DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE 911TH AIRLIFT WING CORAOPOLIS, PENNSYLVANIA and LOCAL 2316, 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

911TH AIRLIFT WING

CORAOPOLIS, PENNSYLVANIA

 

 

 

 

 

Case No. 99 FSIP 54

and

LOCAL 2316, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF

GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO

 

DECISION AND ORDER

    Local 2316, 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, 5 U.S.C. § 7119, between it and the Department of the Air Force, 911th Airlift Wing, Coraopolis, Pennsylvania (Employer).

    Following investigation of the request for assistance,(1) which involves an impasse over the parties’ successor collective bargaining agreement (CBA), the Panel directed the parties to submit their final offers and written statements of position, with supporting argument and evidence. After considering the entire record, the Panel would then issue a binding decision to resolve the impasse. Written submissions were made pursuant to this procedure, and the Panel has now considered the entire record.

BACKGROUND

    The Employer is responsible for airlifting cargo, personnel, and equipment in support of Air Force missions; in particular, the 911th Airlift Wing maintains C-130 aircraft. The Union represents a bargaining unit of about 250 employees who work as mechanics, supply and accounting technicians, in trades and crafts, and in various support positions, with grades ranging from GS-4 through -12 and WG-2 through -12. Although the parties’ CBA was to have expired on February 9, 1997, they continue to operate under its terms until implementation of a successor agreement.(2)

ISSUES AT IMPASSE(3)

    The parties disagree over parts of the following three articles: (I) Article 6, "Representational Duties and Official Time;" (II) Article 19, "Dues Withholding;" and (III) Article 21, "Official Facilities."

I. Article 6, Representational Duties and Official Time

    a. The Employer’s Position

    The main features of the Employer’s final offer on this article are as follows. It proposes to "recognize six shop stewards" and require that the "stewards designated for each major organization . . . normally serve as the initial point of contact for management as well as employees in all matters." It also proposes that the Union maintain a current list of Union officers and stewards and provide updated copies as changes occur. With respect to procedures governing the use of official time, a Union representative leaving the work area would be required to "request permission from his/her immediate supervisor as much in advance as possible," and to secure permission from the supervisors of those they are going to visit before entering their work areas. The request would include information regarding where the representative is going, how he or she can be contacted, "the specific nature of the business to be transacted," and when he or she expects to return to the work area. In addition, a revised form entitled "Request for Use of Official Time" would be used to document all official time used under the agreement. Official time would be approved and scheduled "to the extent consistent with the workload requirements of the duty section," and Union officials would report to their supervisors upon returning to their work areas "to allow the amount of time used to be noted." If approved time must be rescheduled, the supervisor would inform the Union representative of an alternate suitable time, and Union representatives would limit absences to "the minimum amount of time necessary to carry out the Union’s responsibilities."

    Regarding the duties for which grants of official time are appropriate, and amounts of official time, Section 2 of its proposal specifies that Union officers and stewards would receive official time "which is reasonably necessary in the public interest, to assist an employee in the preparation and presentation of a grievance or appeal when selected by the employee as his representative." Section 3 states that official time would be provided "to assist an employee in the preparation and presentation of a grievance or appeal when selected by the employee as his representative;" for negotiations or joint Employer/Union committees; to respond or make recommendations to requests from supervisors, management or agency officials; and for "attending other official meetings when approved in advance by the Employer." Finally, as to the amount of official time for Union-sponsored training and procedures for its use, the Union would be allotted 90 hours of official time per year for Union-sponsored training "concerning representational duties," and "administrative excusal" would cover only those portions of training meeting this criterion. The Civilian Personnel Officer would review requests for official time for Union-sponsored training to determine if the training is "an appropriate use of official time." If it is determined to be so, the Union representative would have to take the additional step of requesting the use of such time from his or her immediate supervisor, in accordance with the procedures outlined in the previous sections of the article.

    The proposed wording regarding the number of stewards should be adopted because it retains "the current contract language," the Union has only staffed six stewards once (for 13 months) during the life of the agreement, and there have only been three stewards since January 1998. Although a requirement for the "timely publication of stewards’ names and notification to the Employer of these individuals when they change" is "inherent in the current contract," the Union "has failed to provide corrections when Union officials change." Keeping management and employees informed of who is authorized to act on behalf of the Union "is the most effective way" of building a relationship that would foster resolving issues at the lowest level.

