48:1076(118)CU - - DOD Dependent Schools and Overseas Education Association, NEA and Overseas Federation of Teachers and Panama Canal Federation of Teachers - - 1993 FLRAdec CU - - v48 p1076



[ v48 p1076 ]
48:1076(118)CU
The decision of the Authority follows:


48 FLRA No. 118

FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY

WASHINGTON, D.C.

_____

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

DEPENDENTS SCHOOLS

(Activity)

and

OVERSEAS EDUCATION ASSOCIATION, NEA

(Labor Organization/Petitioner)

and

OVERSEAS FEDERATION OF TEACHERS

AFT, AFL-CIO

(Labor Organization/Intervenor)

and

PANAMA CANAL FEDERATION OF TEACHERS

AFT, AFL-CIO

(Labor Organization/Intervenor)

WA-CU-20896

_____

ORDER DENYING APPLICATION FOR REVIEW

December 8, 1993

_____

Before Chairman McKee and Members Talkin and Armendariz.

I. Statement of the Case

This case is before the Authority on an application for review filed by the Petitioner, the Overseas Education Association, NEA (OEA), under section 2422.17(a) of the Authority's Rules and Regulations. OEA seeks review of the Regional Director's (RD's) Decision and Order on Petition for Clarification of Unit. The RD found that the employees in the Activity's Panama and Mediterranean regions have not accreted into the unit represented by OEA and dismissed the petition. The Intervenors, the Overseas Federation of Teachers, AFT, AFL-CIO (OFT) and the Panama Canal Federation of Teachers, AFT, AFL-CIO (PCFT), filed an opposition to the OEA's application for review.

For the following reasons, we deny the application for review.

II. Background and RD's Decision

The petition in this case, filed by OEA, seeks to clarify OEA's existing unit to include, as a result of the centralization of the Activity's personnel functions, all employees in the Activity's Panama and Mediterranean regions currently represented by the Intervenors.

The Activity is an organizational element of the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) and consists of approximately 224 schools in 19 countries. The Activity is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, and prior to the reorganization, its operations were conducted in five geographic regions: Atlantic, Pacific, Germany, Mediterranean and Panama. Each region has a regional director who reports to the Director of the DoDEA. On June 17, 1992, as mandated by the Defense Management Report Decision Number 973 (DMRD 973), the DoDEA management-employee relations branch (MER branch) was consolidated into one centralized management personnel center located at the Activity's headquarters. The MER branch at the Activity increased in staff from 3 to 41 employees and management-employee relations functions are now coordinated through the Activity's headquarters. The RD found that the consolidation of personnel functions was not to be completed until October 1, 1993.(1)

As a result of the reorganization, the Panama Region merged with the former Islands District office and became the Panama/Islands Area.(2) The director for the new area is now located in the Activity's headquarters. In addition, certain support and administrative functions for the Panama/Islands Area were relocated to the Activity's headquarters as part of the general consolidation of personnel functions, and an additional assistant area director was added as a second level supervisor in the Panama area. However, the school-based personnel remained the same.

OEA is the exclusive representative of all professional school-level personnel employed by the Activity in its Atlantic, Germany, and Pacific regions, but excluding all nonprofessional employees, education aides, substitute teachers, management officials, supervisors, and those employees otherwise excluded by the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute). The OEA unit also includes employees of the newly created Panama/Islands Area who are stationed at work sites outside Panama.

PCFT is the exclusive representative of all professional school-level personnel employed by the Activity's Panama Region, excluding all nonprofessional employees, substitute teachers, management officials, supervisors and employees described in section 7112(b)(2), (3), (4), (6) and (7) of the Statute.

OFT is the exclusive representative of all professional school-level personnel employed by the Activity's Mediterranean Region, excluding all nonprofessional employees, substitute teachers, management officials, supervisors and employees described in section 7112(b)(2), (3), (4), (6) and (7) of the Statute.

