, CA and AFGE Local 2429; Air Force, Air Force Contract Management Division, Los Angeles AFB, CA and AFGE Local 2429 - - 1991 FLRAdec CA - - v38 p1485

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[ v38 p1485 ]
38:1485(119)CA
The decision of the Authority follows:


38 FLRA No. 119

FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY

WASHINGTON, D.C.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE

SPACE SYSTEMS DIVISION

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, CALIFORNIA

(Respondent)

and

AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES

LOCAL 2429, AFL-CIO

(Charging Party/ Union)

8-CA-90241

AND

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE

AIR FORCE CONTRACT MANAGEMENT DIVISION

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, CALIFORNIA

(Respondent)

and

AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES

LOCAL 2429, AFL-CIO

(Charging Party/ Union)

8-CA-90248

DECISION AND ORDER

January 15, 1991

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 (5) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute) by unilaterally changing its smoking policy before good faith bargaining had been completed.(1) The Judge concluded that the parties had not reached an impasse in negotiation when the smoking policy of Air Force Regulation (AFR) 30-27 was implemented by the Respondent at the Space Systems Division on March 1, 1989, and various Plant Representative offices of the Contract Management Division in May 1989.

The Respondent filed exceptions to the Judge's decision and order. The General Counsel did not file an opposition to the Respondent's exceptions.

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 those rulings. Upon consideration of the Judge's Decision and the entire record, we adopt the Judge's findings and conclusions, and recommended Order as modified below.

II. Respondent's Exceptions

The Respondent raises two exceptions to the Judge's decision:

1. The Respondent excepts to the Judge's conclusion that it violated the Statute by implementing the smoking policy "before good faith bargaining had been completed." Respondent's Brief in Support of Exceptions at 1. The Respondent argues that the new smoking policy was not implemented until after the parties reached an impasse in negotiations and the Union failed to submit the matter to the Federal Service Impasses Panel.

2. The Respondent also excepts to the Judge's recommended Order requiring that the Notice "be signed by the Commander of the Air Force Systems Command (AFSC)," rather than by an official at the level of exclusive recognition. Id. at 2. The Respondent argues that the Notice should be signed by the Commander of the Space Systems Division (SSD). The Respondent asserts that the SSD is the major organization located at the Los Angeles Air Force Base and that the Commander of the SSD is the appointing authority for employees of the SSD, as well as employees of the several tenant organizations located at the Los Angeles Air force Base. In addition, the Respondent claims that the Commander of the SSD was responsible for conducting negotiations with the appropriate unions on behalf of the SSD as well as the Contract Management Division (CMD). (2)

III. Analysis and Conclusions

We reject the arguments made by the Respondent in its first exception and conclude that the record establishes that the Respondent unilaterally implemented the smoking policy of AFR 30-27 while the parties were engaged in negotiations on the matter. Accordingly, we find, in agreement with the Judge and for the reasons stated by the Judge, that the Respondent's actions violated section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute.

However, we agree with the Respondent that the Judge's recommended Order requiring that the Notice be signed by the Commander of AFSC should be modified. We conclude that the Notice should be signed by the Commander of the SSD.

First, we note that the Union is not the exclusive representative of a unit of employees at AFSC level, but rather, is the exclusive representative of units of employees at the Division level of the AFSC. The record reflects that the Union is certified as the exclusive representative of three separate units: (1) professional and non