46:0520(48)NG - - NAGE Local R1-100 and Navy Branch Exchange Store, Naval Submarine Base, New London, Groton, CT - - 1992 FLRAdec NG - - v46 p520



[ v46 p520 ]
46:0520(48)NG
The decision of the Authority follows:


46 FLRA No. 48

FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY

WASHINGTON, D.C.

_____

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES

LOCAL R1-100

(Union)

and

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY

NAVY BRANCH EXCHANGE STORE

U.S. NAVAL SUBMARINE BASE, NEW LONDON

GROTON, CONNECTICUT

(Agency)

0-NG-2067

_____

DECISION AND ORDER ON A NEGOTIABILITY ISSUE

November 12, 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 under section 7105(a)(2)(D) and (E) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute). The appeal concerns the negotiability of one proposal.

For the following reasons, we conclude that the proposal, which addresses shopping privileges for civilian employees at the Agency's exchange, is nonnegotiable.

II. Proposal

That all civilian employees, of the Subase be allowed to shop at all exchange outlets not the commissary and that the employees will be allowed to do so during prescribed hours set by the exchange [Officer in Charge] of the exchange. More hours will be allowed if the demand for profit is more e.g. if the exchange is in the red considerbly [sic], hours for civilians will be expanded to bring the exchange out of the red and to maintain a (40 hr.) work week.

III. Positions of the Parties

A. Union

The Union did not file a reply brief in this case. Following is the entire relevant portion of the Union's petition for review:

[The proposal] seeks nothing more than help [sic] both the employer and the employee. The employer benifits [sic] by selling more of his products thus producing a greater profit margin for the local Exchange. The employee's [sic] of Subase would be able to shop at the exchange at designated days and [sic] set forth by the exchange officer at times that are both convient [sic] and non-interfering with the primary customers; the privilege would also provide a convience [sic] to D.O.D. employees in that shoping [sic] could be done at the same facility they make their living.

Petition for Review at 1.

B. Agency

The Agency notes that the disputed proposal encompasses all civilian employees of the Naval Submarine Base. The Agency states, in this regard:

[T]he employees of the bargaining unit are already permitted to shop at the Exchange by virtue of their status as Exchange employees. Thus, the focus of the proposal is on the appropriated fund employees of the Submarine Base, who are not employees of the Exchange and are not authorized to shop there . . . . These appropriated fund employees . . . are not members of the bargaining unit involved in this case.

Statement of Position at 5.

According to the Agency, as the principal focus of the proposal is on supervisors and employees in other bargaining units, the proposal does not concern conditions of employment of unit employees. The Agency relies, in this regard, on United States Department of the Navy, Naval Aviation Depot, Cherry Point, North Carolina v. FLRA, 952 F.2d 1434 (D.C. Cir. 1992) (Cherry Point). In addition, citing Antilles Consolidated Education Association and Antilles Consolidated School System, 22 FLRA 235 (1986) (Antilles), the Agency argues that the Union has failed to allege or demonstrate that the proposal affects unit employees' working conditions.

The Agency also asserts that the proposal directly and excessively interferes with its right to determine its mission under section 7106(a)(1) of the Statute. In this regard, the Agency claims that "the determination of the customer base which a 'business' is created to serve is integrally related to its mission." Statement of Position at 15.

Finally, the Agency argues that the proposal conflicts with an Agency regulation for which a compelling need exists. The Agency relies on Department of Defense Directive 1330.9, which sets forth the individuals who are authorized to shop at exchanges and which does not include the civilian employees of the Submarine Based encompassed by the proposal. According to the Agency, the regulation satisfies the criteria for compelling need set forth in section 2424.11(a) and (c) of the Authority's Regulations, which provide, in relevant part:

A compelling need exists for an agency rule . . . when the agency demonstrates that the rule . . . meets one or more of the following illustrative criteria:

(a) The rule . . . is essential, as distinguished from helpful or desirable, to the accomplishment of the mission or the execution of functions of the agency . . . in a manner which is consistent with the requirements of an effective and efficient government.

. . . .

(c) The rule . . . implements a mandate to the agency . . . under law or other outside authority, which implementation is essentially nondiscretionary in nature.

With respect to criterion (a), the Agency argues that the proposal "would create unfair competition with the private sector, jeopardize congressional support and therefore, the viability of the" military morale, welfare, and recreation program. Statement of Position at 24. With respect to criterion (c), the Agency asserts that the DoD directive "implements Congressional mandates . . . concerning the operation of military exchanges, including determinations as to patron eligibility." Id.

IV. Analysis and Conclusions

Under Antilles, the Authority determines whether a proposal concerns a condition of employment of unit employees by determining whether the proposal pertains to unit employees and, if it does, by examining the nature and extent of the effect of the matter proposed to be bargained on unit employees' working conditions. Consistent with Antilles, proposals granting exchange privileges to unit employees have been found to concern conditions of employment. See generally, AFGE, Local 2671 v. FLRA, 866 F.2d 1443 (D.C. Cir. 1989).

In this case, however, the Union does not propose to extend exchange privileges to unit employees. In this regard, it is undisputed that employees in the unit for which the proposal is offered already are granted shopping privileges at the exchange. Instead, the proposal would extend exchange privileges to other personnel.

In Cherry Point, the court held, as relevant here, that the "vitally affects" test is appropriately used "to define the limited circumstances in which subjects not normally seen to be within the compass of mandatory bargaining--e.g., the terms of a relationship between the employer and a third party--may become mandatory subjects due to their effect on bargaining unit employees." 952 F.2d at 1440. The court added that the test "is not implicated . . . merely because a union proposal . . . would . . . have some impact on persons outside the bargaining unit." Id. (emphasis in original). According to the court, the vitally affects test applies only