OEA contended before the RD that because of the consolidation of personnel functions and the reorganization, the PCFT unit and the OFT unit are no longer appropriate for the purposes of exclusive recognition under the Statute. Rather, OEA asserted that the employees in the Panama and Mediterranean regions now share a community of interest with the employees in the OEA bargaining unit and that, therefore, the employees in the Panama and Mediterranean regions should be accreted to its unit. The Activity agreed that the proposed accretion was appropriate, contending that the employees in the Panama and Mediterranean regions no longer share a community of interest separate and apart from employees in the OEA unit. The Activity further contended that granting the proposed accretion would promote effective dealings and efficiency of agency operations.

Both PCFT and OFT maintained before the RD that their separate bargaining units continue to be appropriate under the Statute because the employees in each unit possess a community of interest separate and apart from employees in the other Activity regions. PCFT and OFT further contended that OEA's petition was premature because the centralization of the Activity's personnel functions would not be completed until October 1993.

The RD made the following findings regarding the reorganization of the Panama Region into the Panama/Islands Area. Since the reorganization, there has been no interchange between employees in Panama and the former Islands District and there has been no integration of operational procedures between the two areas. Further, the reorganization did not change any of the working conditions of the Panama Region employees or their reporting structure. Those employees continue to have a separate basic pay schedule, coverage by certain different statutes, separate regulations regarding certain benefits and living quarters allowances, and a different school-day and school-year calendar from the employees in the Islands schools. The RD also found that there is a labor relations specialist stationed in Panama to handle labor relations matters for those employees.

With regard to the Mediterranean Region, the RD found that the students, teachers and principals remain in the schools to which they had originally been assigned and perform the same work, with no movement or interchange between OEA and the OFT units. While the Mediterranean Region had a reduction in the personnel assigned to the MER staff, a labor relations officer still remains in the region.

The RD further found that: (1) the directors of the Mediterranean Region and the Panama/Islands Area continue to have latitude in establishing policies, procedures and working conditions in order to provide for unique problems occurring in their respective regions; (2) the regional directors still retain the right to accept, reject or modify grievances drafted in the Activity's headquarters; (3) there have been no significant changes in the reporting structure of the employees in the two units; and (4) there has been no interaction between the employees represented by OFT and PCFT and their counterparts in the other regions.

The RD concluded, based on the record, that the disputed employees continue to share a clear and identifiable community of interest at the local level in their respective regions. The RD determined that, in the absence of evidence that the employees represented by OFT and PCFT have been organizationally and operationally integrated into the other regions, the consolidation of personnel functions, standing alone, does not warrant a finding that they have accreted into the unit represented by OEA. The RD further concluded that the proposed accretion would not promote effective dealings with the Activity or promote the efficiency of the Activity's operations. In this regard, the RD relied on the fact that the Activity's regional directors continue to have authority to administer the operations of their respective regions insofar as they involve local conditions of employment and personnel issues that are distinct to each region. Further, the RD found no evidence to preclude the regional directors from effectively administrating a negotiated agreement at the local level.

Accordingly, the RD concluded that the employees in the Panama and Mediterranean regions who are currently represented by PCFT and OFT have not accreted into the unit represented by OEA, and he dismissed the petition.

III. Positions of the Parties

A. OEA's Application for Review

OEA contends that the RD's decision was not based on the facts presented and that the RD departed from well-established Authority precedent. OEA maintains that the RD's decision is clearly erroneous and that such error prejudicially affects its rights.

OEA contends that, based on all the facts, a separate bargaining unit for the Panama schools is not appropriate. OEA asserts that, contrary to the RD's decision, the Panama Region has experienced a "dramatic" change in operating procedures. Application at 13. OEA states that, as the result of the reorganization and the merger of the Panama Region with the Islands District: (1) the Panama regional office was drastically reduced in scope and operation; (2) the district office in Bermuda and the regional headquarters in Panama were closed; (3) the personnel staff in Panama was reduced; (4) many functions were moved from Panama to the Activity's headquarters; (5) the position of Panama/Islands area director was established in the Activity's headquarters; and (6) the area director is now responsible for the full direction of the schools in both locations while the new assistant director in Panama is responsible only for the day-to-day direction of the Panama area schools.

