U.S. Department of Agriculture, Science and Education Administration, Agricultural Research, North Central Region, Dakotas-Alaska Area (Respondent) and American Federation of Government Employees, Local 3748, AFL-CIO (Charging Party)



[ v06 p265 ]
06:0265(45)CA
The decision of the Authority follows:


 6 FLRA No. 45
 
 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
 SCIENCE AND EDUCATION ADMINISTRATION
 AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH, NORTH CENTRAL
 REGION, DAKOTAS-ALASKA AREA
 Respondent
 
 and
 
 LOCAL 3748, AMERICAN FEDERATION
 OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO
 Charging Party
 
                                            Case No. 7-CA-570
 
                            DECISION AND ORDER
 
   THIS MATTER IS BEFORE THE AUTHORITY PURSUANT TO REGIONAL DIRECTOR
GORDON BREWER'S "ORDER TRANSFERRING CASE TO THE FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS
AUTHORITY" IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 2429.1 OF THE AUTHORITY'S RULES
AND REGULATIONS(5 CFR 2429.1(A)).

   UPON CONSIDERATION OF THE ENTIRE RECORD IN THIS CASE, INCLUDING THE
PARTIES' STIPULATION OF FACTS, ACCOMPANYING EXHIBITS AND BRIEFS
SUBMITTED BY THE RESPONDENT AND THE GENERAL COUNSEL, THE AUTHORITY
FINDS:

   THE COMPLAINT HEREIN ALLEGES THAT THE RESPONDENT VIOLATED SECTION
7116(A)(1), (5) AND (8) OF THE FEDERAL SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT
RELATIONS STATUTE (THE STATUTE) BY REFUSING TO GRANT TRAVEL
AUTHORIZATIONS AND TRAVEL ADVANCES TO, AND REFUSING TO PAY THE TRAVEL
AND PER DIEM EXPENSES OF, PROPERLY DESIGNATED MEMBERS OF THE UNION
NEGOTIATING TEAM REQUIRED TO TRAVEL TO THE SITE FOR COLLECTIVE
BARGAINING NEGOTIATIONS.  THE RESPONDENT ADMITS IT ACTED AS ALLEGED, AND
ALSO ADMITS THAT SUCH CONDUCT IS VIOLATIVE OF THE THE STATUTE AS
PRESENTLY INTERPRETED.  /1/ HOWEVER, THE RESPONDENT URGES THAT PRECEDENT
BE REVERSED.  THUS IT ARGUES ESSENTIALLY THAT WHEN CONGRESS AUTHORIZED
"OFFICIAL TIME" FOR THE NEGOTIATION OF COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENTS
IN SECTION 7131(A), /2/ IT DID NOT INTEND TO INCLUDE WITHIN THAT
AUTHORIZATION PAYMENT OF TRAVEL AND PER DIEM EXPENSES.  IN THIS REGARD,
THE RESPONDENT TAKES THE POSITION THAT WHILE A UNION REPRESENTATIVE AT
NEGOTIATIONS MUST BE GIVEN OFFICIAL TIME FOR THIS ACTIVITY, THE TERM
"OFFICIAL TIME" IS INTENDED ONLY TO GRANT REPRESENTATION RIGHTS FOR
UNION REPRESENTATIVES DURING DUTY HOURS AND IS NOT INTENDED TO GRANT
ENTITLEMENT TO ANY TYPE OF EXPENSE PAYMENT.  ESSENTIALLY, THE RESPONDENT
ARGUES THAT AS THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM AND TRAVEL EXPENSES WAS NOT
PROVIDED FOR BY THE EXECUTIVE ORDER, AND THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY
PROVIDES, IN ITS VIEW, NO CLEAR INTENT TO CHANGE THE EXECUTIVE ORDER
PRACTICE IN THIS CONNECTION, THE STATUTE MUST BE INTERPRETED AS NOT
PROVIDING FOR SUCH PAYMENT.

   PAYMENT OF PER DIEM AND TRAVEL EXPENSES WAS DENIED TO THE FOLLOWING
EMPLOYEES, WHO SERVED AS NEGOTIATING TEAM MEMBERS FOR THE UNION AND WHO
FILED VOUCHERS SEEKING PAYMENT:  CURTIS A. KLEIN, CHARLES FLAKKER, BRUCE
BOEHM, JANE PROCHAZKA AND DORIS RODEN.  KLEIN'S VOUCHERS INCLUDED ALL
FOUR NEGOTIATING SESSIONS CONDUCTED BETWEEN THE PARTIES:  MAY 5-9, 1980;
 JUNE 9-13, 1980;  JULY 21-25, 1980;  AND SEPTEMBER 15-19, 1980.
BOEHM'S VOUCHERS INCLUDED THE JULY AND SEPTEMBER SESSIONS, FLAKKER'S
VOUCHER THE MAY SESSION, PROCHAZKA'S VOUCHER THE JUNE SESSION AND
RODEN'S THE JULY SESSION.

