File 2: Opinion of Member Pope

[ v59 p757 ]


Dissenting Opinion of Member Pope:

      I agree with the majority's conclusions that the proposal: (1) affects management's right to determine its internal security practices; (2) is not a negotiable procedure under § 7106(b)(2) of the Statute; and (3) constitutes an arrangement for employees adversely affected by the exercise of management's right. I disagree with the majority's conclusion that the proposal is not an "appropriate" arrangement under § 7106(b)(3) of the Statute because it would "completely preclude" the Agency from exercising its right. Majority Opinion at 14. Therefore, I dissent.

      The majority's conclusion that the proposal completely precludes the Agency from exercising its right to determine internal security practices is based on a misreading of the record. In this regard, the majority finds that the Agency's internal security determination is "that firearms used by Agency employees in the performance of their duties need to be secured by the employees trained and authorized to possess them when they are off-duty." Id. at 15. This is consistent with the Agency's initial assertion in this case that it "never authorized [employees to] routine[ly]" store firearms at work overnight. Statement of Position at 4. However, in its reply, the Agency conceded that it "does allow routine overnight storage in certain locations, where appropriate security is available." Agency Reply at 2. Thus, the internal security practice that the majority finds the proposal would "negate or nullify," does not exist. [n1]  Majority Opinion at 14.

      The internal security practice that the Agency does, in the end, describe is that it will not permit routine overnight storage of firearms "at locations with inappropriate storage facilities." Agency Reply at 2. The Union's proposal, which would require that the Agency make secure overnight storage available at all locations, in no way negates the Agency's practice of disallowing inappropriate storage of firearms. Rather, it requires that secure storage be provided. Thus, resolving the negotiability of the proposal does not require the Authority to "second-guess the merits" of the Agency's determination of its security practice. Majority Opinion at 15. Indeed, it is hard to imagine anyone second-guessing the Agency's determination that weapons must be stored securely. Moreover, the majority's observation that the decision to permit overnight storage at some locations is an exercise of the right to determine security practices, Majority Opinion at 16 n.5, sheds no light on the issues in this case. The Union is entitled under § 7106(b)(3) of the Statute to bargain over proposals that do not excessively interfere with the Agency's right.