DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE FINANCE CENTER DENVER, COLORADO and LOCAL 3942, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO
United States of America
BEFORE THE FEDERAL SERVICE IMPASSES PANEL
In the Matter of
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
LOCAL 3942, AMERICAN
GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO
Case No. 90 FSIP 206
DECISION AND ORDER
Local 3942, American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO (Union) filed a request for assistance with the Federal Service Impasses Panel (Panel) to consider a negotiation impasse under section 7119 of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (Statute) between it and the Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service Finance Center, Denver, Colorado (Employer).
The Panel determined that the dispute should be resolved on the basis of written submissions from the parties with the Panel to take whatever action it deemed appropriate to resolve the impasse concerning a smoking policy. Submissions were made pursuant to these procedures. Also, Panel member Charles A. Kothe visited the Employer's premises to inspect the facility; his observations have been reported to the Panel which has now considered the entire record.
The mission of the Employer is to process payroll, reimburse employees for their travel expenses, and perform all other financial services germane to its daily operation. There are approximately 90 bargaining-unit employees who occupy clerical and payroll positions. The parties have agreed to extend their term agreement which was to expire in July 1990.
The Employer is the only Government agency in the privately-owned building, and it occupies all of the office space on the third floor and part of the space on the fourth floor. In 1986. the City of Denver Passed an ordinance which requires that a smoke-free work environment be provided to employees working in public buildings who request it. Shortly after enactment of the ordinance, the Employer established designated-smoking areas in order to accommodate smokers and nonsmokers. Thereafter, a number of complaints were made by nonsmokers concerning environmental tobacco smoke drifting from the designated-smoking area; as a result, smoking was banned by the Employer.
ISSUE AT IMPASSE
The parties are at impasse over whether the Employer should provide an indoor designated-smoking area for employees.
1. The Employer's Position
The Employer proposes to prohibit smoking in all spaces it both controls and occupies. Smoking would be permitted during breaks outside the building. Employees who desire to quit smoking would be provided counseling and cessation services by the Employer.
The Employer contends that providing a safe and healthy environment for its employees, free of smoke contaminants, outweigh