OEA disputes the RD's reliance on the absence of interchange between employees. OEA notes that all Activity teachers may be interchanged worldwide under the Activity's transfer program due to the similarity of working conditions in all regions and the standardized qualifications of the teachers. Moreover, OEA maintains that the RD is incorrect in inferring that physical relocation of employees is a condition precedent to a finding of accretion, citing in support Department of the Navy, Naval Supply Center, Oakland, California, 5 FLRA 775 (1981) (Department of the Navy), in which the Authority held that there was an accretion even though the employees did not physically relocate. OEA also cites National Treasury Employees Union, Chapter 243, 39 FLRA 96 (1991) (NTEU), claiming that "the Authority concluded that the establishment of a separate bargaining unit on the basis of geographic separation of units alone would not promote effective dealings or efficiency of [a]gency operations." Application at 16. Conceding that Activity teachers have not relocated as a result of the reorganization, OEA argues that DoDDS teachers in the Panama and Mediterranean Regions are "organizationally and operationally integrated into the DoDDS worldwide system . . . ." Id.

OEA asserts that the RD incorrectly based his decision with regard to the Panama Region on factors that were supposedly specific to that region without focusing on the worldwide operations of the Activity's system. OEA contends that the Activity has drastically changed the organizational structure in which regional offices operate and that all personnel functions and other support functions are now centralized and are generally uniform across regions. For example, OEA argues that all Activity teachers are governed by the same law and are compensated based on the same salary schedule. OEA concedes, however, that each region has "degrees of allowances" depending upon the station and/or the remoteness of the area. Id. at 17. OEA explains that the Panama area's 15 percent differential does not change the employees' base salary.

OEA further contends that the RD mistakenly focused on the fact that some Panama employees are not covered by certain statutes because they were originally hired prior to the enactment of the Panama Canal Act of 1979 and were, therefore, employed under a different statute. However, OEA contends that all teachers in Panama are employed under the same statute as other Activity employees, and argues that, in any event, employment under a different statute does not preclude a teacher from being a member of the worldwide bargaining unit.

With regard to the Mediterranean region, OEA similarly contends that the RD failed to consider factual evidence presented to him. OEA argues that the RD should not have focused on employee movement or interchange, but instead should have considered that the Mediterranean regional office experienced a significant reduction in the MER staff and that supervision of the regional office's MER staff now comes from the personnel office at headquarters.

OEA also contends that the RD erred in concluding that the regional directors in the two regions continue to establish policies, procedures and working conditions. OEA argues that the evidence presented establishes that, as a result of the consolidation, the Activity's headquarters assumed responsibility for providing advice, guidance, operational support on adverse actions, discipline, performance management, administrative grievances, and Merit Systems Protection Board hearings to all Activity administrators, including regional directors, and that the headquarters staff has the responsibility for all labor-management relations functions. OEA stresses that the record shows that a regional director's role in deciding grievances has been diminished. Moreover, OEA contends that a regional structure and the presence of regional directors with limited autonomy for handling day-to-day matters does not foreclose a finding by the Authority that a regional unit is not appropriate if the directors must strictly adhere to centralized guidelines and directives, citing Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, New England Region, 20 FLRA 224 (1985).

