39:0762(65)NG - - NAGE Local R1-100 and Navy, Naval Submarine Base New London, Groton, CT - - 1991 FLRAdec NG - - v39 p762

[ v39 p762 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

39 FLRA No. 65




LOCAL R1-100









February 22, 1991

Before Chairman McKee and Members Talkin and Armendariz.

I. Statement of the Case

This case is before the Authority on a negotiability appeal filed by the Union under section 7105(a)(2)(E) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute). The case concerns the negotiability of two proposals.

Proposal 1 would require civilian guards to salute commissioned officers who enter the Submarine Base when the officers display proper identification, and Proposal 2 would permit the guards not to salute individuals in vehicles displaying a blue officer's sticker when these vehicles are not driven by officers. For the following reasons, we conclude that both proposals are nonnegotiable.

II. Proposals 1 and 2

Proposal 1

Guards (085) salute Commissioned officers in and out of their vehicle[s] when proper identification is given upon entering Subase [sic].

Proposal 2

Guards (085) not salute all others that are non-commissioned officers when driving an [] officer[']s vehicle that has a blue sticker (officer[']s vehicle) i.e. a[u]nts, uncles, girlfriends, Department of Defense Supervisors, and new owners entering the Base.

III. Positions of the Parties

A. The Agency

The Agency contends that Proposals 1 and 2 interfere with its rights to assign work under section 7106(a)(2)(B) of the Statute, direct employees under section 7106(a)(2)(A), and determine the methods and means of performing work under section 7106(b)(1) of the Statute. With respect to the assignment of work, the Agency asserts that the proposals would prevent management "from assigning employees the duty of saluting automobiles marked with a blue officer's sticker." Statement of Position at 2. In addition, stating that "saluting is an informal performance expectation[,] in contrast to a formal production expectation as established in a performance standard," the Agency asserts that the proposals directly interfere with its rights to direct employees and assign work because the proposals would prevent the Agency "from establishing an informal production standard that concerns the quality of work to be performed." Id. at 5.

Next, the Agency argues that Proposals 1 and 2 interfere with its right to determine the methods and means of performing work under section 7106(b)(1). The Agency contends that the mission of the guard force is, among other things, "to maintain a smooth traffic flow to and from the base, while enforcing security requirements efficiently and courteously." Id. at 6. The Agency argues that the saluting requirement furthers the accomplishment of the mission by "improving the image of the security force with both the military and the public . . . and creating a cooperative attitude in the maintenance of the base security." Id. Consequently, the Agency asserts that the saluting requirement is a means of performing work under section 7106(b)(1) of the Statute.

Finally, the Agency contends that the proposals do not constitute negotiable procedures or appropriate arrangements. The Agency asserts that the Union has failed to "articulate how employees will be detrimentally affected by management's actions" or how the proposals are intended to constitute arrangements for employees who are adversely affected by the exercise of management's rights. Id. at 7.

B. The Union

The Union contends that the proposals do not interfere with the Agency's rights under section 7106 of the Statute. The Union states, in this regard, that it has "no problem saluting an officer once . . . his or her [identification] is established." Reply Brief at 1. The Union argues that examining identification cards of all personnel entering the base is consistent with the guards' mission of maintaining security.

Finally, the Union argues that the proposals constitute an appropriate arrangement to ameliorate the adverse effects of management's requirement that civilian guards salute commissioned officers and vehicles identified with blue officer's stickers. The Union contends that the proposals address its concern for the guards' safety by permitting the guards to check the identification cards of all individuals wishing to enter the base.

IV. Analysis and Conclusions

In Service Employees International Union, Federal Employees Metal Trades Council of Charleston, Local 696 and U.S. Department of The Navy, Naval Station, Charleston, South Carolina, 38 FLRA 10, 13-15 (1990) (Naval Station, Charleston), we considered a proposal which would have required the agency to withdraw its requirement that civilian guards salute military officers and cars identified with officer decals. We found that the agency's saluting requirement constituted an exercise of the agency's section 7106(a)(2)(B) right to assign work. As the proposal expressly prohibited the agency from requiring security guards to salute, we found that the proposal prevented the agency from assigning a particular duty and, therefore, directly interfered with the agency's right to assign work.

In the instant case, the Agency has assigned guards the duty of saluting vehicles displaying blue stickers. Consistent with Naval Station, Charleston, this assignment constitutes an exercise of the Agency's right to assign work. Like the proposal in Naval Station, Charleston, the proposals in this case would prohibit the Agency from continuing these assignments.

We note, in this regard, that Proposal 1 does not expressly refer to blue-stickered vehicles. Proposal 1 does refer, however, to the saluting of commissioned officers both in and out of their vehicles. Proposal 2, on the other hand, refers to the duty of saluting anyone other than a commissioned officer in a blue-stickered vehicle. Neither party addresses the proposals separately. It appears, therefore, that consistent with the plain wording of the proposals as well as the parties' understandings of them, the proposals are intended to operate together. When read together, it is clear that the proposals would permit guards to not perform the duty of saluting a vehicle identified with a blue officer's sticker unless the vehicle was driven by a commissioned officer and the officer displayed proper identification.(*)

As the Agency has assigned guards the duty of saluting any blue-stickered vehicle and has not conditioned that assignment on the identity of the driver or on the driver displaying proper identification, we conclude, based on Naval Station, Charleston, that the proposals directly interfere with the Agency's right to assign work under section 7106(a)(2)(B).

We now turn to the Union's contention that the proposals are negotiable as appropriate arrangements under section 7106(b)(3). In determining whether a proposal is an appropriate arrangement, the Authority first decides whether the proposal is an "arrangement" for employees adversely affected by the exercise of management rights by examining "the effects or foreseeable effects on employees which flow from the exercise of those rights, and how those effects are adverse." National Association of Government Employees, Local R14-87 and Kansas Army National Guard, 21 FLRA 24, 31 (1986). Proposals addressing "purely speculative or hypothetical concerns, or which are otherwise unrelated to management's exercise of its reserved rights[,]" will be excluded from consideration as appropriate arrangements. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Local 3097 and Department of Justice, 24 FLRA 453, 458 (1986). Where an adverse effect is reasonably foreseeable, and the disputed proposal is intended to be an arrangement for employees adversely affected, we will examine whether the proposal excessively interferes with management's rights. National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 2096 and U.S. Department of the Navy, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Western Division, 36 FLRA 834, 841 (1990).

We conclude that the proposals do not constitute arrangements for employees who are adversely affected by the exercise of a management right. The Union has not explained, and it is not otherwise apparent, that the assignment of the duty of saluting blue-stickered vehicles has adversely affected employees or would have such effect. The Union has not alleged, for example, that accomplishing the disputed assignment affects the guards' other work requirements, affects their performance appraisals, or has any other impact on the guards' working conditions. Compare Overseas Education Association and Department of Defense Dependents Schools, 39 FLRA No. 10, slip op. at 4-9 (1991) (as union's concerns about the assignment of certain duties to unit employees were not speculative or hypothetical, proposal precluding the assignment of those duties in certain circumstances, constituted an arrangement). In fact, the Union acknowledges that guards "are not judged on [how] well, or how many times they salute." Reply Brief at 2.

We note the Union's assertion that it is in both parties' best interests that "guards be allowed to work in a safe [e]nvironment, without the distractions of having to wo