U.S. Department of Labor (Agency/Petitioner) and Local 12, American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO (Labor Organization) and U.S. Department of Labor (Agency) and National Council of Field Labor Locals, American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO (Labor Organization/Petitioner) and Council 208, American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO (Labor Organization) 



[ v03 p265 ]
03:0265(41)CU
The decision of the Authority follows:


 3 FLRA No. 41
 
 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
 Agency/Petitioner
 
 and
 
 LOCAL 12, AMERICAN FEDERATION
 OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO
 Labor Organization
                                            Civil Service Commission
                                            Case No. 114
 
 
 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
 Agency
 
 and
 
 NATIONAL COUNCIL OF FIELD LABOR
 LOCALS, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
 EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO
 Labor Organization/Petitioner
 
 and
 
 COUNCIL 208, AMERICAN FEDERATION
 OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO
 Labor Organization
                                            Civil Service Commission
                                            Case No. 132
 
                            DECISION AND ORDER
 
    UPON PETITIONS DULY FILED UNDER SECTION 6 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 11491,
 AS AMENDED, A HEARING WAS HELD BEFORE HEARING OFFICER NANCY ANDERSON.
 THE HEARING OFFICER'S RULINGS MADE AT THE HEARING ARE FREE FROM
 PREJUDICIAL ERROR AND ARE HEREBY AFFIRMED.
 
    THE FUNCTIONS OF THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF LABOR FOR
 LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS, UNDER EXECUTIVE ORDER 11491, AS AMENDED, IN
 A MATTER SUCH AS HERE INVOLVED, 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 RULES AND REGULATIONS (45 F.R. 3482, JANUARY 17, 1980).  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).
 
    UPON THE ENTIRE RECORD IN THESE CASES, INCLUDING BRIEFS FILED BY THE
 PARTIES, THE AUTHORITY FINDS:  /1/
 
    IN CASE NO. CSC 114, THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR (DOL) SEEKS TO CLARIFY
 THE STATUS OF THE UNIT REPRESENTED EXCLUSIVELY BY LOCAL 12 OF THE
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES (LOCAL 12) BY ACCRETING TO
 IT THE HEADQUARTERS EMPLOYEES OF THE MINE SAFETY AND HEALTH
 ADMINISTRATION (MSHA) OF THE DOL.  IN CASE NO. CSC 132, THE NATIONAL
 COUNCIL OF FIELD LABOR LOCALS OF THE AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
 EMPLOYEES (THE COUNCIL) SEEKS TO CLARIFY THE UNIT OF DOL EMPLOYEES WHICH
 IT REPRESENTS EXCLUSIVELY BY ACCRETING TO THAT UNIT THE FIELD EMPLOYEES
 OF THE MSHA.  THE PARTIES TO BOTH CASES FULLY SUPPORT THE ACCRETIONS
 SOUGHT IN THE TWO PETITIONS.
 
    ON NOVEMBER 9, 1977, THE FUNCTIONS OF MINE SAFETY AND INSPECTION WERE
 TRANSFERRED ALONG WITH APPROXIMATELY 3500 EMPLOYEES PERFORMING THE
 FUNCTIONS FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR TO DOL, PURSUANT TO THE
 FEDERAL MINE SAFETY AND HEALTH AMENDMENTS ACT OF 1977, PUBLIC LAW
 95-164.  THE REASONING BEHIND THE TRANSFER WAS A CONGRESSIONALLY
 PERCEIVED CONFLICT OF INTEREST WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR, WHICH
 ALSO HAS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF MAXIMIZING MINING PRODUCTION.  IT WAS
 FELT THAT THE FUNCTIONS WERE MORE COMPATIBLE WITH THE DOL'S MISSION OF
 PROTECTION OF WORKERS AND THE INSURING OF SAFE AND HEALTHFUL WORKING
 CONDITIONS.  SEE, SENATE REPORT NO. 95-181 TO THE FEDERAL MINE SAFETY
 AND HEALTH AMENDMENTS ACT OF 1977.
 
    PRIOR TO THE TRANSFER, THE FUNCTIONS OF MINE SAFETY AND INSPECTION
 WERE PERFORMED BY THE MINING ENFORCEMENT SAFETY ADMINISTRATION (MESA) OF
 THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR.  THE MESA'S OBJECTIVES WERE TO ADMINISTER
 THE PROVISIONS OF THE FEDERAL METAL AND NONMETALLIC MINE SAFETY ACT AND
 THE FEDERAL COAL MINE HEALTH AND SAFETY ACT.  THE MESA ORGANIZATION
 INCLUDED A HEADQUARTERS OFFICE IN THE WASHINGTON, D.C., METROPOLITAN
 AREA, AND VARIOUS FIELD OFFICES CONCENTRATED IN THE NORTHEAST WHICH
 REPORTED THROUGH ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATORS TO THE ADMINISTRATOR OF MESA.
 THE ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATORS FOR ASSESSMENTS, COAL MINE HEALTH AND
 SAFETY, METAL AND NONMETAL MINE HEALTH AND SAFETY, EDUCATION AND
 TRAINING, AND TECHNICAL SUPPORT EACH HAD THEIR OWN FIELD OFFICES. /2/
 
