10:0415(71)CA - Treasury, IRS Center, Atlanta, GA and NTEU -- 1982 FLRAdec CA
[ v10 p415 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
10 FLRA No. 71 DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE CENTER ATLANTA, GEORGIA Respondent and NATIONAL TREASURY EMPLOYEES UNION Charging Party Case No. 4-CA-590 DECISION AND ORDER The Administrative Law Judge issued the attached Decision in the above-entitled proceeding, finding that the Respondent had not engaged in an unfair labor practice under section 7116(a)(1) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute), and recommending that the case be dismissed in its entirety. No exceptions were filed to the Judge's Decision. Pursuant to section 2423.29 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations and section 7118 of the Statute, the Authority has reviewed the rulings of the Judge made at the hearing and finds that no prejudicial error was committed. The rulings are hereby affirmed. Upon consideration of the Judge's Decision and the entire record, and noting particularly the absence of exceptions, the Authority hereby adopts the Judge's findings, conclusions, and recommendations. /1A/ ORDER IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the complaint in Case No. 4-CA-590 be, and it hereby is, dismissed. Issued, Washington, D.C., October 29, 1982 Ronald W. Haughton, Chairman Henry B. Frazier III Member Leon B. Applewhaite, Member FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY -------------------- ALJ$ DECISION FOLLOWS -------------------- Harry Mason, Esq. For the Respondent Regina M. Kane, Esq. Brenda Green, Esq. For the General Counsel Federal Labor Relations Authority Before: SAMUEL A. CHAITOVITZ Administrative Law Judge DECISION Statement of the Case This is a proceeding under the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute, Chapter 71 of Title 5 of the U.S. Code, 5 U.S.C. 7101 et seq. (hereinafter referred to as the Statute) and the Rules and Regulations of the Federal Labor Relations Authority, 5 C.F.R.Chapter XIV, Sec. 2410 et seq. Pursuant to a charge filed on September 9, 1980 by the National Treasury Employees Union (hereinafter called NTEU and Union) against the Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service Center, Atlanta, Georgia (hereinafter called Respondent and IRS); a First Amended Charge filed on September 23, 1980; and a Second Amended Charge filed on October 3, 1980, the General Counsel of the Federal Labor Relations Authority by the Regional Director for Region 4 issued a Complaint and Notice of Hearing on October 20, 1980 alleging that Respondent violated Section 7116(a)(1) of the Statute by allegedly advising employee Rose Marie DeReimer, on three occasions, not to seek assistance from the Union without first consulting with Respondent. IRS filed an Answer on November 5, 1980 admitting certain factual allegations and denying the legal conclusions. A hearing in this matter was conducted before the undersigned in Atlanta, Georgia. The General Counsel of the Federal Labor Relations Authority and the IRS were represented and afforded full opportunity to be heard, to examine and cross-examine witnesses, to introduce evidence and to argue orally. Briefs were filed and have been fully considered. Based upon the entire record in this matter, my observation of the witnesses demeanor, and upon my evaluation of the evidence, I make the following: Findings of Fact NTEU is the exclusive collective bargaining representative for a unit consisting of, inter alia, Respondent's professional and non-professional employees at IRS' Atlanta Service Center. Employee DeReimer was a tax examiner in the Respondent's Collection Branch /1/ for two years, until June 29, 1980, when she was reassigned laterally to the Quality Review Staff with the encouragement of Quality Review Staff Manager Carol Thompson. DeReimer's duties in the Quality Review Staff consisted of identifying technical errors of tax examiners in the Collection Branch and "flagging" such errors. If a Collection Branch Manager disagreed with DeReimer's findings of error, the Collection Branch Manager took the matter up with DeReimer's Manager. In early July 1980, Manager Thompson advised the Quality Review Staff tax examiners, including Employee DeReimer, that Sue Harrington, then in IRS' management training program, would be acting as Quality Review Staff Manager while Manager Thompson was detailed out of the unit for six weeks. DeReimer became increasingly dissatisfied with her assignment to the Quality Review Staff. She had some differences with Acting Manager Harrington over the work DeReimer felt she was not receiving adequate training and she objected because after she identified errors in the matters she was reviewing, Harrington would delete them. The Union Shop Steward for the Quality Review Staff was Calvin Adams, the Union Steward for the Examination Branch. Regina Smith was the Union Shop Steward for the Collection Branch and was physically located near DeReimer's desk. In late July DeReimer began to consider the prospect of seeking a lateral reassignment to the Collection Branch and informally discussed this matter with Union Steward Smith. A. August 2, 1980 Meeting On August 2, 1980 Acting Manager Harrington asked Employee DeReimer to join her in the conference room of the Compliance Division. During the course of meeting DeReimer and Harrington discussed DeReimer's dissatisfaction with her assignment to the Quality Review Staff, her feeling she wasn't receiving sufficient training and other problems she was having with respect to her work performance. DeReimer advised Harrington that she was so unhappy that she was considering seeking reassignment out of Quality Review to her prior position in the Collection Branch and had been discussing this matter with her friend Regina Smith. Harrington advised DeReimer that before she did anything final or made any final decisions she shall give her present job a try for a little longer and wait a few weeks for Carol Thompson to return. Harrington encouraged DeReimer to discuss the problems with Thompson because they might be able to work something out. I have credited Harrington's version of this meeting rather than DeReimer's. Harrington appeared a more credible witness and her version seemed more reasonable and consistent with the other facts and circumstances. Thus, DeReimer's testimony that she told Harrington that she, DeReimer, had been talking to Regina Smith, Union Steward, about transferring back to the Collection Branch; that Harrington replied that DeReimer should not go to the Union first but should talk to the IRS first about her problems; that there are some aspects that management could handle; and that the Union should not get involved, is discredited.