49:319(29)NG - - NAGE, Local 39 and Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine, Elizabeth, NJ - - 1994 FLRAdec NG - - v49 p319



[ v49 p319 ]
49:319(29)NG
The decision of the Authority follows:


49 FLRA No. 29

FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY

WASHINGTON, D.C.

_____

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF AGRICULTURE EMPLOYEES

LOCAL 39

(Union)

and

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE

PLANT PROTECTION AND QUARANTINE

ELIZABETH, NEW JERSEY

(Agency)

0-NG-2153

_____

DECISION AND ORDER ON NEGOTIABILITY ISSUES

March 4, 1994

_____

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 three proposals relating to the impact and implementation of policies intended to reduce the Agency's budget deficit.(1)

For the reasons that follow, we find that Proposal 2, which would require that a performance element affected by policy changes resulting from deficit reduction plans be deemed non-critical for the entire year, is nonnegotiable because it excessively interferes with the Agency's rights to direct employees and assign work under section 7106(a)(2)(A) and (B) of the Statute. We also find that Proposals 4 and 5, relating to the assignment of overtime, constitute negotiable procedures under 7106(b)(2) of the Statute.

II. Preliminary Matters

A. The Authority Has Jurisdiction to Consider the Petition for Review

The Agency contends that the Authority lacks jurisdiction to consider the proposals contained in the petition for review because the Agency had no obligation to bargain below the level of recognition. Specifically, the Agency claims that the title of exclusive representative and "accompanying rights are reserved for NAAE, National, which has not delegated any type of bargaining authority to NAAE Local 39." Statement of Position at 6.

The Union argues that "Local #39 is . . . recognized by both the National Union and the Agency as an appropriate local bargaining unit." Response at 4. The Union further argues that the proposals that are the subject of negotiation at the local level were presented in response to policy changes that were made or announced by the Agency at the local level. Therefore, the Union maintains that it was the appropriate entity to engage in impact and implementation negotiations.

We reject the Agency's argument that we lack jurisdiction to consider the petition for review. The Agency's contention concerns the parties' duty to bargain in this case. It is well established that the Authority will consider a petition for review of a negotiability issue where the parties disagree over whether a proposal conflicts with law, rule, or regulation. See, for example, Patent Office Professional Association and U.S. Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office, Washington, D.C., 47 FLRA 10, 18 (1993) (Patent Office Professional Association), petition for review filed, No. 93-1255 (D.C. Cir. Apr. 2, 1993). In this case, the Agency declared the proposals nonnegotiable on the basis that they interfere with the exercise of various management rights. Where, as here, the conditions governing review of negotiability issues have been met, a union is entitled to a decision by the Authority as to whether its proposals are within the duty to bargain under the Statute, notwithstanding the fact that additional issues may exist. See American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 2736 v. FLRA, 715 F.2d 627, 630-31 (D.C. Cir. 1983). To the extent that there are additional issues regarding the duty to bargain in the specific circumstances of this case, those issues should be resolved in other appropriate proceedings. American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 2736 and Department of the Air Force, Headquarters 379th Combat Support Group (SAC), Wurtsmith Air Force Base, Michigan, 14 FLRA 302, 306 n.6 (1984) (Wurtsmith).

B. Proposal 1 Is Not Properly Before the Authority

Proposal 1 states that impact and implementation matters negotiated at the national or regional levels will apply to all locals and will supersede local agreements to the contrary. In its statement of position, the Agency argues that local management did not have the authority to negotiate over the proposal insofar as it concerns matters at the national and regional levels. In response, the Union claims that the proposal is moot because it was agreed to by management at the national level.

As we stated above, we will consider a petition for review of a negotiability issue where the parties disagree over whether a proposal conflicts with law, rule, or regulation. The Agency has made no such claim with respect to Proposal 1. Consequently, the conditions governing review as described in Part 2424 of our Rules and Regulations have not been met and we will dismiss the petition for review as to Proposal 1 without prejudice to the Union's right to file a later negotiability appeal, if it so elects, if the conditions governing review are met. See for example, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, Local 89 and U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, Pacific Northwest Region, Grand Coulee Project Office, Grand Coulee, Washington, 45 FLRA 938, 941 (1992).