    A form for requesting and recording official time has been in practice "since at least 1981." The current form, which has been used since 1994, should be revised to require additional data so the supervisor can "determine the reason and amount of the time requested." This is justified because "Union officials routinely provide vague and insufficient reasons for the need to be absent from the assigned work area to perform representational duties." Regarding the amounts of official time to be granted, the Employer proposes to continue using the "reasonable and necessary" standard contained in the parties’ current agreement. In this regard, the Union "has failed to clearly justify its proposal, which is a drastic change to the status quo." Over the last 3½ years, the total number of hours used by all Union officials has averaged 1,000 hours per year, "not including time for preparation and negotiation of this contract." Because the Union’s proposal amounts to an additional 1,600 hours of official time per year for two officers, the Panel should order that it be withdrawn. The adoption of the Employer’s proposal for requesting official time for Union-sponsored training would clarify the procedure in effect since 1994 "which has caused problems for some individuals." Finally, the Union "has not demonstrated a need" for increasing the number of hours authorized for Union-sponsored training based on past usage.

    b. The Union’s Position

      In addition to five officers, the Union proposes that the Employer be required to recognize "not to exceed seven stewards as appropriate users of duty hours for Union representational activities and labor-management relations functions." It has no counteroffer regarding designating stewards as initial points of contact, or addressing the updating of lists of Union officers and stewards. On the matter of procedures governing the use of official time, for all Union officials other than the Local Union President and Chief Steward, the use of official time would be arranged in advance "with appropriate management officials." If "an exigency of business" prevents the use of official time when requested, "another occasion will be determined" which balances the interests of all concerned parties. In addition, "upon request" starting and quitting times would be adjusted so Union representatives can assist employees on different shifts; Union representatives "will guard against the use of excessive time," and official time would not be used for internal Union business.

    The types of duties for which grants of official time are appropriate would include grievance handling and "other complaints," "other representational and labor-management relations functions," and "appropriate lobbying functions." As to the amount of official time: (1) the Local Union President would be on official time "the last 4 hours of each day;" (2) the Chief Steward would be on official time "the last 6 hours of each day;" (3) all other Officers and Stewards would receive "such time as is reasonable and necessary;" and (4) time to attend management-initiated meetings, arbitrations, unfair labor practice investigations or hearings would "not be charged against the hours allotted above." On the issue of the amount of official time for Union-sponsored training and the procedures for its use, the Union would be allotted 150 hours per year, and the Labor Relations Officer would be responsible for clearing the request with the Union representatives’ immediate supervisors. Once it is cleared, the individuals slated to attend the training would not be required to obtain the further approval of their supervisors.

    The Union’s use of the phrase "appropriate users of duty hours," unlike the wording proposed by the Employer, recognizes its right to designate its own officers, a matter which "constitutes internal Union business and is not negotiable." The remaining general sections of its proposal are "essentially the same language as the old agreement." The Employer’s proposal to designate stewards as the "initial point of contact for management in all matters," on the other hand, is unnecessary and "will create confusion as to the appropriate level of notification for negotiable workplace changes, etc."

    Its proposal regarding the use of official time "seeks to incorporate a broader, more realistic, and clearer description" of the duties for which such time is considered appropriate, while the Employer’s proposal is "overly restrictive." In this regard, "it is well settled that official time may be granted for a variety of reasons other than formal grievances." With respect to the amounts of authorized official time, its wording represents "either the status quo or no more than a slight increase in the amounts that have been approved" for the Local Union President and the Chief Steward "under the old contract." Any increase in official time which may result if its proposal is adopted is "both reasonable and mutually beneficial." It also would "ameliorate" past disputes over official time approval, eliminate the time spent litigating such matters, and "create a more stable labor/management environment." The "reasonable time" provisions proposed for all other officers and stewards, and the related "release procedures," are "consistent with the old contract." Furthermore, its Union-sponsored training proposal would provide a minimal and reasonable increase in the amount of official time allocated for such training, while the procedure it suggests for obtaining approval of related requests "is intended to avoid future problems with individual employees having to obtain approval from their supervisors."

CONCLUSIONS

    Having carefully examined the evidence and arguments presented on the issues dividing the parties on this article, we are persuaded that the impasse should be resolved on the basis of a compromise which balances the legitimate interests of both sides. Regarding the first set of issues, which includes the number of recognized Union shop stewards, whether the Union should be required to provide updated lists as changes occur, and whether stewards designated for each major organization will normally serve as the initial point of contact, the parties shall be ordered to adopt a modified version of the Employer’s proposal. The only modification entails substituting the following wording for the first two sentences of the Employer’s proposal:

In order to develop and maintain effective labor-management relations, the Employer agrees to recognize the Union President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, one Chief Steward, and not to exceed six stewards as appropriate users of official time for Union representational functions.

