Department of the Air Force, 47th Flying Training Wing, Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas (Respondent) and American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1749, AFL-CIO, Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas (Complainant) 

 



[ v01 p733 ]
01:0733(81)CA
The decision of the Authority follows:


 1 FLRA No. 81
 
 DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE,
 47TH FLYING TRAINING WING,
 LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, TEXAS
 Respondent
 
 and
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
 EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 1749, AFL-CIO,
 LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, TEXAS
 Complainant
 
                                            Assistant Secretary
                                            Case No. 63-8164(CA)
 
                            DECISION AND ORDER
 
    ON JANUARY 25, 1979, ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE ALEXANDER KARST ISSUED
 HIS RECOMMENDED DECISION AND ORDER IN THE ABOVE-ENTITLED PROCEEDING,
 FINDING THAT THE RESPONDENT HAD NOT ENGAGED IN THE UNFAIR LABOR
 PRACTICES ALLEGED IN THE COMPLAINT AND RECOMMENDING THAT THE COMPLAINT
 BE DISMISSED IN ITS ENTIRETY.  THEREAFTER, THE COMPLAINANT FILED
 EXCEPTIONS WITH RESPECT TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE'S RECOMMENDED
 DECISION AND ORDER.
 
    THE FUNCTIONS OF THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF LABOR FOR
 LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS UNDER EXECUTIVE ORDER 11491, AS AMENDED, WERE
 TRANSFERRED TO THE AUTHORITY UNDER SECTION 304 OF REORGANIZATION PLAN
 NO. 2 OF 1978 (43 F.R. 36040), WHICH TRANSFER OF FUNCTIONS IS
 IMPLEMENTED BY SECTION 2400.2 OF THE AUTHORITY'S TRANSITION RULES AND
 REGULATIONS (44 F.R. 7).  THE AUTHORITY CONTINUES TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR
 THE PERFORMANCE OF THESE FUNCTIONS AS PROVIDED IN SECTION 7135(B) OF THE
 FEDERAL SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS STATUTE (92 STAT. 1215).
 
    THEREFORE, PURSUANT TO SECTION 2400.2 OF THE AUTHORITY'S TRANSITION
 RULES AND REGULATIONS AND SECTION 7135(B) OF THE STATUTE, THE AUTHORITY
 HAS REVIEWED THE RULINGS OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE MADE AT THE
 HEARING AND FINDS THAT NO PREJUDICIAL ERROR WAS COMMITTED.  THE RULINGS
 ARE HEREBY AFFIRMED.  UPON CONSIDERATION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE LAW
 JUDGE'S RECOMMENDED DECISION AND ORDER AND THE ENTIRE RECORD IN THIS
 CASE, INCLUDING THE EXCEPTIONS FILED BY THE COMPLAINANT, THE AUTHORITY
 HEREBY ADOPTS THE ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE'S FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS AND
 RECOMMENDATIONS AS MODIFIED HEREIN.
 
    THE ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE CONCLUDED THAT THE RESPONDENT HAD NOT
 VIOLATED SECTION 19(A)(1) AND (6) OF THE ORDER WHEN IT IMPLEMENTED A
 CHANGE IN THE TELEPHONE SYSTEM OF ITS CIVIL ENGINEERING FACILITY WITHOUT
 PRIOR NOTICE TO THE COMPLAINANT.  IN REACHING THIS CONCLUSION, HE FOUND,
 AMONG OTHER THINGS, THAT BY DISCUSSING THE IMPACT OF THE CHANGE WITH THE
 COMPLAINANT AFTER ITS IMPLEMENTATION AND BY MAKING EFFORTS TO REMEDY THE
 TECHNICAL DEFICIENCIES OF THE NEW TELEPHONE SYSTEM, THE RESPONDENT HAD
 DISCHARGED SATISFACTORILY ITS DUTY TO NEGOTIATE WITE THE COMPLAINANT
 OVER THE IMPACT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF ITS ACTION.  HE ALSO FOUND THAT
 THE RESPONDENT WAS UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO MEET AND CONFER WITH THE
 COMPLAINANT BEFORE DECIDING TO MODIFY ITS TELEPHONE SYSTEM AND, FURTHER,
 THAT THE FACT THAT THE NEW SYSTEM MADE IT MORE DIFFICULT FOR THE
 COMPLAINANT'S OFFICIALS TO CARRY OUT THEIR UNION DUTIES FAILED TO GIVE
 RISE TO AN INDEPENDENT VIOLATION OF SECTION 19(A)(1) OF THE ORDER.
 
