45:0802(72)NG - - NAGE Local R12-33 and Navy, Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, Point Mugu, CA - - 1992 FLRAdec NG - - v45 p802
[ v45 p802 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
45 FLRA No. 72
FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY
NAVAL AIR WARFARE CENTER
POINT MUGU, CALIFORNIA
DECISION AND ORDER ON A NEGOTIABILITY ISSUE
August 7, 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)(E) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute). The appeal concerns the negotiability of a single proposal, which requires the Agency to reclassify certain positions. The Union did not file a reply brief. For the following reasons, we find that the proposal is nonnegotiable.
That Management reclassify a minimum of thirty (30) Firefighter, GS-081-05 positions to the GS-081-06 level and that if management requires the remaining GS-081-05 Firefighters to perform duties at the GS-081-06 level these positions shall also be reclassified to the GS-081-06 level.
III. Positions of the Parties
The Agency argues that the proposal concerns the classification of positions and, therefore, is nonnegotiable because it is excluded from the definition of conditions of employment by section 7103(a)(14) of the Statute. The Agency also contends that the proposal relates to grades of positions, which are negotiable only at the election of the Agency under section 7106(b)(1) of the Statute.
The Union notes that the dispute in this case arose when the Agency decided "to require all applicants for the position of Firefighter Driver/Operator GS-081-6 take and pass a written, as well as, a road test to qualify for that position." Memorandum in Support of Petition for Review at 2. The Union contends that it argued to the Agency that all GS-5 positions should be reclassified at the GS-6 level because "GS-5 employees have historically been required to perform GS-6 duties including driving and operating firefighting equipment." Id. According to the Union, however, when the Agency stated that it would not reclassify more than 15 GS-5 positions, the Union submitted the proposal in dispute.
As to the disputed proposal, the Union contends that the Agency may elect under section 7106(b)(1) of the Statute to negotiate on the number of GS-6 firefighter positions. The Union claims that the Agency elected to negotiate with the Union on the number of GS-6 positions and "cannot now . . . refuse to negotiate on this issue." Id. at 3.
IV. Analysis and Conclusions
Section 7103(a)(14)(B) of the Statute excludes from the definition of conditions of employment matters "relating to the classification of any position[.]" Proposals concerning the pay level of positions concern classification of positions, within the meaning of section 7103(a)(14)(B). See National Association of Government Employees, Federal Union of Scientists and Engineers, Local R14-144 and U.S. Department of the Navy, Naval Underwater Systems Center, Newport, Rhode Island, 42 FLRA 1285, 1291-92 (1991) and cases cited therein.
The proposal requires that 30 GS-5 firefighter positions be classified at the GS-6 level and that if any remaining GS-5 firefighters are required to perform GS-6 duties, the Agency also must reclassify those positions. The Union confirms that the proposal would require the Agency to reclassify existing firefighter positions. Based on its plain wording and the Union's statement, it is clear that the proposal would require the Agency