In our view, this modification is warranted because it addresses the Union’s concern that the Employer’s wording interferes with internal Union business. In addition, this approach maintains the number of stewards (six) contained in the parties’ expired CBA, which seems more than adequate given that there have only been three designated since January 1998. With respect to the rest of the section, the record demonstrates that the Union has been remiss in updating steward lists, so the adoption of the Employer’s wording should encourage it to live up to its obligations in this regard. Moreover, keeping management and employees informed of who is authorized to act on behalf of the Union, and requiring that stewards designated for each major organization normally serve as the initial point of contact should facilitate the resolution of labor-relations matters.

    On the issue of the procedures which should govern the use of official time, we shall order that the Employer’s proposal be adopted for all Union officials other than the Union President and the Chief Steward, whose situations will be addressed separately below. In addition, the following wording shall be imposed: "Requests that a Union representative or employee be permitted to adjust his/her starting and quitting times so as to allow the Union representative to assist an employee on a different shift will not be unreasonably denied." In our assessment, the record demonstrates the need to require Union representatives to fill out the Employer’s revised form so supervisors will have the specific information necessary to evaluate whether official time requests should be granted. Unlike the Union’s proposal, which would mandate the adjustment of Union representatives’ and employees’ shifts "upon request," our additional wording allows supervisors to assess such requests in light of mission requirements.

    Turning to the key issues concerning the duties for which grants of official time are appropriate, and the amount of such time, we shall order the adoption of the following wording:

In addition to any official time to which Union representatives are statutorily entitled, Union officers and stewards will be granted the following amounts of official time to perform appropriate representational functions:

Local Union President - the last hour of each workday.

Chief Steward - the last 3 hours of each workday.

All other Officers and Stewards - Such time as is reasonable and necessary.

Union officers and stewards will also be granted official time to attend joint Employer/Union committees of which they are members, to respond or make recommendations to requests from supervisors, management, or agency officials, and for attending other official meetings when approved in advance by the Employer.

With the exception of the Union President and the Chief Steward, the compromise wording maintains the status quo by requiring individual supervisors to assess whether official time should be granted to stewards and other Union officers on the basis of the information provided on the revised request form. It goes beyond the terms of the expired CBA and the Employer’s proposal, however, by expanding the matters for which such time may be granted to include "appropriate representational functions." In agreement with the Union, we see no basis for restricting Union representatives only to the handling of grievances.

    With respect to the amounts of official time the compromise grants to the Union President and Chief Steward, it is clear from the record that official time use by these individuals has been a persistent source of tension between the parties. In our view, providing them with set amounts of official time at the end of their workdays to perform representational functions should reduce the conflict surrounding this volatile issue. The amounts to be imposed are roughly equivalent to what each of these officers has been using annually over the last 3 years. Finally, we shall order the adoption of the Employer’s proposal regarding the amount of official time for Union-sponsored training and the procedures for its use. The number of hours per year (90) is the same as in the expired CBA, and the Union has failed to demonstrate the need to increase the amount. The Employer’s wording also merely clarifies the procedure for obtaining approval for the use of such time which has been in effect since 1994.

II. Article 19, Dues Withholding

    a. The Employer’s Position

      The Employer essentially proposes that employees be permitted to initiate the revocation of dues withholding by submitting Form SF-1188 "or other written notification" to the Financial Service Office "in a timely manner," which would forward the revocation to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, and provide copies to the Union and the Civilian Personnel Office. Revocation would become effective the first full pay period following October 1, "unless the employee would not have completed 1 full year of deduction at that time," in which case, the termination would become effective the first full pay period following the 1 year anniversary date.