   THE AUTHORITY HAS CONSIDERED THE RESPONDENT'S ARGUMENTS THAT
ESTABLISHED PRECEDENT (NOTE 1, SUPRA) BE REVERSED, WHICH ARGUMENTS
ESSENTIALLY ARE BASED ON THE RESPONDENT'S READING OF THE LEGISLATIVE
HISTORY.  HOWEVER, NO BASIS HAS BEEN ADVANCED TO PERSUADE THE AUTHORITY
THAT THE ESTABLISHED PRECEDENT IS INCORRECT, NOR HAS THE RESPONDENT
RAISED ANY ARGUMENTS NOT PREVIOUSLY CONSIDERED BY THE AUTHORITY IN THE
CASES CITED.  THUS, THE AUTHORITY CONCLUDED IN THE INTERPRETATION AND
GUIDANCE DECISION BASED ON AN ANALYSIS OF SECTION 7101 OF THE STATUTE
AND THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF SECTION 7131 THAT "ANY EMPLOYEE WHO IS ON
OFFICIAL TIME UNDER SECTION 7131 OF THE STATUTE WHILE REPRESENTING AN
EXCLUSIVE REPRESENTATIVE IN THE NEGOTIATION OF A COLLECTIVE BARGAINING
AGREEMENT IS ENTITLED TO PAYMENTS FROM AGENCIES FOR THEIR DUTY TIME AND
TRAVEL AND PER DIEM EXPENSES." THEREFORE, THE AUTHORITY FINDS THAT THE
RESPONDENT VIOLATED SECTION 7116(A)(1) AND (8) WHEN IT DENIED PAYMENT OF
PER DIEM AND TRAVEL EXPENSES TO EMPLOYEES ON OFFICIAL TIME UNDER SECTION
7131(A) OF THE STATUTE WHILE REPRESENTING AN EXCLUSIVE REPRESENTATIVE IN
THE NEGOTIATION OF A COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT.  /3/

                                  ORDER

   PURSUANT TO SECTION 2423.29 OF THE RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE
FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY AND SECTION 7118 OF THE STATUTE, THE
AUTHORITY HEREBY ORDERS THAT THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, SCIENCE
AND EDUCATION ADMINISTRATION, AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH, NORTH CENTRAL
REGION, DAKOTAS-ALASKA AREA, SHALL:

   1.  CEASE AND DESIST FROM:

   (A) FAILING OR REFUSING AS REQUIRED BY SECTION 7131(A) OF THE STATUTE
TO PROVIDE PAYMENT OF PROPERLY DOCUMENTED TRAVEL AND PER DIEM EXPENSES
INCURRED BY CURTIS A.  KLEIN, CHARLES FLAKKER, JANE PROCHAZKA, DORIS
RODEN, AND BRUCE BOEHM, OR ANY OTHER OF ITS EMPLOYEES, AS A RESULT OF
THEIR PARTICIPATION, ON OFFICIAL TIME, AS DULY DESIGNATED
REPRESENTATIVES OF LOCAL 3748, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, THE EXCLUSIVE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE BARGAINING UNIT
EMPLOYEES, IN SCHEDULED UNION-AGENCY NEGOTIATION SESSIONS.

   (B) IN ANY LIKE OR RELATED MANNER INTERFERING WITH, RESTRAINING, OR
COERCING ITS EMPLOYEES IN THE EXERCISE OF THEIR RIGHTS ASSURED BY THE
STATUTE.

   2.  TAKE THE FOLLOWING AFFIRMATIVE ACTION IN ORDER TO EFFECTUATE THE
PURPOSES AND POLICIES OF THE STATUTE:

   (A) PROVIDE PAYMENT TO CURTIS A. KLEIN IN REIMBURSEMENT OF THE
PROPERLY DOCUMENTED CLAIMS HE HAS SUBMITTED FOR PAYMENT OF THE TRAVEL
AND PER DIEM EXPENSES HE HAS INCURRED AS A RESULT OF HIS PARTICIPATION,
ON OFFICIAL TIME, AS A DULY DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ABOVE
UNION, IN UNION-AGENCY NEGOTIATING SESSIONS ON MAY 5-9, 1980, JUNE 9-13,
1980, JULY 21-25, 1980, AND SEPTEMBER 15-19, 1980.

   (B) PROVIDE PAYMENT TO CHARLES FLAKKER IN REIMBURSEMENT OF THE
PROPERLY DOCUMENTED CLAIMS HE HAS SUBMITTED FOR PAYMENT OF THE TRAVEL
AND PER DIEM EXPENSES HE HAS INCURRED AS A RESULT OF HIS PARTICIPATION,
ON OFFICIAL TIME, AS A DULY DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ABOVE
UNION, IN UNION-AGENCY NEGOTIATING SESSIONS ON MAY 5-9, 1980.

   (C) PROVIDE PAYMENT TO JANE PROCHAZKA IN REIMBURSEMENT OF THE
PROPERLY DOCUMENTED CLAIMS SHE HAS SUBMITTED FOR PAYMENT OF THE TRAVEL
AND PER DIEM EXPENSES SHE HAS INCURRED AS A RESULT OF HER PARTICIPATION,
ON OFFICIAL TIME, AS A DULY DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ABOVE
UNION, IN UNION-AGENCY NEGOTIATING SESSIONS ON JUNE 9-13, 1980.

   (D) PROVIDE PAYMENT TO DORIS RODEN IN REIMBURSEMENT OF THE PROPERLY
DOCUMENTED CLAIMS SHE HAS SUBMITTED FOR PAYMENT OF THE TRAVEL AND PER
DIEM EXPENSES SHE HAS INCURRED AS A RESULT OF HER PARTICIPATION, ON
OFFICIAL TIME, AS A DULY DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ABOVE UNION,
IN UNION-AGENCY NEGOTIATING SESSIONS ON JULY 21-25, 1980.

   (E) PROVIDE PAYMENT TO BRUCE BOEHM IN REIMBURSEMENT OF THE PROPERLY
DOCUMENTED CLAIMS HE HAS SU9MITTED FOR PAYMENT OF THE TRAVEL AND PER
DIEM EXPENSES HE HAS INCURRED AS A RESULT OF HIS PARTICIPATION, ON
OFFICIAL TIME, AS A DULY DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ABOVE UNION,
IN UNION-AGENCY NEGOTIATING SESSIONS ON JULY 21-25, 1980, AND SEPTEMBER
15-19.

   (F) POST AT ITS FACILITIES AT U.S