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
 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/
    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
    Administrative Law Judge
                           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
                             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