    Its proposal would terminate current practices requiring unit employees to file revocation forms with the Union directly, and of making revocations effective on their anniversary dates. This is necessary "due to problems with this issue over the life of the current contract." Requiring that forms be submitted directly to the Union could be intimidating, and coerce employees in their right to refrain from Union membership. This is essentially what the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) concluded in a previous case.(4) Setting October 1 of each year as the effective date addresses problems employees have had in obtaining accurate anniversary dates, and would avoid "confusion, delays, and complaints." The wording also "parallels agreements at other Air Force Reserve facilities," and complies with the requirements of ground rule number 6, where the parties pledged to "make the language in the new agreement as clear, simple, and understandable as possible."

    b. The Union’s Position

    The Union proposes that employees initiate dues revocation by submitting Form SF-1118 "to the Union President or alternate Union Officer." Revocation would become effective the first full pay period following 1 year from the date the first deduction occurred, and the first full pay period following the anniversary date for successive years beyond the first year. If neither the Local Union nor the AFGE National Office can determine the anniversary date, revocation would become effective the first full pay period following October 1. Its proposal mostly maintains "the old contract language." These provisions "have been held to be acceptable by the FLRA in numerous cases." In response to the Employer’s "alleged concerns with determining the anniversary date," however, the Union "has proposed a reasonable procedure to deal with such concerns."

CONCLUSIONS

    After carefully reviewing the record established by the parties regarding their dispute over the dues revocation article, we conclude that the Union’s proposal provides the better basis for resolving the matter. Preliminarily, the FLRA decision cited by the Employer has been superceded by subsequent case law, as noted by the Union.(5) On the merits, the Employer has failed to demonstrate why the status quo, which is essentially what the Union proposes, should not be maintained. In this regard, there is no evidence of Union intimidation of unit employees seeking to revoke dues withholding, and it is unclear whether the Employer’s proposal would solve such a problem in any event. While there is some evidence in the record of past confusion regarding employee anniversary dates, we are persuaded that the Union has proposed a reasonable procedure to address such concerns. Accordingly, we shall order the adoption of the Union’s proposal.

III. Article 21, Official Facilities

    a. The Employer’s Position

    The Employer proposes that the Union be afforded space of at least 16" x 20" on each existing official civilian bulletin board, but not less than one in each division; the location of the space would be designated by the Employer. All "material presented on the civilian bulletin boards will be approved by the Employer or his designated representative." Concerning Union office space, subject to availability, the Employer would provide such space to the Union "at $100 a month and reimbursement for utilities." The space would be included in the Employer’s maintenance contract and any renovation contracts "consistent with other offices located in the same building," but any facility modifications at the Union’s expense would be contingent upon the Employer’s approval. Finally, the Union could request excess replacement furniture before it is shipped out by the Employer; however, it would not be permitted to "use Government supplies, equipment, vehicles, or property for Union business unless specifically authorized to do so in writing."

    With respect to bulletin board space and location, and the posting of Union material, its proposed wording essentially maintains the conditions under the current CBA. The Employer was unaware that the space provided "was perceived to be inadequate," and it "has never denied a request to place material on the Union’s portion" of the bulletin boards because it has never received one. On the matter of Union office space, although it has provided the current Union office free of charge under the last three CBAs, the Union is now proposing to include the space in the facility maintenance contract. In exchange for continuing to provide such space and including it under the maintenance contract, it is reasonable to charge the Union $100 per month plus reimbursement for utilities. The expense of utilities "continues to rise," and the Union’s latest financial statement indicates that it is able "to bear all of the costs" it is "asking the Employer to provide." The Employer’s position is supported by the Supreme Court’s decision in Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms v. FLRA, 464 U.S. 89 (1983), where it held that "the provisions of the Act intended to facilitate the collection of union dues . . . certainly suggest that Congress contemplated that unions would ordinarily pay their own expenses."

    b. The Union’s Position

      Under the Union’s proposal, it would be afforded one official bulletin board, of at least 24" x 30", for each division, normally located at the same areas as the official civilian bulletin boards "unless the Union designates another location." Posted material would not be subject to the Employer’s approval, but would be clearly identified as Union issuances, and "shall not contain material that is scurrilous, libelous, or unlawful." Office space would continue as currently provided; any Employer-proposed changes in the location of the Union’s office space would be negotiated prior to implementation. The Union office would be renovated with the addition of new or used furniture, carpeting, and painting "to bring it up to the levels commensurate with other administrative offices base wide;" other "facilities," including telephone, fax line, and computer capabilities, also would continue as currently provided. When official facilities described in the article are used, the Union would bear sole responsibility for maintaining them in good order. Finally, the Employer would be required to provide the Union with: (1) a fax machine, a personal computer with standard software, programs and capabilities compatible with the most current technology in use by other departments (e.g., Powerpoint and spreadsheet programs), a laser printer, access to Internet services and e-mail, official time for training to use these programs, and a photocopier, all of which may be provided either new or used; (2) the use of Agency metered mail for representational matters (but not mass mailings); and (3) copies of all Air Force Civilian personnel regulations, with supplements or changes, and the Federal Personnel Manual, Code of Federal Regulations, Air Force Directives, Circulars and Handbooks, personnel manuals, and classification and qualification standards.