C. Proposal 6 Is Not Properly Before the Authority

In its statement of position, the Agency asserted that Proposal 6 is nonnegotiable because it concerns a matter that is negotiable solely at the election of the Agency under section 7106(b)(1) of the Statute and the Agency has elected not to bargain. The Agency also claimed that the proposal is outside the scope of local management's authority to bargain. The Union responded that the proposal is an appropriate arrangement under section 7106(b)(3) of the Statute.

In response to the Agency's assertion that the proposal involves a section 7106(b)(1) matter, and following issuance of Executive Order 12871, the Authority requested the parties to notify the Authority as to whether Proposal 6 is still in dispute.(2) The Agency responded and rescinded its allegation of nonnegotiability. However, the Agency reiterated its view that the proposal is outside the scope of local management's authority to bargain. The Union stated that Proposal 6 remains in dispute because the Agency has not indicated its willingness to negotiate over the substance of the proposal.

As we stated earlier, we will consider a petition for review of a negotiability issue where the parties disagree over whether a proposal conflicts with law, rule, or regulation. We find that Proposal 6 is not properly before us at this time and we will dismiss the petition for review as to this proposal without prejudice to the Union's right to file a later negotiability appeal, if it so elects, once the conditions governing review have been met. In this connection, we note that while the Agency has withdrawn its assertion that the proposal is nonnegotiable under section 7106(b)(1) of the Statute, it also reiterates its claim that local management had no authority to bargain over the proposal. As we stated above, the latter claim does not constitute a contention that the proposal is inconsistent with law, rule, or regulation and we will not address that claim in a negotiability proceeding. See Wurtsmith. If, however, after resolution of the bargaining issue, there remains a claim that the proposal is nonnegotiable because it is inconsistent with law, rule, or regulation, the Union would have the right to refile a petition for review.

III. Proposal 2

In any and all cases where deficit reduction cuts and ensuing policy changes impact a performance element, that performance element shall be deemed non-critical for the entire year in which the performance element is affected (e.g. Inspects Carriers).

A. Positions of the Parties

1. Agency

The Agency contends that Proposal 2 is nonnegotiable because it directly interferes with management's rights to direct employees and assign work under section 7106(a)(2)(A) and (B) of the Statute. The Agency claims that the Authority has found that proposals restricting an agency's ability to determine the content of performance standards and critical elements directly interfere with the exercise of those management rights. The Agency further contends that Proposal 2 is not negotiable as an appropriate arrangement under section 7106(b)(3) of the Statute. In this regard, the Agency maintains that the Union has failed to establish any adverse effect on bargaining unit employees, which is a necessary component for determining whether a proposal constitutes an appropriate arrangement under section 7106(b)(3) of the Statute.

2. Union

The Union contends that Proposal 2 does not interfere with management's rights to direct employees or to assign work under section 7106(a)(2)(A) and (B) of the Statute. The Union claims that the proposal does not attempt to establish the criteria governing the content of performance elements. According to the Union, Proposal 2 "addresses the effects of outside forces on those Agency[] designated performance elements deemed 'critical' for purposes of rating [Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ)] Officers." Response at 6. As an example, the Union states that the proposal would not preclude the Agency from establishing a minimum number of insect and pest interceptions as an element of the performance standards for PPQ Officers. Rather, the Union explains that when the Agency implements policy changes to reduce the deficit, thereby minimizing or eliminating overtime assignments and resulting in fewer pest interceptions by PPQ Officers, those employees should not have their performance ratings jeopardized. Therefore, the Union argues that Proposal 2 merely requires that a performance element affected by policy changes be deemed non-critical.

The Union also claims that the decisions of the Authority on which the Agency relies do not support the proposition that Proposal 2 is nonnegotiable. To the contrary, the Union maintains that Proposal 2 is negotiable because it relates only to the application of a critical element and does not conflict with the Agency's rights to direct employees and assign work. In support, the Union cites National Treasury Employees Union and Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Hearings and Appeals, 34 FLRA 1022 (1990) (HHS).