    THE ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE'S RECOMMENDATION IS ADOPTED INSOFAR AS
 IT DISMISSES THE PORTIONS OF THE INSTANT COMPLAINT ALLEGING VIOLATIONS
 OF SECTION 19(A)(1) AND (6) BY THE RESPONDENT'S ALLEGED FAILURE TO
 BARGAIN OVER ITS DECISION TO MODIFY THE TELEPHONE SYSTEM.  HOWEVER,
 CONTRARY TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE, IT IS CONCLUDED, IN THE
 CIRCUMSTANCES OF THIS CASE, THAT THE RESPONDENT'S FAILURE TO NOTIFY THE
 COMPLAINANT OF THE DECISION PRIOR TO THE MODIFICATION DENIED THE
 COMPLAINANT ITS RIGHT TO NEGOTIATE OVER THE IMPACT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF
 A CHANGE IN WORKING CONDITIONS, THEREBY VIOLATING SECTION 19(A)(1) AND
 (6) OF THE ORDER.  FURTHER, THE RESPONDENT'S SUBSEQUENT NEGOTIATIONS
 OVER THE IMPACT OF THE CHANGE, SEVERAL WEEKS AFTER THE NEW TELEPHONE
 SYSTEM WAS INSTALLED, DID NOT SERVE TO REMEDY THE INITIAL FAILURE TO
 NOTIFY THE COMPLAINANT.  /1/
 
    ACCORDINGLY, CONSISTENT WITH THIS DECISION, THE AUTHORITY HEREBY
 ISSUES THE FOLLOWING ORDER:  /2/
 
                                   ORDER
 
    PURSUANT TO SECTION 2400.2 OF THE TRANSITION RULES AND REGULATIONS OF
 THE FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY AND SECTION 7135 OF THE FEDERAL
 SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS STATUTE, THE AUTHORITY HEREBY ORDERS
 THAT THE WING COMMANDER, DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, 47TH FLYING
 TRAINING WING, LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, TEXAS, SHALL:
 
    1.  CEASE AND DESIST FROM:
 
    (A) CHANGING ESTABLISHED PRACTICES WITH REGARD TO THE CIVIL
 ENGINEERING TELEPHONE SYSTEM WITHOUT NOTIFYING THE AMERICAN FEDERATION
 OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 1749, AFL-CIO, THE EMPLOYEES' EXCLUSIVE
 BARGAINING REPRESENTATIVE, AND AFFORDING IT A REASONABLE OPPORTUNITY TO
 MEET AND CONFER, TO THE EXTENT CONSONANT WITH LAW AND REGULATIONS, ON
 THE PROCEDURES TO BE OBSERVED IN IMPLEMENTING SUCH CHANGES, AND THE
 IMPACT THE CHANGES WILL HAVE ON ADVERSELY AFFECTED EMPLOYEES.
 
    (B) IN ANY LIKE OR RELATED MANNER INTERFERING WITH, RESTRAINING, OR
 COERCING EMPLOYEES IN THE EXERCISE OF THEIR RIGHTS ASSURED BY EXECUTIVE
 ORDER 11491, AS AMENDED.
 
    2.  TAKE THE FOLLOWING AFFIRMATIVE ACTION:
 
    (A) UPON REQUEST BY THE AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES,
 LOCAL 1749, AFL-CIO, MEET AND CONFER, TO THE EXTENT CONSONANT WITH LAW
 AND REGULATIONS, CONCERNING THE PROCEDURES TO BE OBSERVED IN
 IMPLEMENTING CHANGES IN ITS CIVIL ENGINEERING TELEPHONE SYSTEM, AND ON
 THE IMPACT SUCH CHANGES WILL HAVE ON ADVERSELY AFFECTED EMPLOYEES.
 