    Its proposal on bulletin board space and posting procedures "is a reasonable improvement over the provisions of the old contract," and its proposed wording on office space essentially would maintain the status quo. Moreover, if the Employer proposes to move the current Union office, its wording clarifies the Union’s "right to negotiate in this area." The Panel representative’s pre-jurisdictional site visit demonstrated the "self-evident" reasonableness of its "proposals for improvement," as well as "the ridiculousness of the Agency’s proposals for Union-paid rent, etc." Overall, its proposals in this article, including those involving the use of used equipment, "are in line with typical facilities provisions in labor agreements, Government-wide."

CONCLUSIONS

    We have carefully examined the parties’ respective positions on the portions of this article where there is disagreement, and find no reason to disturb the status quo regarding the location and size of Union bulletin boards. Accordingly, we shall order the adoption of the Employer’s proposal on these matters. As to the issue of whether Union material should be subject to management approval, however, a sampling of Federal sector labor agreements failed to uncover any that permit an employer to approve the posting of material on bulletin board space designated for the union’s use. On the other hand, examples of agreements with the kind of wording proposed by the Union are not uncommon. For this reason, we shall order the adoption of the Union’s proposal to resolve this aspect of the parties’ impasse.

    Concerning the subject of office space, the Union’s proposal amounts to little more than a contractual acknowledgment of the parties’ current practice, which the Employer states has been in effect for the previous three agreements. In addition, requiring negotiations over Employer-proposed changes in the location of the Union office reflects management’s statutory requirement to bargain over the substance of such decisions. The adoption of the Union’s proposal regarding renovations and maintenance of Union office space and equipment also appears reasonable. In this regard, a site visit to the Union’s office during the pre-jurisdictional meeting revealed that it could use carpeting and furniture to raise its appearance to the level of other offices in the building. Moreover, placing it on the Employer’s routine maintenance contract should be of minor expense. By contrast, the Employer’s proposal to require the Union to pay rent and utilities for office space on its premises appears inconsistent with widely-accepted practices in the Federal sector. For these reasons, we also shall order the Union’s wording with respect to office space and equipment, and their renovation and maintenance.

    Finally, in our view, neither party has demonstrated a need for adopting its proposals regarding the use of Government supplies, furniture, and services for Union business (Union final offer, Sections 6-8; Employer final offer, Section 5). In this connection, the previous sections of the Union’s final offer being adopted on this article appear to provide adequate facilities and equipment for conducting the Union’s representational functions. While some of the items it is requesting the Employer to furnish at no expense to itself may be justifiable, we are unwilling to pick and choose from the extensive list it proposes, particularly in circumstances where it appears the Panel is being used as a substitute for the hard give-and-take of collective bargaining. Therefore, the Panel shall impose wording on this article consistent with the discussion above that does not include either of the parties’ proposals on these sections.

ORDER

    Pursuant to the authority vested in it by the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute, 5 U.S.C. § 7119, and because of the failure of the parties to resolve their dispute during the course of proceedings instituted under the Panel’s regulations, 5 C.F.R. § 2471.6(a)(2), the Federal Service Impasses Panel under § 2471.11(a) of its regulations hereby orders the following:

I. Article 6: Representational Duties and Official Time

    The parties shall adopt the following wording:

1. In order to develop and maintain effective labor-management relations, the Employer agrees to recognize the Union President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, one Chief Steward, and not to exceed six stewards as appropriate users of official time for Union representational functions. The Union agrees to provide the Employer with a list of the names, duty locations, telephone number and the area that the stewards are authorized to represent. Stewards designated for each major organization will normally serve as the initial point of contact for management as well as employees in all matters. The Union agrees that all steward vacancies will be filled as soon as possible. The Union will maintain a current list of all Union officers and stewards and will provide the Employer an updated copy as changes occur. Attachment 1, Request for Use of Official Time, will be used to document all official time used under this agreement.