In addition, the Union asserts that if the Authority determines that the proposal directly interferes with management's rights, the proposal is negotiable as an appropriate arrangement under section 7106(b)(3) of the Statute. In this regard, the Union claims that the policy changes implemented by the Agency will eliminate overtime assignments and "deprive PPQ Officers of the opportunity for interceptions and carrier inspections." Response at 8. As a result, the Union asserts that PPQ Officers "will be unable to meet the as-yet unchanged objective minimum criteria for meeting critical elements in their performance ratings." Id. Consequently, the Union maintains that the performance element should be designated as a non-critical element. In addition, the Union claims that Proposal 2 applies to matters over which PPQ Officers have no control and does not establish the performance standards, critical elements, or performance ratings of the employees.

The Union further claims that the negative impact of the proposal on management's rights is not disproportionate to the benefits afforded by the proposal to the PPQ Officers. The Union asserts that Proposal 2 will ensure that PPQ Officers' evaluations will be based on the elements of their performance over which the employees have control and will assure both the Agency and the employees that performance evaluations accurately reflect actual performance.

B. Analysis and Conclusions

Management's rights to direct employees and assign work under section 7106(a)(2)(A) and (B) of the Statute include the authority to identify the critical elements of performance and to establish performance standards. See, for example, Patent Office Professional Association, 47 FLRA at 26. Accordingly, provisions that restrict an agency's authority to determine the content of performance standards directly interfere with management's rights to direct employees and assign work. Id. In addition, proposals that require management to adjust or change performance expectations in specified circumstances dictate the content of performance standards and, thereby, directly interfere with management's rights to direct employees and assign work. See National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 2096 and U.S. Department of the Navy, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Western Division, 36 FLRA 834, 845-6 (1990).

However, provisions that concern the application of performance standards do not directly interfere with management's rights to direct employees and assign work. See, for example, id. at 846. Accordingly, we must determine whether Proposal 2 concerns substantive matters, such as the content of performance standards and critical elements, or whether it concerns the application of those standards and elements and other nonsubstantive matters such as procedures. See Patent Office Professional Association, 47 FLRA at 26. See also Patent Office Professional Association and Patent and Trademark Office, Department of Commerce, 25 FLRA 384, 387 (1987), aff'd mem., No. 87-1135 (D.C. Cir. Mar. 30, 1988) (per curiam).

As noted above, the authority to identify critical elements of a position is a component of management's rights to direct employees and assign work. Similarly, as the Authority noted in International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, Local 25 and Department of the Navy, Mare Island Naval Shipyard, 13 FLRA 433, 437 (1983), "the identification of job elements, if any, which are not critical is also an exercise of those rights." By mandating that any performance element affected by policy changes resulting from deficit reduction cuts be deemed non-critical, Proposal 2 substantively restricts the Agency's authority to identify both critical and non-critical elements of a position. Therefore, we conclude that Proposal 2 directly interferes with management's rights to direct employees and assign work under section 7106(a)(2)(A) and (B) of the Statute. See, for example, Patent Office Professional Association, 47 FLRA at 27 (provision requiring management to identify critical and other performance elements for each employee found to directly interfere with the rights to direct employees and assign work under section 7106(a)(2)(A) and (B) of the Statute).

In reaching this result, we find that the proposal does not concern the application of a critical element, as claimed by the Union. The proposal is not, for example, limited to identifying various circumstances management should consider when evaluating employee performance. See American Federation of Government Employees, Local 3172 and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration, Vallejo District Office, 35 FLRA 1276 (1990). Instead, the proposal is determinative of whether elements will be designated critical or non-critical. We also find that the Union's reliance on HHS is misplaced. Although the union in that case argued that its proposals pertained to the application of performance standards, the Authority found that the proposals were nonnegotiable because they constituted exceptions to, or modifications of, existing performance standards in violation of management's rights to direct employees and assign work. As Proposal 2 would prohibit management from designating performance elements as critical when the circumstances described by the Union are present, we find that the proposal would substantively require the Agency to modify its performance standards.

