DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE HEADQUARTERS, AIR FORCE LOGISTICS COMMAND WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, OHIO and COUNCIL 214, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES. AFL-CIO
United States of America
BEFORE THE FEDERAL SERVICE IMPASSES PANEL
In the Matter of
DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE
HEADQUARTERS, AIR FORCE
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE
COUNCIL 214, AMERICAN
FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
Case No. 90 FSIP 193
DECISION AND ORDER
Council 214, American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO (Union) filed a request for assistance with the Federal Service Impasses Panel (Panel) to consider a dispute under section 7119 of the Federal Service Labor-management Relations Statute (Statute) between it and the Department of the Air Force, Headquarters, Air Force Logistics Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio (Employer).
On September 6, 1990, the Panel issued an Order to Show Cause requiring the Union, no later than the close of business on September 18, 1990, to demonstrate why the Panel should not require it to withdraw its proposal and adopt the Employer's position.(1) No response was submitted by the Union to the Show Cause Order. The Panel has now considered the entire matter.
The Employer's mission is to provide logistical support for the Air Force to ensure the readiness of its weapons systems worldwide. The Union consists of 8 locals within the Command, and represents approximately 73,000 nonprofessional General Schedule (GS) and Wage Grade (WG) employees, of whom some 30,000 may be affected by this dispute. The parties' collective-bargaining agreement expires in May 1992.
The Employer notified the Union of its intent to implement a policy requiring all employees GS-9 and above, WG equivalents, and those in lower grades who travel more than twice a year, to be issued a Diners Club card to charge business-related travel expenses. Employees who decline to accept the card would be denied full or maximum per diem and be advanced a reduced per diem as prescribed by the Federal Travel Regulations (FTR).(2)
The parties disagree over the Union's proposal that employees: (1) be given the option of accepting the Diners Club card and, (2) if they decline to participate in the program, be given the maximum advance for temporary duty travel, as provided in the FTR, as those who travel and are not offered the card.
POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES
The Employer contends that the Union's proposal conflicts with a Government-wide regulation. Furthermore, it has no duty to bargain over the Union's proposal because the Authority in Department of the Navy, supra, n.1, at l, found a similar proposal to be outside the duty to bargain. As indicated above. the Union failed to submit a response in this case.
The resolution of duty-to-bargain issues arising in the context of negotiation impasses is a matter reserved for the Authority. In Commander. Carswell Air Force Base. Texas and American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1364, 31 FLRA 620 (1988), the Authority determined that the Panel may apply existing Authority precedent to resolve negotiation impasses where a duty-to-bargain question arises in a proposal substantially similar to one previously considered by the Authority. The Union proposal before the Panel in this case is substantially similar to that offered in Department of the Navy, supra, and, based on Authority precedent, is outside the duty to bargain. We shall, therefore, order the Union to withdraw its proposal and adopt the Employer's position.
Pursuant to the authority vested in it by section 7119 of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute and because of the failure of the parties to resolve their dispute during the course of proceedings instituted pursuant to section 2471.6(a)(2) of the Panel's regulations, the Federal Service Impasses Panel under section 2471.11(a) of its regulations hereby orders the following:
The Union shall withdraw its proposal and adopt the Employer's position.
By direction of the Panel.
Linda A. Lafferty
October 24, 1990
1. The basis of the Panel's directive was its reliance on the Federal Labor Relations Authority's (Authority) decision in National Association of Government Employees Local R12-40 and Federal Union of Scientists and Engineers Local R12-198 and U.S. Department of the Navy. Naval Ship Weapon Systems Engineering Station. Port Hueneme, California, 36 FLRA No. 20 (June 27, 1990). In that case, the union proposed to permit employees who do not wish to obtain a travel charge card to receive, upon request, up to an 80 percent travel advance, the maximum advance offered to those who are required to travel but not eligible for a charge card. The Authority found the proposal nonnegotiable because it would allow travel advances in circumstances where they are precluded by a Government-wide regulation.
2. Pursuant to the Federal Property Management Regulation (FPMR) issued by the General Services Administration, 41 C.F.R. part 301-10.3, if an employer participates in the charge card program, but the employee declines to be issued a card, in most circumstances, the employee may not receive the maximum travel advance.