44:0728(59)NG - - Navy Ships Parts Control Center, Mechanicsburg, PA and AFGE Local 1156 - - 1992 FLRAdec NG - - v44 p728
[ v44 p728 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
44 FLRA No. 59
FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY
NAVY SHIPS PARTS CONTROL CENTER
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES
DECISION AND ORDER ON NEGOTIABILITY ISSUES
March 30, 1992
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)(D) and (E) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute). The appeal concerns the negotiability of two proposals, which preclude the Agency from requiring employees who drive on the Agency's premises to obtain and use certain motorcycle and motor vehicle safety equipment. The Union did not file a reply brief. For the following reasons, we find that both proposals are nonnegotiable because they directly and excessively interfere with management's right to determine its internal security practices under section 7106(a)(1) of the Statute.
II. Background and Proposals
In response to the proposed implementation of an Agency plan requiring motorcycle and motor vehicle operators on the Agency's premises to obtain and use safety equipment that is not required by the State of Pennsylvania, the Union submitted the following proposals:
SPCC will not implement the motorcycle provisions of the safety plan that exceed the requirement of the State of Pennsylvania for the operation of motorcycles on public roads.
Cars without seat belts, that are permitted to be driven on public roads by state law, shall also be allowed to drive on base.
III. Positions of the Parties
A. The Agency
The Agency contends that the proposals conflict with its right to determine its internal security practices under section 7106(a)(1) of the Statue.(*) In this connection, the Agency argues that its "motor vehicle safety requirements are established for the primary purpose of protecting life, limb, and property of those individuals who walk, drive and work within the confines of the base." Statement of Position at 5.
The Agency also contends that the proposals are not appropriate arrangements under section 7106(b)(3) of the Statute. The Agency notes that in order to satisfy the Agency's motor vehicle safety requirements, "[e]mployees wishing to bring motorcycles and pre-1966 automobiles on base, who do not have proper garments, shoes, safety vests, rear-view mirrors, and installed seatbelts in their pre-1966 cars, would have to purchase them . . . ." Id. at 8. The Agency acknowledges that "the additional expense of the equipment" may adversely affect employees. Id. at 9. The Agency argues, however, that "the safety benefits to the entire workforce far outweigh the possible adverse impact on the few employees affected by the policy." Id. The Agency states that the revised plan would affect "approximately 100 motorcycles and 35 pre-1966 automobiles . . . a small portion of the estimated 1600 registered motor vehicles authorized to be used by employees . . . ." Id. The Agency asserts that if it is unable to require additional safety equipment, "the risk of life and injury would seriously jeopardize the [Agency's] responsibility to provide a safe work environment for its entire workforce of 5500 employees." Id.
B. The Union
The Union argues that "safety requirements that exceed those of the State of Pennsylvania are unnecessary, given the circumstances of driving on the base." Petition for Review at 2 of Enclosure 2. The Union argues that because of the "zero-accident rate and the other safety measures in force on the base--slow speed limits, many stop signs and short traveling distances" it is unnecessary to require employees "to purchase additional safety equipment that they do not need to use while driving 55 MPH on a state or interstate road outside of the base." Id. The Union also argues that the "additional equipment is costly and may be a difficult burden for employees . . . ." Id. at 3. The Union concludes that the proposals are appropriate arrangements "to protect the bargaining unit from excessive and unnecessary interference and cost . . . ." Id. at 4.
IV. Analysis and Conclusions
A. The Proposals Directly Interfere with Management's Right to Determine Its Internal Security Practices
An agency's right to determine its internal security practices under section 7106(a)(1) of the Statute includes the right to determine policies which are part of a plan to secure or safeguard personnel and physical property. For example, American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1482 and U.S. Department of the Navy, United Stated Marine Corps Logistics Base, Barstow, California, 40 FLRA 12, 15-16 (1991) (Marine Corps Logistics Base). Where an agency shows a link or reasonable connection between its goal of safeguarding personnel or property and a plan to implement that goal, a proposal which directly interferes with the plan conflicts with the agency's right under section 7106(a)(1) of the Statute. Id.
The Agency states that the safety requirements which would be affected by the proposals "are established for the primary purpose of protecting life, limb, and property of those individuals who walk, drive and work within the confines of the base." Statement of Position at 5. We find, based on this statement, that the Agency has established a link between its goal of safeguarding personnel and property and its requirement that operators of motorcycles and automobiles on the Agency's premises obtain and use certain protective safety equipment. Accordingly, we find that the Agency's right to determine its internal security practices includes the right to require the use of the disputed equipment. See Marine Corps Logistics Base.
The proposals would preclude the Agency from requiring the use of safety equipment other than that required by the State of Pennsylvania. The Agency's right to determine its internal security practices encompasses the right to require the use of this equipment. Consequently, the proposals directly interfere with management's right under section 7106(a)(1). See id. and cases cited therein.
B. The Proposals Are Not Appropriate Arrangements
Although the proposals directly interfere with the Agency's right to determine its internal security practices, they are negotiable if they constitute appropriate arrangements within the meaning of section 7106(b)(3) of the Statute.
In determining whether a proposal is an appropriate arrangement under section 7106(b)(3), we first determine whether the proposal is intended to be an arrangement for employees adversely affected by the exercise of a management right. If the proposal is intended to be an arrangement, we next examine whether the proposal is appropriate because it does not excessively interfere with the exercise of the management right. National Association of Government Employees, Local R14-87 and Kansas Army National Guard, 21 FLRA 24, 31 (1986).
The Union states that the disputed safety equipment is "costly and may be a difficult burden for employees who depend on their motorcycle or pre-66 car for commuting to work." Petition for Review at 3 of Enclosure 2. Further, according to the Union, "if the pre-66 car is registered as 'antique' or 'classic', the addition of seatbelts will cause the value of the vehicle to drop." Id. The proposals would mitigate these effects by precluding the Agency from requiring the use of the disputed equipment and, thereby, eliminate an employee's need to expend personal funds to obtain it. We conclude, therefore, that the proposals are intended as arrangements. See National Association of Government Employees, SEIU, Local R7-51 and Department of the Navy, Navy Public Works Center, Great Lakes, Illinois, 30 FLRA 415, 419 (1987) (Navy, Great Lakes).
However, we also conclude that, on balance, the benefits afforded employees by the proposals do not outweigh the proposals' burden on the Agency's right to determine its internal security practices.
The proposals would prohibit the Agency from requiring employees to obtain and use safety equipment that is not required by the State of Pennsylvania. In this regard, the prohibition is blanket and, as such, would impose a severe restriction on the Agency's right to determine its internal security practices. On the other hand, the proposals clearly would benefit employees. In this regard, however, it is undisputed that there are only about 100 motorcycles and 35 automobiles, out of approximately 1600 motor vehicles registered for use on the Agency's premises, that would be affected by the proposals. Moreover, the record is silent with respect to how many unit employees operating such vehicles would be required to purchase safety equipment or how much that equipment would cost. On balance, we conclude that the substantial burden imposed by the proposals on the Agency's right to determine its internal security practices outweighs the benefits afforded employees. Accordingly, the proposals excessively interfere with the Agency's right to determine its internal security practices and are nonnegotiable. See National Association of Government Employees, Local R7-72 and U.S. Department of the Army, Rock Island Arse