Therefore, unless Proposal 2 is an appropriate arrangement under section 7106(b)(3) of the Statute, as the Union argues, it is nonnegotiable. In National Association of Government Employees, Local R14-87 and Kansas Army National Guard, 21 FLRA 24, 31-33 (1986) (KANG), the Authority established an analytical framework for determining whether a proposal constitutes an appropriate arrangement. First, we determine whether the proposal constitutes an arrangement for employees adversely affected by the exercise of a management right. To do this, we ascertain whether the proposal in question seeks to address, compensate for, or prevent adverse effects on employees produced by the exercise of management's rights. See National Treasury Employees Union, Chapter 243 and U.S. Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office, 49 FLRA No. 24 (1994) (Member Armendariz, concurring in part and dissenting in relevant part). Second, if we conclude that the proposal is an arrangement, we then determine whether the proposal is appropriate, or inappropriate because it excessively interferes with the exercise of a management right. We make this determination by weighing "the competing practical needs of employees and managers" to ascertain whether the benefit to employees flowing from the proposal outweighs the proposal's burden on the exercise of the management right or rights involved. KANG, 21 FLRA at 31-32.

Even assuming that the proposal is intended as an arrangement, we find that the proposal is nonnegotiable because it excessively interferes with the exercise of management's rights to direct employees and assign work.

Proposal 2 would benefit PPQ Officers by assuring that any effects on their ability to perform the critical elements of their work occasioned by the Agency's budget reduction plans would render the elements non-critical. As such, the proposal would afford certain valuable protections to employees when their performance is evaluated. Specifically, the rating that an employee receives in his or her performance appraisal has far-reaching consequences in the employee's employment relationship. For example, an employee whose performance is determined to be unacceptable on one or more critical elements is subject to reduction in grade or removal. See 5 C.F.R. § 432.106. The consequences for failing to perform acceptably on a non-critical element are far less severe.

However, although Proposal 2 offers a significant benefit to employees, it also places a severe restriction on management's rights to direct employees and assign work. Thus, under Proposal 2, it is possible that all critical elements of a position could be affected by the deficit reduction cuts, causing all elements of the performance plan to be deemed non-critical. If such a situation occurred, the Agency would be totally precluded from designating any elements as critical elements. Management's ability to determine that certain elements of a position are so important to accomplishing the Agency's organizational goals that an unacceptable performance on such an element would result in unacceptable performance in the position would be seriously circumscribed. See 5 C.F.R § 430.203. Moreover, the proposal could prevent the Agency from complying with the requirement to include at least one critical element in its performance appraisal system. See 5 C.F.R. § 430.204(b).

We also find that Proposal 2 is distinguishable from proposals that require an agency to consider matters outside the control of employees when rating their performance. In Patent Office Professional Association, for example, we found that Proposal 11, mandating that employees could not be held responsible for matters outside their control, constituted a negotiable appropriate arrangement. We noted, among other things, that the agency retained the discretion to establish performance standards and elements reflecting the work for which the employees were responsible. 47 FLRA at 36-37. There is no dispute in this case that PPQ Officers are responsible for the work that may be affected by deficit reduction cuts and ensuing policy changes. By directing that certain elements be deemed non-critical, the Agency would not retain the discretion to establish critical elements for work that is performed by employees and for which they are responsible.

Consequently, on balance, we conclude that the proposal excessively interferes with management's rights to direct employees and assign work under section 7106(a)(2)(A) and (B) of the Statute. Therefore, the proposal does not constitute an appropriate arrangement within the meaning of section 7106(b)(3) of the Statute.

IV. Proposals 4 and 5

Proposal 4

Supervisors shall be assigned to officer overtime only as a last resort when all other eligible PPQ Officers have declined the assignment, and only on an "as needed" basis.

Proposal 5

Aides and Technicians shall not be used to displace Officers on overtime assignments. They will be used to supplement, not replace Officers on overtime.

A. Positions of the Parties

1. Agency

The Agency contends that Proposals 4 and 5 directly interfere with management's right to assign work and to determine the personnel by which agency operations shall be conducted under section 7106(a)(2)(B) of the Statute. The Agency claims that the proposals would limit the circumstances under which it could assign overtime to supervisors and preclude it from assigning overtime to aides and technicians if PPQ Officers were displaced from overtime assignments.

