Internal Revenue Service, North Florida District, Tampa Field Branch, Tampa, Florida and National Treasury Employees Union, Chapter 87

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55 FLRA No. 39

INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE
NORTH FLORIDA DISTRICT, TAMPA FIELD
BRANCH, TAMPA, FLORIDA
(Respondent)

and

NATIONAL TREASURY EMPLOYEES UNION
CHAPTER 87 (Charging Party)

AT-CA-70357

_____

DECISION AND ORDER

February 26, 1999

_____

Before the Authority: Phyllis N. Segal, Chair; Donald S. Wasserman and Dale Cabaniss, Members.

I.     Statement of the Case

      This unfair labor practice case is before the Authority on exceptions to the attached decision of the Administrative Law Judge filed by the General Counsel. The Respondent filed an opposition to the General Counsel's exceptions.

      The complaint alleges that the Respondent violated section 7116(a)(1), (5) and (8) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute) by refusing to sign or implement a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) negotiated by the parties. The complaint further alleges that the Respondent violated the Statute by refusing to comply with and repudiating the MOU. The Judge found that the Respondent did not violate the Statute because the parties never reached a full agreement. Accordingly, the Judge recommended that the complaint be dismissed.

      Upon consideration of the Judge's decision and the entire record, we adopt the Judge's findings and conclusions. In particular, the preponderance of the evidence demonstrates that the parties did not reach agreement on a term of the MOU that both regarded as material. The Judge found that there was an on-going exchange of draft MOUs containing changes in several paragraphs of the MOU and, ultimately, that negotiations over the "signature block" paragraph of the MOU remained unresolved. Judge's Decision at 8. Consistent with Authority precedent, parties are obligated to execute, upon request, and take necessary steps to implement a written document but only after agreement is reached. See Internal Revenue Service, Philadelphia District Office, 22 FLRA 245, 255 (1986). See also International Organization of Masters, Mates and Pilots and Panama Canal Commission, 36 FLRA 555, 560 (1990) ("[W]here the parties have reached [an] agreement bilaterally, the purpose of section 7114(b)(5) appears clear. Execution of a written agreement