Next, OEA contends that a worldwide unit is appropriate. OEA asserts that the employees worldwide share a clear and identifiable community of interest. In this regard, OEA argues that: (1) teachers perform similar duties and functions; (2) the general classroom environment for all teachers is essentially the same; (3) all teachers use a worldwide curriculum established by headquarters; (4) all teachers are subject to the same personnel and labor relations policies; (5) hiring and minimum qualification requirements are controlled by headquarters; (6) headquarters personnel solicit qualified individuals worldwide to fill teaching positions overseas; and (7) all teachers share common lines of supervision and are subject to the same Federal Government pay scale and compensation system. OEA also asserts that a worldwide unit would promote efficiency of agency operations and effective dealings with the Union, especially in view of the consolidation of personnel functions at headquarters and the organizational and operational integration of the two regions into the Activity's worldwide system.

Finally, OEA contends that the RD's decision "perpetuates a violation of [section 7114 of the Statute.]" Application at 28. Specifically, OEA argues that it is the only labor organization to have national recognition at the Activity level and that due to the reorganization, the Activity is now improperly giving "quasi-recognition" to two "sub-units" at the national level. Id.

B. Intervenors' Opposition

The Intervenors maintain that the Authority should dismiss OEA's application and affirm the RD's decision.

First, the Intervenors note that the Activity's reorganization plan has not been fully implemented. They argue that the application for review should not be granted because the alleged factual errors by the RD are based on new developments in the reorganization that have occurred since the RD's decision issued. The Intervenors argue that such arguments, however true, constitute new allegations of fact. They claim that an application for review of an RD's representation decision may not raise issues or allege facts not earlier presented to the RD, and that if such issues or facts are raised they will not be considered by the Authority, under 5 C.F.R. § 2422.17(b). The Intervenors also contend that insofar as OEA argues in its application that the RD disregarded the facts and made erroneous conclusions, the OEA's application merely disagrees with the RD's findings and resolutions, and, thus, should be dismissed.

The Intervenors further contend that because the reorganization plan will not be fully implemented until 1994, the petition should be dismissed as premature. The Intervenors maintain that the Activity's consolidation of its personnel functions into one centralized management personnel support center has not changed the integrity of its two regional bargaining units. In this regard, the Intervenors argue that OEA has failed to demonstrate that meaningful changes have occurred in the job duties, functions or job circumstances of employees represented by the Intervenors. The Intervenors assert that in order to sustain a clarification of unit petition where, as in this case, the employees were excluded from the Petitioner's currently certified unit pursuant to a voluntary election,(3) the Petitioner must provide evidence that there were meaningful changes in the duties and functions of the employees after the unit was recognized or certified. The Intervenors cite in support U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Allen Park, Michigan, 43 FLRA 264 (1991).

The Intervenors argue that a labor organization "may file a petition for clarification of an existing unit if a substantial change in character and scope of the unit has occurred." Opposition at 10 (emphasis in original). The Intervenors assert that the changes relied upon in OEA's application "can hardly be termed substantial." Id. at 11. The Intervenors maintain that the Activity's realignment of its personnel functions affects only how the Activity deals with the units in terms of management-employee relations, and will not substantially change the character of the units themselves.

In this regard, the Intervenors assert that the evidence shows that the employees represented by OEA and those represented by the Intervenors have not been so organizationally and operationally integrated by the Activity's reorganization as to lose their separate identity. The Intervenors contend that, to date, no unit employees represented by them have been relocated as a result of the Activity's restructuring of its personnel functions and that there have been no changes in the location, method, or supervision of the work performed by these unit employees except for the replacement of the regional director in Panama with an assistant area director as the second level supervisor. The Intervenors argue that despite the efforts to consolidate its management-employee relations functions, the management, supervision, and discipline of the unit employees is still performed by the regional or area directors, who now receive advice and support in management-employee relations from a centralized location. The Intervenors maintain that this change in no way affects the daily operations of the units at issue.