The Agency further contends that the proposals do not provide management with the discretion to determine the qualifications and skills necessary to perform work. The Agency asserts that proposals that establish a condition on management's ability to exercise its right to assign work eliminate the discretion inherent in that right and are outside the duty to bargain. In addition, the Agency argues that insofar as Proposal 4 concerns the assignment of work to supervisors, who are excluded from the bargaining unit, the proposal is nonnegotiable.

Finally, the Agency claims that the Union has not identified any adverse effect on bargaining unit employees in order for the proposals to constitute appropriate arrangements under section 7106(b)(3) of the Statute.

2. Union (3)

Initially, the Union explains that Proposals 4 and 5 are intended to prevent local management from "misusing" overtime assignment rights to displace PPQ Officers on journeyman overtime assignments. Response at 9. The Union states that under the parties' collective bargaining agreement supervisors and bargaining unit employees must be assigned to PPQ Officer overtime pursuant to procedures negotiated at the local level and without any preferential treatment. The Union maintains that aides and technicians generally are not permanent employees of the Agency and are not covered by the procedures addressing overtime contained in the parties' agreement. According to the Union, Proposals 4 and 5 concern PPQ Officer overtime, and not supervisory overtime, thereby making the proposals an appropriate subject of bargaining.

The Union claims that, through its deficit reduction policies, the Agency has virtually eliminated overtime opportunities for bargaining unit employees and that the remainder of PPQ Officer overtime should be assigned to qualified, eligible PPQ Officers before being assigned to any other employees. In this regard, the Union maintains that Proposals 4 and 5 are intended to require the Agency to assign overtime to eligible bargaining unit before assigning overtime to non-officers, supervisors, aides, and technicians. By requiring that bargaining unit employees be eligible for overtime assignments, the Union argues that the proposals merely create an order of assignment from a pool of employees who are otherwise qualified to perform the overtime work and, therefore, that the proposals are negotiable.

The Union further contends that even if the Authority finds that Proposals 4 and 5 directly interfere with management's right to assign work, the proposals are negotiable as appropriate arrangements under section 7106(b)(3) of the Statute. The Union argues that the proposals will ensure that the remaining overtime assignments will be equitably distributed to qualified PPQ Officers before other employees are assigned to overtime. The Union notes that overtime represents "a pecuniary benefit as well as an opportunity to perform duties on which" PPQ Officers' performance ratings are judged. Id. at 12.

The Union also asserts that the impact on management's right to assign work would be minimal. According to the Union, the proposals would not preclude the Agency from determining the qualifications and skills necessary to perform the overtime work but, rather, would establish an order in which the Agency would assign overtime from a pool of eligible employees. The Union explains that eligibility includes all the factors that the Agency requires to ensure that the work is performed "efficiently and proficiently." Id.

B. Analysis and Conclusions

Management's rights to assign work and determine the personnel by which agency operations will be conducted under section 7106(a)(2)(B) of the Statute encompass the right to determine the particular qualifications and skills needed to perform the work and the right to judge whether particular employees have the requisite qualifications to do the work. See, for example, National Treasury Employees Union and U.S. Department of the Treasury, Customs Service, Pacific Region, 47 FLRA 1038, 1044 (1993); National Association of Government Employees, Local R1-109 and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Newington, Connecticut, 35 FLRA 513, 519-20 (1990). However, when management has determined that two or more employees are equally qualified to undertake an assignment, the selection of any of those employees is consistent with management's right to assign work and determine the personnel by which its operations will be conducted. More particularly, a proposal prescribing how management will select from among a group of qualified employees is negotiable. See, for example, National Association of Government Employees, Local R14-52 and U.S. Department of the Army, Red River Army Depot, Texarkana, Texas, 44 FLRA 738, 742 (1992).

Proposal 4 would require the Agency to assign overtime to eligible PPQ Officers before assigning such overtime to supervisors. In our view, the proposal would merely establish an order of assignment from a pool of qualified employees; therefore, it is a negotiable procedure under section 7106(b)(2) of the Statute. Although the Agency argues that the proposal deprives it of the discretion to determine the qualifications and skills necessary to perform work, nothing in the proposal or the Union's explanation supports such a view. Indeed, the Union explains that the eligibility of employees for overtime assignment includes all the factors the Agency requires. In our view, this statement signifies that the Agency retains the right to determine the requisite qualifications and skills necessary to perform overtime work.

