American Federation of Government Employees, Local 2280, Iron Mountain, Michigan (Union) and United States Department of Veterans Affairs, Medical Center, Iron Mountain, Michigan (Agency)

[ v57 p742 ]

57 FLRA No. 158

AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 2280
IRON MOUNTAIN, MICHIGAN
(Union)

and

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS
AFFAIRS, MEDICAL CENTER
IRON MOUNTAIN, MICHIGAN
(Agency)

0-NG-2596

_____

DECISION AND ORDER ON A
NEGOTIABILITY ISSUE

April 18, 2002

_____

Before the Authority: Dale Cabaniss, Chairman, and
Carol Waller Pope and Tony Armendariz, Members

I.     Statement of the Case

      This case is before the Authority on a negotiability appeal filed by the Union under § 7105(a)(2)(E) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute), and concerns the negotiability of one proposal. For the reasons that follow, we find that the proposal is outside the duty to bargain. Therefore, we dismiss the Union's petition for review. [n1] 

II.     Background

      The Agency consolidated its switchboard operations at its Madison, Wisconsin facility. As a result of the consolidation, all telephone attendants, except those assigned to the Madison facility, were eliminated. The Union, which represents employees at the Iron Mountain, Michigan facility - one of the facilities serviced by the centralized system - submitted a proposal to limit access to Iron Mountain employees' home phone numbers to Iron Mountain staff only. This appeal involves the negotiability of that proposal.

III.     The Proposal

Establish appropriate limit to the number of people who would have access to home phone numbers.

IV.     Meaning of the Proposal

      The parties agree that the proposal would require the Agency to limit access to Iron Mountain employees' home phone numbers to Iron Mountain staff only and prohibit the Agency from providing those home phone numbers to telephone attendants in Madison.

V.     Positions of the Parties

A.     Agency

      The Agency contends that the Union's proposal is contrary to management's right to assign work under § 7106(a)(2)(B) of the Statute. [n2] In this regard, the Agency asserts that the proposal would prevent the Agency from assigning certain telephone attendant duties to employees located in Madison and, instead, require the Agency to assign those duties to Iron Mountain employees.

      The Agency argues that the Union's proposal is not an appropriate arrangement under § 7106(b)(3) of the Statute. In this regard, the Agency asserts that the Union has not demonstrated any adverse effect flowing from the Agency's exercise of its management rights. Moreover, the Agency claims that it has already adequately addressed the Union's concerns for the privacy and security of the employees' home phone numbers by implementing certain policies and procedures to safeguard the employees' home phone numbers. Finally, the Agency asserts that the Union's proposal is not a negotiable procedure under § 7106(b)(2) of the Statute.