DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE ELMENDORF AIR FORCE BASE 11TH CIVIL ENGINEERING SQUADRON ELMENDORF AIR FORCE BASE, ALASKA AND LOCAL 1668, 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

ELMENDORF AIR FORCE BASE

11TH CIVIL ENGINEERING SQUADRON

ELMENDORF AIR FORCE BASE, ALASKA

AND

LOCAL 1668, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF

GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO

Case No. 93 FSIP 223

DECISION AND ORDER

    Local 1668, American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), 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 the Air Force, Elmendorf Air Force Base, 11th Civil Engineering Squadron, Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska (Employer).

    After investigation of the request for assistance concerning a 4-10 compressed work schedule (CWS), the Panel directed the parties to participate in an informal conference with Panel Member John R. Van de Water for the purpose of resolving the outstanding issue in dispute. The parties were advised that if no settlement were reached, Member Van de Water would notify the Panel of the status of the dispute, including the final offers of the parties and his recommendations for resolving the issue. Following consideration of this information, the Panel would take whatever action it deemed appropriate to resolve the impasse, including the issuance of a binding decision.

    Accordingly, Mr. Van de Water met with the parties on November 10, 1993, at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska. During the informal conference, the parties were unable to resolve the issue. He has reported to the Panel, and it has now considered the entire record.

BACKGROUND

    The 11th Civil Engineering Squadron's mission is to perform maintenance work and environmental clean-up throughout Alaska and the Pacific Rim. The Union represents a bargaining unit of approximately 1,000 General Schedule (GS) and Wage Grade (WG) employees. Most are WG employees who hold positions such as carpenter, electrician, laborer, and plumber. The dispute centers on 29 WG employees who, pursuant to a survey, responded that they would prefer to be on a 4-10 CWS. But the dispute mainly affects those employees who are not required to travel as part of their job. The parties' collective-bargaining agreement (CBA) was to expire on December 31, 1986, but due to an automatic annual renewal clause, remains in effect until a successor is implemented.

ISSUE AT IMPASSE

    The issue concerns whether the option of a 4-10 CWS should be substituted for the 5-4/9 plan or the status quo be maintained.

POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES

1. The Union's Position

    A 4-10 compressed work schedule should be implemented for a 6-month trial period. In its view, significant cost savings and increased productivity would occur if employees worked an extra hour per day. Furthermore, other units at Elmendorf AFB have a 4-10, and customers from different time zones would benefit from increased service. Additionally, air pollution and traffic congestion would be reduced because employees would drive their cars 1 less day to work. Also, the employee survey indicates that 29 out of 39 bargaining-unit members want such a schedule, thus morale would be strengthened with its implementation. Lastly, the Employer's cost analysis is "arbitrary and fictitious" and should not be used to deny employees a 4-10.

2. The Employer's Position

    The Employer proposes that the status quo be maintained; that is, the 5-4/9 schedule be retained.

    The Employer opposes establishing a 4-10 contending that extensive studies indicate that such a schedule would increase costs and decrease productivity. In this regard, increased supervision would be required to operate a 4-10. Furthermore, their