2. With the exception of the Union President and Chief Steward, whose use of official time is addressed separately below, whenever it is necessary for an officer or steward to leave his/her work area for representational purposes, he/she shall request permission from his/her immediate supervisor as much in advance as possible. Such request shall include information as to where he/she is going, how he/she can be contacted, the specific nature of the business to be transacted, and when he/she expects to return to his/her workstation. If the official time is approved but must be rescheduled, the supervisor will inform the official/steward of an alternate suitable time. Official time will be approved and scheduled to the extent consistent with the workload requirements of the duty section. Upon return to the work area, the officer or steward will report to his/her supervisor to allow the amount of time used to be noted. When it is necessary for a Union officer or steward to visit an employee or another Union officer or steward, in their work area, the officer or steward will secure permission from the supervisor of the officer/steward/employee who is receiving the visit before entering the work area. Union officers and stewards will limit their absence for representational duties to the minimum amount of time necessary to carry out the Union’s responsibilities. Requests that a Union representative or employee be permitted to adjust his/her starting and quitting times so as to allow the Union representative to assist an employee on a different shift will not be unreasonably denied.

3. In addition to any official time to which Union representatives are statutorily entitled, Union officers and stewards will be granted the following amounts of official time to perform appropriate representational functions:

Local Union President - the last hour of each workday.

Chief Steward - the last 3 hours of each workday.

All other Officers and Stewards - Such time as is reasonable and necessary.

Union officers and stewards will also be granted official time to attend joint Employer/Union committees of which they are members, to respond or make recommendations to requests from supervisors, management, or agency officials, and for attending other official meetings when approved in advance by the Employer.

4. Up to 90 hours of official time will be allotted to the Union per year to be used by Union officers and stewards for Union sponsored training concerning representational duties. Administrative excusal for this purpose will cover only such portions of the training session, which meet the foregoing criteria. The Union agrees to submit written requests for the use of official time at least 4 weeks before the training is scheduled. The request will be submitted to the Civilian Personnel Officer and include the name of the Union representative attending, the dates of the training, number of official hours requested, the agenda and type of training. The Employer will review the training agenda, determine if the training is an appropriate use of official time and notify the Union in writing within 5 workdays of its approval/disapproval. The Union officer or steward will request use of official time for the training session from his/her immediate supervisor as outlined in paragraphs 1 and 2 of this article.

5. National representatives of the Union having a requirement to visit the facility will be granted access in accordance with existing procedures for visitor passes. The visit will be arranged through the Civilian Personnel Officer or his/her designated representative. The Union representative will contact the employee’s supervisor prior to contacting the employee.

II. Article 19, Dues Withholding

    The parties shall adopt the Union’s proposal.

III. Article 21, Official Facilities

    The parties shall adopt the following wording:

1. The Union will be afforded a portion of each official civilian bulletin board and their locations are as recorded at the Civilian Personnel Office and will not be less that one for each division. Material presented on the civilian bulletin boards will not be subject to approval by the Employer, however, the Union agrees that all such material will be clearly identified as Union issuances and shall not contain material that is scurrilous, libelous, or unlawful. Location of Union authorized space on the civilian bulletin board will be designated by the Employer and shall wherever possible be a space 16" by 20".

2. The Employer will, within the limit of base resources, continue to provide the Union, upon request, a meeting room to conduct Union meetings. The location, size, and visual aids to direct persons to the office will be determined by the Employer. A Union representative is entitled to reasonable privacy in the immediate work area of an employee whom he/she is having discussions authorized by the terms of this agreement.

3. The Employer will continue to provide the Union such office space as has previously been provided. If during the term of this agreement it becomes necessary for the Employer to propose a change to the location of the Union’s office space, the Union will be afforded advance notice and the Employer will negotiate upon request of the Union prior to implementing any such change. The Union office will be renovated with the addition of new or used furniture, carpeting and painting to bring it up to levels commensurate with other administrative offices base wide. Union office space will also be provided with upkeep as regular contract maintenance performs base wide. Other facilities, including telephone line, fax line, and computer capabilities will continue as previously provided.

4. The Union may request the use of base facilities. The approval of such a request will be in accordance with appropriate regulations and governing guidelines and established policies of the Base Commander.

5. When official facilities described in this Article are used, the Union is solely responsible for maintaining the facility in good order.

 

By direction of the Panel.

Ellen J. Kolansky

Acting Executive Director

August 3, 1999

Washington, D.C.

1.The investigation included a face-to-face pre-jurisdictional meeting between the parties and the Panel’s Executive Director at the Employer’s facility in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania.

2.The CBA is referred to variously in this decision as the “current contract,” the “expired CBA,” or the “old contract.”

3.The parties’ final offers are attached as Appendixes A and B.

4.Department of the Navy, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Lloyd C. Cochrane and Portsmouth Federal Employees Metal Trades Council, AFL-CIO, and Lloyd C. Cochrane, 19 FLRA 586 (1985).

5.See, for example