    (B) POST AT ITS CIVIL ENGINEERING FACILITY COPIES OF THE ATTACHED
 NOTICE MARKED "APPENDIX" ON FORMS TO BE FURNISHED BY THE FEDERAL LABOR
 RELATIONS AUTHORITY.  UPON RECEIPT OF SUCH FORMS THEY SHALL BE SIGNED BY
 THE WING COMMANDER AND SHALL BE POSTED AND MAINTAINED FOR 60 CONSECUTIVE
 DAYS THEREAFTER, IN CONSPICUOUS PLACES, INCLUDING BULLETIN BOARDS AND
 OTHER PLACES WHERE NOTICES TO EMPLOYEES ARE CUSTOMARILY POSTED.  THE
 WING COMMANDER SHALL TAKE REASONABLE STEPS TO ENSURE THAT SUCH NOTICES
 ARE NOT ALTERED, DEFACED, OR COVERED BY ANY OTHER MATERIAL.
 
    (C) NOTIFY THE FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY, IN WRITING, WITHIN
 30 DAYS FROM THE DATE OF THIS ORDER AS TO WHAT STEPS HAVE BEEN TAKEN TO
 COMPLY HEREWITH.
 
    IT IS HEREBY FURTHER ORDERED THAT THE REMAINDER OF THE COMPLAINT IN
 ASSISTANT SECRETARY CASE NO. 63-8164(CA) BE, AND IT HEREBY IS,
 DISMISSED.
 
    ISSUED, WASHINGTON, D.C., JULY 9, 1979
 
                       RONALD W. HAUGHTON, CHAIRMAN
 
                       HENRY B. FRAZIER III, MEMBER
 
                     FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 
                                 APPENDIX
 
                          NOTICE TO ALL EMPLOYEES
 
           PURSUANT TO A DECISION AND ORDER OF THE FEDERAL LABOR
 
            RELATIONS AUTHORITY AND IN ORDER TO EFFECTUATE THE
 
          POLICIES OF CHAPTER 71 OF TITLE 5 OF THE UNITED STATES
 
              CODE FEDERAL SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS
 
                   WE HEREBY NOTIFY OUR EMPLOYEES THAT:
 
    WE WILL NOT CHANGE ESTABLISHED PRACTICES WITH REGARD TO THE CIVIL
 ENGINEERING TELEPHONE SYSTEM WITHOUT NOTIFYING THE AMERICAN FEDERATION
 OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 1749, AFL-CIO, THE EMPLOYEES' EXCLUSIVE
 BARGAINING REPRESENTATIVE, AND AFFORDING IT A REASONABLE OPPORTUNITY TO
 MEET AND CONFER, TO THE EXTENT CONSONANT WITH LAW AND REGULATIONS, ON
 THE PROCEDURES TO BE OBSERVED IN IMPLEMENTING SUCH CHANGES, AND ON THE
 IMPACT THE CHANGES WILL HAVE ON ADVERSELY AFFECTED EMPLOYEES.
 
    WE WILL NOT IN ANY LIKE OR RELATED MANNER INTERFERE WITH, RESTRAIN,
 OR COERCE EMPLOYEES IN THE EXERCISE OF THEIR RIGHTS ASSURED BY EXECUTIVE
 ORDER 11491, AS AMENDED.
 
    WE WILL TO THE EXTENT CONSONANT WITH LAW, REGULATIONS OF APPROPRIATE
 AUTHORITIES, AND EXECUTIVE ORDER 11491, AS AMENDED, AFFORD AFGE LOCAL
 1749 THE OPPORTUNITY TO BARGAIN OVER THE IMPACT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF
 CHANGES AFFECTING PERSONNEL POLICIES, PRACTICES, OR WORKING CONDITIONS,
 INCLUDING CHANGES IN THE CIVIL ENGINEERING TELEPHONE SYSTEM.
 
