DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION OFFICE OF HEARINGS AND APPEALS REGION II NEW YORK, NEW YORK and LOCAL 1760, AMERICAN FEDERATION of GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO

United States of America

BEFORE THE FEDERAL SERVICE IMPASSES PANEL





In the Matter of )

)

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND )

HUMAN SERVICES )

SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION )

OFFICE OF HEARINGS AND APPEALS )

REGION II )

NEW YORK, NEW YORK )

)

and ) Case No. 92 FSIP 60

)

LOCAL 1760, AMERICAN FEDERATION )

of GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO )

________________________________________)





DECISION AND ORDER





Local 1760, 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 the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (Statute), 5 U.S.C. § 7119, between it and the Department of Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration, Office of Hearings and Appeals, Region II, New York, New York (SSA or Employer).



After investigation of the request for assistance, the Panel determined that the impasse, concerning break and lunch schedules, should be resolved through written submissions from the parties, with the Panel to take whatever action it deemed appropriate to resolve the impasse. Written submissions were made pursuant to this procedure and the Panel has considered the entire record.



BACKGROUND



The mission of the Office of Hearings and Appeals is to provide independent review of agency determinations denying Social Security benefits. It adjudicates all Social Security benefit disputes involving disability, retirement, and Medicaid claims. The Union represents approximately 30 employees stationed in the Brooklyn, New York, office who are part of a nationwide consolidated unit consisting of approximately 48,000. Employees in the office hold such positions as hearing assistant, hearing clerk, hearing analyst, and clerk-typist. There are also approximately 10 management officials, 10 attorneys who belong to another bargaining unit, and 10 Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) who are unrepresented. The parties are covered by a master collective bargaining a