Further, the Intervenors contend that the RD's decision should be affirmed because there has been no worldwide reorganization of the existing bargaining units so as to justify accretion of the current units represented by the Intervenors into the unit represented by OEA. The Intervenors argue that in deciding questions concerning accretion, the Authority is bound by the three criteria for determining the appropriateness of any unit set forth in section 7112(a)(1) of the Statute. The Intervenors note that the RD found that no worldwide integration of employees has occurred. The Intervenors contend that despite the restructuring of the personnel functions, the Activity's operational and reporting structures remain regional in nature, for the reasons discussed earlier. With respect to the merger of the former Panama Region and the former Islands area, the Intervenors argue that it has resulted only in "de minimis changes" to the bargaining unit represented by PCFT and created no worldwide integration. Id. at 14. They reiterate that the two groups of employees have not been merged or commingled, that there has been little or no interchange between them, and that they continue to have distinct reporting structures.

IV. Analysis and Conclusions

For the following reasons, we conclude that no compelling reasons exist, within the meaning of section 2422.17(c) of the Authority's Rules and Regulations, for granting the OEA's application for review. We find that no substantial question of law is raised by reason of a departure from Authority precedent and that the RD's decision on substantial factual issues has not been shown to be clearly erroneous or to have prejudicially affected the OEA's rights.(4)

In deciding questions concerning the accretion of employees to an existing bargaining unit, the Authority is bound by the criteria for determining the appropriateness of a bargaining unit set forth in section 7112(a)(1) of the Statute. Thus, the Authority may determine that a unit is appropriate only if the determination will: (1) ensure a clear and identifiable community of interest among the employees in the unit; and (2) promote effective dealings with, and efficiency of the operations of, the agency involved. In making determinations under section 7112(a)(1) the Authority examines the factors presented on a case-by-case basis. The Authority has not specified individual factors or the number of such factors needed to conclude that groups of employees share a clear and identifiable community of interest. See Department of Health and Human Services, Region II, New York, New York, 43 FLRA 1245, 1254 (1992); and NTEU, 39 FLRA at 101. The Authority has further held that it will find an accretion only where the evidence clearly shows that the employees at issue have been so organizationally and operationally integrated with the employees of the established exclusively recognized unit as to lose their separate identity. Defense Logistics Agency, Defense Contract Administration Services Region Cleveland, Defense Contract Administration Services Plant Representative Office, Goodyear Aerospace, Akron, Ohio, 15 FLRA 962, 965 (1984) (DLA) (Authority found that although disputed employees shared a community of interest with unit employees, accretion was inappropriate because the two groups were geographically separate, had limited contact with each other, and were organizationally independent).

In DODDS, the Authority found that both a worldwide unit and six regionwide units of the Activity's employees met the unit criteria of the Statute and were appropriate for recognition. The Authority concluded that "[i]n view of this finding, which recognizes that the considerations in favor of each [were] evenly balanced, the determining factor should be the desire of the employees themselves." 6 FLRA at 310-11. Pursuant to this decision, an election was held and the PCFT was certified as the exclusive representative of employees in the Activity's Panama Region, the OFT was certified as the exclusive representative of employees in the Activity's Mediterranean Region, and the OEA was certified as the exclusive representative of employees in the Activity's other regions.

OEA contends that as a result of the centralization of the Activity's personnel functions and the reorganization of the Panama Region, all employees in the Panama and Mediterranean regions represented by the Intervenors have been organizationally and operationally integrated with the employees in its worldwide unit and that, therefore, the two units have lost their separate identity and have accreted to OEA's worldwide bargaining unit. Thus, the issue before us here is whether the Activity's reorganization of the Panama Region and consolidation of its personnel functions so substantially affected the PCFT and OFT bargaining units as to change the Authority's determination in DODDS that both a worldwide unit and regionwide units were equally appropriate. We reject OEA's contention that we should find accretion if the reorganization has rendered a worldwide unit more appropriate. See DLA, 15 FLRA at 965, n.3 (the test for accretion does not depend on whether the employees have a greater community of interest with the employees in the proposed unit than with the employees in the existing unit). We conclude, for the reasons discussed below, that the RD properly determined, based on Authority precedent, that the PCFT and OFT units are still appropriate under section 7122(a)(1) of the Statute.