                           (AGENCY OR ACTIVITY)
 
    DATED:  . . .
 
                                BY:  . . .
 
                                (SIGNATURE)
 
    THIS NOTICE MUST REMAIN POSTED FOR 60 CONSECUTIVE DAYS FROM THE DATE
 OF POSTING AND MUST NOT BE ALTERED, DEFACED, OR COVERED BY ANY OTHER
 MATERIAL.
 
    IF EMPLOYEES HAVE ANY QUESTIONS CONCERNING THIS NOTICE OR COMPLIANCE
 WITH ANY OF ITS PROVISIONS, THEY MAY COMMUNICATE DIRECTLY WITH THE
 REGIONAL DIRECTOR FOR THE FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY, WHOSE
 ADDRESS IS:  ROOM 707, GRIFFIN SQUARE BLDG., GRIFFIN & YOUNG STREETS,
 DALLAS, TEXAS 75202.
 
    MAJOR JAMES E. DUMERER
 
    CENTRAL LABOR LAW OFFICE
 
    DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE
 
    727 E. DURANGO BOULEVARD, SUITE B604
 
    SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS 78206
 
                            FOR THE RESPONDENT
 
    ROY FLORES, PRESIDENT
 
    AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
 
    EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, LOCAL 1749
 
    P.O. BOX 1165
 
    DEL RIO, TEXAS 78840
 
                            FOR THE COMPLAINANT
 
    DOYLE F. HUNTSMAN, NATIONAL REPRESENTATIVE
 
    AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
 
    EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO
 
    442 ROTHE LOOP
 
    NEW BRAUNFELS, TEXAS 78130
 
                            FOR THE COMPLAINANT
 
    BEFORE:  ALEXANDER KARST
 
    ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE
 
                            DECISION AND ORDER
 
    IN THIS PROCEEDING UNDER EXECUTIVE ORDER 11491, HEARD IN DEL RIO,
 TEXAS ON OCTOBER 3, 1978, THE AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
 EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 1749, AFL-CIO (HEREINAFTER AFGE OR UNION), COMPLAINS
 THAT IN OCTOBER 1977, THE LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE (HEREINAFTER LAUGHLIN
 OR RESPONDENT), UNILATERALLY CHANGED THE TELEPHONE SYSTEM IN ITS CIVIL
 ENGINEERING SHOPS WITHOUT NOTICE TO AFGE AND WITHOUT PRIOR NEGOTIATIONS
 ABOUT THE CHANGE OR ITS IMPACT.
 
    PRIOR TO OCTOBER 1977, THE CIVIL ENGINEERING SHOPS AT LAUGHLIN HAD
 CONVENTIONAL DIRECT DIALING TELEPHONES ON WHICH CALLS COULD BE MADE ON
 OR OFF-BASE.  ON OCTOBER 11, 1977, LAUGHLIN REPLACED THESE TELEPHONES
 WITH A NEW SYSTEM REQUIRING ALL CALLS TO BE MADE TO A CENTRAL
 SWITCHBOARD.  INITIALLY THE CALLER COULD ONLY SPEAK WITH THE CENTRAL
 SWITCHBOARD OR BE CALLED BY IT, AND COULD NOT BE CONNECTED WITH ANY
 OTHER TELEPHONE.  THE CHANGE WAS MADE TO COMPLY WITH AIR FORCE
 REGULATION AFR 85-1 PROMULGATED IN 1972 WHICH REQUIRED A CONVERSION OF
 THE CIVIL ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT TO A "CONTROLLER SYSTEM" WHEREUNDER ALL
 WORK ASSIGNMENTS AND TELEPHONE CALLS WOULD BE COMMUNICATED THROUGH A
 CENTRAL CONTROLLER.  THE CHANGE OF THE TELEPHONE SYSTEM WAS A PART OF
 THE SWITCH OVER TO THE CONTROLLER SYSTEM.
 
