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U.S. Federal Labor Relations Authority

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11:0122(30)NG - AFGE Local 3748 and Agriculture, Science and Education Administration, Personnel Division, Hyattsville, MD -- 1983 FLRAdec NG

[ v11 p122 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

 11 FLRA No. 30
 LOCAL 3748
                                            Case No. O-NG-491
    The petition for review in this case comes before the Authority
 pursuant to section 7105(a)(2)(E) of the Federal Service
 Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute) and presents issues
 relating to the negotiability of the following Union proposal.
          Proposal IV.  Official Facilities
          (d) The employer will make available to the union negotiating
       team the use of the employer's Federal Telecommunications System
       facilities during negotiations of ground rules and a collective
       bargaining agreement to facilitate the collective bargaining
       process.  It is understood that the telephone network will be used
       only in relation to the official business of collective
    Upon careful consideration of the entire record, including the
 parties' contentions, the Authority makes the following determinations.
 In agreement with the Union, the Authority finds that the proposed use
 of Federal Telecommunications System for labor-management relations
 purposes, i.e., by Union representatives negotiating a collective
 bargaining agreement, concerns matters directly related to conditions of
 employment of bargaining unit employees and is within the duty to
 bargain under the Statute.  See American Federation of Government
 Employees, AFL-CIO and Air Force Logistics Command, Wright-Patterson Air
 Force Base, Ohio, 2 FLRA 604, 609-10 (1980), enforced as to other
 matters sub nom. Department of Defense v. Federal Labor Relations
 Authority, 659 F.2d 1140 (D.C. Cir. 1981), cert. denied sub nom. AFGE v.
 FLRA, . . . U.S. . . . , 102 S.Ct. 1443 (1982).
    The Agency further argues that the proposal is contrary to GSA
 regulation in that such use of the telephone service cannot be construed
 to be official business.  However, it acknowledges that Union
 negotiators will be authorized "official time" under section 7131(a) of
 the Statute.  Such negotiators, while on official time, and contrary to
 the Agency's assertion, are not engaged in "internal union business."
 Rather, they are deemed to be on "official Government business." See
 Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms v. Federal Labor Relations
 Authority, 672 F.2d 732, 738-39 (9th Cir. 1982), enforcing Bureau of
 Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Western Region, Department of the
 Treasury, San Francisco, California and National Treasury Employees
 Union, Chapter 81, 4 FLRA No. 40 (1980).  /1/ Consequently, as such
 negotiators are engaged in "official Government business," the proposed
 use of the Agency's telephone system to facilitate such business would
 be consistent with applicable regulations restricting the use of the
 Government telephone system to official business.  See 41 CFR Part
 101-37 (1981).
    Accordingly, pursuant to section 2424.10 of the Authority's Rules and
 Regulations, IT IS ORDERED that the Agency shall upon request (or as
 otherwise agreed to by the parties) bargain concerning the Union
 proposal.  /2/ Issued, Washington, D.C., January 27, 1983
                                       Ronald W. Haughton, Chairman
                                       Henry B. Frazier III, Member
                                       Leon B. Applewhaite, Member
                                       FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 --------------- FOOTNOTES$ ---------------
    /1/ Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms involved both the issue
 of official time for impact and implementation negotiations and the
 issue of travel and per diem expenses.  But see Division of Military and
 Naval Affairs, State of New York (Albany, New York), 7 FLRA No. 69
 (1981), reversed sub nom. Division of Military and Naval Affairs v.
 Federal Labor Relations Authority, 683 F.2d 45 (2d Cir. 1982) and U.S.
 Department of Agriculture, Science and Education Administration,
 Agricultural Research, North Central Region, Dakotas-Alaska Area and
 Local 3748, American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, 6 FLRA
 No. 45 (1981), reversed sub nom. United States Department of Agriculture
 v. Federal Labor Relations Authority, 691 F.2d 1242 (8th Cir. 1982) with
 respect to the issue of travel and per diem expenses.
    /2/ In deciding that the proposal is within the duty to bargain, the
 Authority makes no judgment as to its merits.