A. The Effect of the Panama Region Reorganization

We find that the record supports the RD's finding that the reorganization did not substantially change the working conditions of the Panama unit employees and that the Panama employees continue to share a separate community of interest. In this regard, the record shows that the Panama employees: (1) continue to receive pay and benefit allowances unique to their local area; (2) continue to have a different school-day and school-year calendar; and (3) have experienced no interchange with the Islands employees due to the reorganization. As to the latter factor, we reject the OEA's contention that sufficient interchange has been established because position qualifications and working conditions are uniform across the Activity so that a teacher in one region could teach in any other region. We base our conclusions in representation cases "on actual, rather than hypothetical, factors." U.S. Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review, Office of the Chief Immigration Judge, Chicago, Illinois, 48 FLRA 620, 633 (1993) (DOJ). Additionally, the record shows that there has been no interaction between two groups of employees.

We disagree with OEA's contention that the RD relied on the physical relocation of employees as a condition precedent to finding that accretion is appropriate. Instead, the RD relied on several factors in reaching his conclusion that the Panama employees have not lost their separate identity because of the merger, including the absence of employee interchange or integration of operational procedures, the continuation of separate working conditions and reporting structures, and the continuing ability of the area director to establish policies and procedures and to handle grievances at the local level. We stress that the Authority does not rely on individual factors, but, rather, examines the totality of the circumstances in each case in making appropriate unit determinations under section 7112(a)(1) of the Statute. See DOJ, 48 FLRA at 635. In Department of Navy, cited by OEA in support of its position, the Authority found that accretion was appropriate based on a finding that the transferred employees were organizationally and operationally integrated into the existing unit. In this case, the RD concluded, and we agree, that no such integration has occurred and that the employees in Panama have not lost their separate and distinct community of interest due to the merger with the Islands District.

We further conclude that the record supports the finding that the merger did not affect the ability of the separate Panama unit to promote effective dealings with, and efficiency of the operations of, the Activity. We find that after the merger the PCFT unit retains a distinct organizational structure. For example, the assistant area director assumed the day-to-day administration of the Panama area schools from the former Panama regional director, including administering the negotiated agreement. Further, although the former regional office staff was reduced due to the reorganization of the personnel functions, a person remained in Panama to provide labor relations advice and assistance to the assistant area director.

Consequently, we agree with the RD that the merger of the Panama Region with the Islands District does not require a finding that the Panama Region accreted to the OEA unit.

B. The Effect of the Centralization of the Activity's Personnel Functions

We conclude that the RD did not depart from Authority precedent in determining that the centralization of the Activity's personnel functions does not warrant a finding that the Panama and Mediterranean employees have accreted into the OEA unit.

The Authority has stated that evidence of centralized control of operating procedures does not alone require a finding that only a nationwide unit is appropriate. If the Authority were required to find local units inappropriate merely because the facts indicate some centralized control of administrative and personnel matters, we would find few local units to be appropriate. See DOJ, 48 FLRA at 636.

The facts in this case establish only that the Activity is in the process of centralizing its personnel function. The regional/area structure remains in place and the regional or area directors continue to have latitude in establishing policies, procedures, and working conditions within their respective regions. In these circumstances, we agree with the RD that the consolidation of the Activity's personnel functions did not substantially change the character of the bargaining units. Compare DODDS, where the Activity's realignment of its regional structure resulted in a substantial change in the character and scope of the Activity's organization such that the recognized units were no longer appropriate. We find, contrary to the OEA's contention, that the area or regional directors have retained the authority to accept, reject or modify grievances drafted by the centralized personnel staff. In this regard, the only change resulting from the Activity's consolidation of its personnel functions is that the regional directors obtain their management-employee relations advice and assistance from a centralized support staff rather than the regional staff that had reported directly to them. The deciding official on grievances continues to be the regional director, or in the case of Panama, the assistant area director. It is significant that a labor relations advisor remains in both the Panama and Mediterranean offices and that the Intervenors continue to deal with those labor relations personnel on unit matters. Accordingly, in agreement with the RD, we find that the regional directors continue to have authority to administer the operations of their respective regions, insofar as they involve local conditions of employment and personnel issues that are distinct to each region. Further, as found by the RD, there is no evidence that the area or regional directors are precluded from effectively administering a negotiated agreement at the local level. Indeed, since the reorganization, the local agreements have continued to be effectively administered at that level. Therefore, we find that the reorganization of personnel functions did not affect the ability of the individual units to promote effective dealings with, and the efficiency of operations of, the Activity.