    THE UNION CLAIMS THAT SINCE ITS FIRST COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT
 WITH LAUGHLIN WAS ENTERED INTO IN 1971, THE CHANGE OF THE TELEPHONE
 SYSTEM COULD NOT BE MADE WITHOUT PRIOR NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE UNION, EVEN
 IF SUCH A CHANGE WERE MANDATED BY AFR 85-1, BECAUSE THE UNION CONTRACT
 PRE-DATED AFR 85-1.  LAUGHLIN MAINTAINS THAT THE CHANGE WAS IN FACT MADE
 DURING THE LIFE OF A LATER UNION CONTRACT ENTERED INTO IN 1974, AND THAT
 THE LATTER CONTRACT INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE ALL EXISTING AIR FORCE
 REGULATIONS INCLUDING AFR 85-1.
 
    IT DOES APPEAR THAT WHEN AFR 85-1 WAS PROMULGATED BY THE AIR FORCE IN
 1972, THERE WAS IN EFFECT BETWEEN LAUGHLIN AND AFGE A COLLECTIVE
 BARGAINING AGREEMENT OF NOVEMBER 16, 1971.  ALTHOUGH THE EVIDENCE
 INTRODUCED DOES NOT SHOW IT, AFGE'S "FINAL BRIEF" STATES, NO DOUBT
 CORRECTLY, THAT THE 1971 AGREEMENT EXPIRED IN NOVEMBER 1973, BUT WAS
 EXTENDED UNTIL THE 1914 AGREEMENT CAME INTO EFFECT.  IT WAS STIPULATED
 THAT AT THE TIME THE TELEPHONE SYSTEM WAS CHANGED THE 1974 AGREEMENT WAS
 IN EFFECT.
 
    ASSUMING, ARGUENDO, THAT THE CHANGE OF THE TELEPHONE SYSTEM AFFECTED
 WORKING CONDITIONS, THERE IS SOME QUESTION WHETHER THESE TELEPHONES
 COULD HAVE BEEN CHANGED WITHOUT NEGOTIATION DURING THE LIFE OF THE 1971
 AGREEMENT.  BUT IT IS VERY CLEAR THAT WHEN THAT AGREEMENT EXPIRED, AND
 THE 1974 AGREEMENT CAME INTO BEING, THE 1972 AFR 85-1 BECAME OPERATIVE.
 THE LABOR RELATIONS COUNCIL HAS SO HELD IN ITS DECISION IN DEPARTMENT OF
 THE TREASURY AND NATIONAL TREASURY EMPLOYEES UNION ISSUED ON MARCH 17,
 1978 (FLRC NOS. 78A-40 AND 77A-92):
 
    . . . (T)HOSE AGENCY REGULATIONS ISSUED DURING THE TERM OF AN
 AGREEMENT AND WHICH WERE NOT
 
    OPERATIVE WITH RESPECT TO THE BARGAINING UNIT DURING SUCH TERM BECOME
 EFFECTIVE UPON THE
 
    EXPIRATION OF THAT AGREEMENT.  SUCH A RESULT IS MANDATED BY SECTION
 12(A) OF THE ORDER, WHICH,
 
    AS EXPLAINED IN THE REPORT ACCOMPANYING THE ORDER, REQUIRES THAN 'AN
 AGREEMENT MUST BE BROUGHT
 
    INTO CONFORMANCE WITH CURRENT AGENCY POLICIES AND REGULATIONS AT THE
 TIME IT IS RENEGOTIATED
 
    OR BEFORE IT IS EXTENDED, EXCEPT WHERE SPECIFIC EXCEPTIONS ARE
 GRANTED OR RENEWED.'
 
    NO EVIDENCE WAS PRESENTED SHOWING THAT AFR 85-1 WAS EXCEPTED FROM
 THIS AUTOMATIC INCORPORATION INTO THE 1914 AGREEMENT.  THUS AFR 85-1
 BECAME OPERATIVE AT LAUGHLIN AT THE TIME THE 1974 AGREEMENT WAS ENTERED
 INTO AND THEREFORE RESPONDENT WAS NOT REQUIRED TO MEET AND CONFER WITH
 AFGE BEFORE IT BEGAN CARRYING OUT THE MANDATE OF AFR 85-1.
 
