48:0291(24)NG - - United Power Trades Organization and Army Corps of Engineers, North Pacific Division, Portland, OR - - 1993 FLRAdec NG - - v48 p291



[ v48 p291 ]
48:0291(24)NG
The decision of the Authority follows:


48 FLRA No. 24

FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY

WASHINGTON, D.C.

_____

UNITED POWER TRADES ORGANIZATION

(Union)

and

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY

ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS

NORTH PACIFIC DIVISION

PORTLAND, OREGON

(Agency)

0-NG-2141

_____

DECISION AND ORDER ON A NEGOTIBILITY ISSUE

August 18, 1993

_____

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), and concerns the negotiability of a single proposal obligating the Agency to reimburse employees' job-related license fees. For the reasons which follow, we find that the proposal is nonnegotiable.

II. Proposal

The [A]gency shall reimburse bargaining unit employees for any license fees they are required to pay, i.e.: motor vehicle licenses, sewage treatment licenses, and the like, provided that the employer requires the employees to hold such licenses as a condition of employment.

III. Positions of the Parties

The Agency argues that the proposal is nonnegotiable under section 7117(a)(1) of the Statute because it is inconsistent with the Government Employees Training Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 4101-4118 (Training Act).

The Union argues that, notwithstanding Authority precedent to the contrary, the definition of training in the Training Act is "broad enough" to permit reimbursing employees for license fees. Reply Brief at 1. The Union also contends that a finding that expenditures for licenses are not authorized by the Training Act "does not mean [such expenditures] would be 'inconsistent with' the [Training] Act." Id. According to the Union, nothing in the Training Act "states or implies that it is the exclusive source of funding for expenses incurred by employee in order to . . . hold their positions." Id. at 2. Moreover, the Union claims that Federal agencies are "broadly required to bargain over 'conditions of employment[]'" which "clearly encompass[] the type of proposal" in this case. Id.

IV. Analysis and Conclusions

The proposal in this case is to the same effect as the portions of Proposals 1 and 5 found nonnegotiable in National Association of Government Employees, Local R1-100 and U.S. Department of the Navy, Naval Submarine Base New London, Groton, Connecticut, 47 FLRA 750, 755-56 (1993) (Naval Submarine Base). Proposals 1 and 5 required the payment of, among other things not relevant here, employees' fees for obtaining job-related permits and licenses. In Naval Submarine Base, we noted that the Comptroller General had determined that the payment of employees' fees for obtaining job-related permits or licenses constituted personal expenses of employees because there is no specific statutory authority to charge appropriated funds for such expenses. Id. Accordingly, we concluded that a requirement that employees be reimbursed for such expenses was inconsistent with law and nonnegotiable under section 7117(a)(1) of the Statute. The Union in this case has cited no specific statutory authority for the Agency to pay an employee's job-related license and permi