We also find that the reorganization of the Activity's personnel functions did not destroy the separate community of interest shared by the employees in the two units. As the RD found, the reorganization did not involve any movement of unit employees. The employees represented by the OFT and the PCFT continue to perform the same work, in the same locations, as before the reorganization. Further, except for the addition of the assistant area director in Panama, there have been no significant changes in the Activity's line authority and there has been no interaction between the employees represented by the Intervenors with their counterparts in the other regions represented by the OEA. Therefore, we conclude that the centralization of the personnel functions for all the regions has not resulted in the organizational and operational integration of the Panama and Mediterranean employees into OEA's worldwide unit.

Accordingly, we conclude that the findings of fact relied on by the RD in determining that the employees represented by the OFT and PCFT have not accreted to the worldwide unit represented by the OEA are supported by the evidence on the record. We find that the OEA's contentions constitute nothing more than disagreement with the RD's findings and conclusions and provide no compelling reasons that warrant granting the OEA's application. Consequently, we conclude that the OEA has not established that the RD's decision is clearly erroneous. See, for example, DOJ, 48 FLRA at 633-34.

We also conclude that the OEA has not established that the RD departed from Authority precedent in concluding that the disputed employees have not accreted to OEA's worldwide unit and that the OFT and PCFT units remained appropriate.(5)

As no compelling reasons exist for granting the application, we will deny the application.

V. Order

The application for review of the Regional Director's decision and order on petition for clarification of unit is denied.




FOOTNOTES:
(If blank, the decision does not have footnotes.)
 

1. DMRD 973 required the withdrawal of personnel support services performed by various military departments' civilian personnel offices (CPOs) around the world into one centralized Activity personnel office. It also required that the Activity reduce the number of regional headquarters from five to a minimum of three. Transcript at 18. However, at the time of the hearing on December 3 and 4, 1992, the local CPOs still continued to provide some local staffing support. Id. at 56.

2. The former Islands District office that was merged into the Panama/Islands Area was responsible for four schools at three sites: Cuba, Bermuda and Newfoundland.

3. See Department of Defense Dependents Schools, 6 FLRA 297 (1982) (DODDS).

4. The Intervenors contend that we should dismiss the application because it raises new facts based on the progress of the reorganization since the RD issued his decision. On review, the Authority may consider only the facts that were before the RD. See 5 C.F.R. § 2422.17(b). See also U.S. Geological Survey, Water Resources Division, Southeastern Region, Caribbean District, 46 FLRA 832, 842 (1992) (the Authority denied the activity's request to consider the effect of a claimed reorganization, which took place subsequent to the RD's decision). Accordingly, we will consider the application on the facts as they existed at the time of the hearing.

5. We reject the OEA's contention that, because the Activity is providing centralized personnel advice, support and assistance to the regional directors, the Activity is giving "quasi-recognition" to the OFT and the PCFT at the national level in violation of section 7114 of the Statute. Although some matters now may be handled at the Activity's headquarters, the level of exclusive recognition remains at the regional level for these two units and the parties can negotiate only on matters affecting the employees in their respective units. As noted, local bargaining units are appropriate even where there is some centralized control of administrative and personnel matters. DOJ, 48 FLRA at 636.


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