    RESPONDENT ALSO ARGUES THAT SINCE SEC. 12(B) OF THE EXECUTIVE ORDER
 LEFT LAUGHLIN FREE TO "MAINTAIN THE EFFICIENCY OF (ITS) OPERATIONS" AND
 "TO DETERMINE THE METHODS (AND) MEANS . . ." BY WHICH TO DO IT, IT COULD
 SWITCH OVER TO THE PRESUMABLY MORE EFFICIENT CONTROLLER SYSTEM OR WORK
 AND COMMUNICATIONS WITHOUT NEGOTIATING ABOUT IT WITH THE UNION.  I AGREE
 WITH THIS CONTENTION.  SECTIONS 12(B)(4) AND (5) CLEARLY PERMIT LAUGHLIN
 TO CHANGE ITS METHODS OR MEANS OF CARRYING ON ITS OPERATIONS WITHOUT
 HAVING TO FIRST BARGAIN WITH LABOR UNIONS ABOUT SUCH CHANGES.  THE
 CHANGE TO THE CONTROLLER SYSTEM AND THE ATTENDANT CHANGE OF THE
 TELEPHONE SYSTEM HERE IN ISSUE WAS A CHANGE IN METHOD OF OPERATIONS AND
 LAUGHLIN NEED NOT HAVE BARGAINED ABOUT IT BEFOREHAND WITH THE UNION.
 
    IT APPEARS ALSO THAT THE CHANGE OF THE TELEPHONE SYSTEM WAS A PART OF
 "THE TECHNOLOGY OF PERFORMING (LAUGHLIN'S) WORK," WHICH CHANGE IS
 EXEMPTED FROM THE DUTY TO NEGOTIATE BY SEC. 11(B) OF THE EXECUTIVE
 ORDER.
 
    RESPONDENT CONCEDES THAT IT HAD THE DUTY TO NEGOTIATE OVER IMPACT AND
 IMPLEMENTATION OF AFR 85-1, BUT ASSERTS THAT IT FULFILLED THAT
 OBLIGATION.
 
    ABOUT A MONTH AFTER THE TELEPHONE CHANGE ON NOVEMBER 15, 1977, THERE
 WAS A MEETING BETWEEN THE PARTIES TO DISCUSS THE PROBLEMS CREATED BY THE
 CHANGE.  THESE PROBLEMS INCLUDED INTERFERENCE ON THE TELEPHONE LINES,
 FREQUENT BUSY SIGNALS, INABILITY TO RECEIVE OFF-BASE EMERGENCY CALLS
 FROM THE EMPLOYEES' FAMILIES, AVAILABILITY OF INSTRUMENTS ON WHICH
 EMPLOYEES COULD CALL OFF-BASE, INABILITY OF THE SEVERAL UNION OFFICIALS
 TO TELEPHONE ONE ANOTHER, AND AN INEFFICIENT SYSTEM OF HANDLING
 TELEPHONE MESSAGES.  AFTER THESE DISCUSSIONS LAUGHLIN OFFERED TO INSTALL
 A "TELEPATCHER" SYSTEM, I.E., FACILITIES ENABLING THE CENTRAL
 SWITCHBOARD TO CONNECT THE CALLER TO ANY OTHER INSTRUMENT ON OR
 OFF-BASE, AND TO PROVIDE A MEANS OF HANDLING EMERGENCY CALLS AND
 MESSAGES.
 
    ALTHOUGH THE PARTIES WERE TO MEET AGAIN BY MID-DECEMBER, THEY DID NOT
 FORMALLY DISCUSS THE SUBJECT AGAIN UNTIL JANUARY 5, 1978.  EACH SIDE
 BLAMES THE OTHER FOR THE DELAYS.  THE RECORD IS NOT CLEAR WHICH SIDE, IF