    FOUR CERTIFIED EXCLUSIVE UNITS REPRESENTED BY THREE DIFFERENT LOCALS
 OF THE AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES (AFGE) WERE IN
 EXISTENCE AT THE TIME OF THE TRANSFER. NONE OF THE AFGE LOCALS EXPRESSED
 AN OBJECTION TO THE ACCRETIONS SOUGHT HEREIN.  MORE THAN FIFTY PERCENT
 OF THE MESA EMPLOYEES WERE IN THESE AFGE UNITS.  AMONG THE UNREPRESENTED
 MESA EMPLOYEES WERE ALL OF ITS HEADQUARTERS EMPLOYEES AND LESS THAN HALF
 OF THE FIELD EMPLOYEES.
 
    THE STRUCTURE OF DOL PRIOR TO THE TRANSFER INCLUDED SEVEN ASSISTANT
 SECRETARY LEVEL ORGANIZATIONS WITH APPROXIMATELY 20,000 EMPLOYEES.  EACH
 ORGANIZATION HAS ITS OWN OPERATIONAL FIELD STRUCTURE, AND OPERATES
 SEPARATELY, WHILE BEING ADMINISTERED THROUGH 10 REGIONAL OFFICES WHICH
 SERVICE ALL OF THEIR FIELD ACTIVITIES.  ALL OF THE DOL'S ORGANIZATIONAL
 ELEMENTS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR PROMOTING THE WELFARE OF THE AMERICAN
 WORKER.  ALL OF THE DOL'S ELIGIBLE EMPLOYEES (WITH THE EXCEPTION OF
 APPROXIMATELY 800 EMPLOYEES OF THE LABOR-MANAGEMENT SERVICES
 ADMINISTRATION WHO ARE IN A SEPARATE BARGAINING UNIT) WERE, AND CONTINUE
 TO BE, REPRESENTED EXCLUSIVELY BY LOCAL 12 IN WHAT IS ESSENTIALLY A
 HEADQUARTERS UNIT AND BY THE COUNCIL IN A FIELD UNIT.  /3/
 
    AT THE TIME OF THE TRANSFER OF THE APPROXIMATELY 3500 MESA EMPLOYEES
 TO THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR TO FORM THE NUCLEUS OF THE MSHA, THE DOL
 DECIDED, IN ORDER TO MINIMIZE THE DISRUPTION OF SERVICES TO THE PUBLIC,
 TO TRANSFER THE MESA ORGANIZATION AND PERSONNEL ESSENTIALLY INTACT AND
 TO INTEGRATE THE MSHA INTO THE DOL BOTH ADMINISTRATIVELY AND
 ORGANIZATIONALLY IN PHASES.  AN ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF LABOR FOR MINE
 SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION WAS APPOINTED.  HE MADE CERTAIN
 ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGES BASED ON THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE 1977 AMENDMENTS
 AND TO IMPROVE THE ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE.  CHIEFS OF THE INSPECTION
 FUNCTIONS FOR BOTH COAL MINES AND METAL AND NONMETAL MINES WERE
 ESTABLISHED AT THE ADMINISTRATOR LEVEL, AND CHIEFS OF THE SUPPORT
 FUNCTIONS OF ASSESSMENT, EDUCATION AND TRAINING, TECHNICAL SUPPORT, AND
 ADMINISTRATION AND MANAGEMENT WERE ESTABLISHED AT THE DIRECTOR LEVEL.
 IN OCTOBER OF 1978, THE MSHA WAS CONVERTED TO THE DOL INTEGRATED
 PERSONNEL, PAYROLL, AND BUDGET SYSTEM, AND BETWEEN JANUARY AND FEBRUARY
 OF 1979, THE MSHA FIELD OFFICES WERE INTEGRATED INTO THE DOL'S REGIONAL
 SYSTEM FOR PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT.  THE MSHA FIELD OFFICES ARE SERVICED BY
 ONLY 7 OF THE 10 DOL REGIONAL OFFICES DUE TO THE MAKEUP OF THE MSHA
 FIELD STRUCTURE.  THESE TWO ACTIONS NECESSITATED THE CLOSING OF OFFICES
 IN DENVER AND PITTSBURGH WHICH HAD FORMERLY PERFORMED PERSONNEL AND
 ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES FOR ALL MSHA FIELD EMPLOYEES AS A CARRY-OVER
 FROM THE MESA.  IN JULY, 1979, THE MSHA'S MISSION AND FUNCTION
 STATEMENTS WERE INCORPORATED INTO THE DOL'S MANUAL SERIES AND THE MSHA
 BECAME SUBJECT TO MOST OF THE DOL'S PERSONNEL AND ADMINISTRATIVE
 POLICIES, ALTHOUGH THE MSHA RETAINS ITS OWN MERIT PROMOTION PLAN AND
 DIFFERENT WORK HOURS FOR ITS FIELD INSPECTORS.  IN VIEW OF THE
 FOREGOING, IS FOUND THAT THE MSHA HAS BECOME ADMINISTRATI