DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY PHILADELPHIA NAVAL SHIPYARD PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA and LOCAL 3, INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION PROFESSIONAL AND TECHNICAL ENGINEERS, AFL-CIO and LOCAL 2, PLANNERS, ESTIMATORS, PROGRESSMEN, AND SCHEDULERS, AFL-CIO
In the Matter of )
DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY )
PHILADELPHIA NAVAL SHIPYARD )
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA )
and )Case Nos. 91 FSIP 57
) 91 FSIP 59
LOCAL 3, INTERNATIONAL )
FEDERATION PROFESSIONAL AND )
TECHNICAL ENGINEERS, )
LOCAL 2, PLANNERS, ESTIMATORS,)
PROGRESSMEN, AND SCHEDULERS,)
In Case No. 91 FSIP 57, Local 3, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, AFL-CIO (IFPTE or Union) and the Department of the Navy, Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Employer), and in- Case No. 91 FSIP 59, Local 2, Planners, Estimators, Progressmen, and Schedulers, AFL-CIO
(PEPS or Union) and the Employer, filed joint requests for assistance with the Federal Service Impasses Panel (Panel) to consider negotiation impasses under section 7119 of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (Statute).
After investigation of the requests for assistance, which concern the Employer's smoking policy, the Panel determined that the cases should be consolidated and the impasses resolved through the issuance to all parties of an Order to Show Cause as to why the Panel should not order the adoption of the Employer's proposal, which is substantially similar to the provision the Panel imposed in Department of Transportation, U.S. Coast Guard Yard. Curtis Bay, Maryland and Local 2317. American Federation-of Government Employees. AFL-CIO, Case No. 90 FSIP 180 (October 24, 1990), Panel Release No. 300 (Curtis Bay).1/ After considering the parties' responses to its Order to Show Cause, the Panel would take whatever action it deemed appropriate to resolve the impasses. The parties, however, did not submit responses pursuant to these procedures.
The Employer builds, repairs, and overhauls naval vessels. IFPTE represents approximately 1,400 General Schedule (GS) employees in such jobs as engineer, engineering specialist, architect, mathematician, quality assurance specialist, and production controller. They are covered under a labor agreement which is in effect until March 1992, having been extended on an annual basis since its original term expired in March 1986. PEPS represents approximately 279 GS and Wage Grade (WG) employees. WG
employees hold positions as planners and estimators, progressmen, and schedulers; GS employees work as, among others, production controllers and equipment specialists. The labor agreement under which they are covered is due to expire on August 21, 1993.
The dispute arose during joint negotiations over the Employer's proposed policy to ban indoor smoking in Building 4, where the majority of employees represented by the Unions are stationed. Currently, these employees are permitted to smoke in their work areas.
ISSUE AT IMPASSE
Whether the Panel should order the parties to adopt the Employer's proposed smoking policy which is substantially similar to the provision it imposed in Curtis Bay, supra, which also concerned employees who work in a shipyard environment.
1/ In Curtis Bay, which concerned a smoking policy for all facilities or spaces controlled by an employer who, among other things, built, repaired, and overhauled ships for the Coast Guard, the Panel concluded that a total prohibition on indoor smoking would ensure that employees are more likely to have a healthful work environment free from the contamination of second-hand tobacco smoke. It ordered the parties to adopt the employer's no-indoor-smoking proposal modified to provide for employer-designated outdoor smoking areas which (1) are reasonably accessible to employees and (2) provide a modicum of protection from the elements.
POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES2/
1. The Employer's Position
In essence, under the Employer' 5 proposal, (1) smoking would be permitted only in (a) the four outside alcoves on the north and south sides of the building, and (b) the two courtyards on the first floor, one each on the north and south sides of the building; (2) supervisors would allow employees to take smoke breaks provided that "their frequency and duration is not disruptive of the work environment or hinder the operation;" and (3) supervisors would provide information on smoking cessation classes which, if there is a showing of interest, would be held during brown bag lunches.
The Employer argues that concern for employees' health, a factor which the Panel has considered in resolving similar disputes 3/, and complaints from employees over tobacco smoke in work areas prompted its proposed policy banning smoking inside the building. Furthermore, the building has a closed ventilation system and, therefore, would not support indoor smoking without imperilling the health of employees who work there. Although the Employer has undertaken an upgrading of the system, its purpose is to correct an air distribution and recirculation problem, and not to provide for ventilation to the outside.
2/ Although the parties did not respond to the-Panel's Order to Show Cause, their positions on the issue are taken from information proffered during the Panel's initial investigation into the joint requests for assistance.
3/ Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans Health Services and Research Administration. Washington. D.C. and National Veterans
Administration Council. American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Cas