We also find no merit to the Agency's claim that the proposal is nonnegotiable because it concerns the assignment of supervisory personnel. Although the proposal is worded in such a way as to place supervisors after eligible PPQ Officers for purposes of overtime assignments, we find that the proposal is explicitly directed toward "officer overtime." Thus, the plain wording of the proposal requires the agency to take actions that will have a material effect on the conditions of employment of bargaining unit employees. Accordingly, we find that the proposal seeks to regulate the terms and conditions of bargaining unit employees. See United States Department of the Navy, Naval Aviation Depot, Cherry Point, North Carolina v. FLRA, 952 F.2d 1434, 1441 (D.C. Cir. 1992) (proposals that principally relate to conditions of employment of bargaining unit personnel are within the traditional scope of mandatory bargaining). Compare National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 1332 and U.S. Department of the Army, Army Materiel Command, Alexandria, Virginia, 47 FLRA 1357, 1362 (1993) (proposal establishing the grade level of military personnel who may evaluate unit employees found to be directed at conditions of employment of bargaining unit employees) and National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 1482 and U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Mapping Agency, Louisville, Kentucky, 45 FLRA 1132, 1135-38 (1992) (proposal that established procedure governing assignment of supervisory duties to unit employees on a temporary basis found to principally relate to conditions of employment of unit employees) with National Association of Government Employees, Local R1-144 and U.S. Department of the Navy, Naval Underwater Systems Center, Newport, Rhode Island, 43 FLRA 1331, 1349-50 (1992) (proposal requiring separate dining tables for contractor personnel did not vitally affect conditions of employment of unit employees because it did not require the agency to take any actions with respect to unit employees and there was no evidence that the proposal would have a significant and material effect on the working conditions of unit employees).

Finally, the assignment of officer overtime to supervisors only on an "as needed" basis does not affect our conclusion that the proposal is negotiable. In the absence of any arguments by the parties concerning the meaning and intent of this language, we find that it simply means that overtime will be assigned to supervisors only when there is a need for such work. In sum, we find that Proposal 4 is a negotiable procedure under section 7106(b)(2) of the Statute.

Proposal 5 states that aides and technicians will not be assigned to overtime if their assignment would displace Officers. The proposal also states that aides and technicians can be used to supplement Officers on overtime assignments. In our view, Proposal 5 would also establish an order of assignment from a pool of qualified employees, in much the same way as Proposal 4. Thus, Proposal 5 would require the Agency to assign overtime to PPQ Officers first and then to aides and technicians if there were an insufficient number of bargaining unit employees available to perform such work. We find nothing in either the proposal or the Union's explanation that would preclude the Agency from determining the qualifications and skills necessary to perform the overtime work. Therefore, we find that Proposal 5 does not interfere with the Agency's rights to assign work and determine the personnel by which its operations will be conducted. Rather, we find that the proposal constitutes a negotiable procedure within the meaning of section 7106(b)(2) of the Statute. In reaching this result, we find, for the same reasons set forth in connection with Proposal 4, that Proposal 5 is directed at bargaining unit employees. Therefore, the proposal does not purport to regulate terms and conditions of employment of non-bargaining unit personnel.

In view of our conclusions, we need not address the Union's argument that Proposals 4 and 5 are negotiable appropriate arrangements within the meaning of section 7106(b)(3) of the Statute.

V. Order

The Agency shall, upon request, or as otherwise agreed to by the parties, bargain on Proposals 4 and 5.(4) The petition for review with respect to Proposal 2 is dismissed. Further, the petition for review is dismissed as to Proposals 1 and 6 without prejudice to the Union's right to file a negotiability appeal, if it so elects and the conditions governing review under the Authority's Rules and Regulations have been met.




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

1. The petition for review contained eight proposals. The Union withdrew its appeal with respect to Proposals 3, 7, and 8. Accordingly, we will not address those proposals as they are not before us in this proceeding. We further find that Proposals 1 and 6 are not before us for reasons described more fully in our disc