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The decision of the Authority follows:
11 FLRA No. 36 U.S. ARMY MATERIEL DEVELOPMENT AND READINESS COMMAND Activity and NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES Petitioner Case No. 3-UC-18 DECISION AND ORDER Upon a petition duly filed with the Federal Labor Relations Authority under section 7112(d) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute), a hearing was held before a hearing officer of the Authority. The Authority has reviewed the hearing officer's rulings made at the hearing and finds that they are free from prejudicial error. The rulings are hereby affirmed. Upon the entire record in this case, the Authority finds: The National Association of Government Employees (NAGE) filed the instant petition seeking to consolidate 13 units within the U.S. Army Materiel Development and Readiness Command (DARCOM) for which it is the exclusive representative. /1/ (The units presently represented by NAGE and included in the petition are set forth in the Appendix.) DARCOM contends that the proposed consolidation, which would affect 8,536 (or 8.1%) of its total workforce of 104,121 employees at nine of its 66 installations, is not appropriate because it does not meet the unit criteria set forth in section 7112(a)(1) of the Statute. /2/ Specifically, DARCOM argues that the missions and functions of the nine DARCOM installations involved are sufficiently different as to work against commonality. In this regard, DARCOM further argues that the divergent missions and functions of the various installations require the performance of different duties requiring different job skills and result in no transfer of employees among the installations. Under these circumstances, DARCOM contends, the proposed consolidated unit does not constitute a distinct grouping of employees sharing a clear and identifiable community of interest. Further, DARCOM argues that such consolidation would not promote either effective dealings or efficiency of operations inasmuch as its organization is decentralized with authority vested in local installation commanders to establish and administer civilian personnel policy, including negotiation and approval of collective bargaining agreements, and consolidation would both increase the cost of collective bargaining and adversely affect long-standing local bargaining relationships. NAGE, on the other hand, contends that the proposed consolidated unit would enhance the quality and character of the labor-management relations program in the federal public sector, and satisfies the appropriate unit criteria set forth in section 7112(a)(1) of the Statute. Thus, NAGE asserts that all of the employees in the proposed consolidated unit are subject to similar personnel and labor relations policies promulgated pursuant to Department of the Army regulations, and further share a community of interest. In this regard, NAGE further asserts that its status as exclusive representative for only 8% of the DARCOM workforce does not render the proposed consolidation inappropriate. Moreover, NAGE contends that negotiation of one master agreement at the Command level would be more efficient and cost effective, and thus would promote effective dealings and efficiency of operations. FACTS DARCOM consists of a nationwide network of 66 military installations and 250 separate units. It has 14 major subordinate commands: 3 materiel readiness commands, 6 research and development commands, 2 combined material readiness and research and development commands, a depot systems command (headquarters of 21 Army depots) and a test and evaluation command. Further, there are 45 separate staff activities reporting directly to Headquarters, DARCOM and 57 project/product managers with authority over specific types of weapons systems, equipment or ammunition. DARCOM is responsible for the life cycle materiel functions, including research and development; test and evaluation; procurement and production; storage and distribution; inventory; management; maintenance; and disposal. The proposed consolidated unit would consist of employees working at three depots and depot activities, two arsenals, one directorate, one research and development laboratory, one materiel readiness command, and one proving ground. The missions and functions of the nine affected installations are as follows: The Pueblo Army Depot Activity operates a supply depot activity under the Command of Tooele Army Depot providing for the receipt, storage, issuance and disposal of assigned commodities. The Savanna Army Depot Activity provides for receipt, storage support (care of materiel in storage, rewarehousing, preservation and packaging, set assembly/disassembly, physical inventory, stock locator system and training), renovation, and issuance functions. The Red River Depot operates a supply depot providing for the receipt, storage, issuance, maintenance and disposal of assigned commodities as well as providing installation support to tenant activities. The Watervliet Arsenal performs industrial engineering, procurement, fabrication, and product assurance of assigned materiel, and provides administrative and logistical support services to tenant activities. The Rock Island Arsenal manufactures assigned materiel and provides required direct support, including engineering and product assurance; and performs tool set on Equipment Materiel and Basic Issue Item assembly for the U.S. Army Armament Readiness Command (ARRCOM), U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Materiel Readiness Command (TARCOM), and other national inventory control points as required. The Natick Readiness and Development Command accomplishes assigned research and development in the physical and biological sciences, and engineering to meet military requirements in the commodity areas of textiles, clothing, body armor, footwear, insecticides and fungicides, subsistence, containers, food service equipment, field support equipment (as assigned), tentage and equipage, and air delivery equipment. The Eustis Directorate plans, develops and accomplishes a portion of the laboratory's program and controls the resources applied in support of the program, and develops recommendations to satisfy Army Air mobility requirements. The Armament Materiel Readiness Command exercises logistics (materiel readiness) management, including follow-on-procurement; production; engineering in support of production; industrial management; product assurance; maintenance engineering and Integrated Logistics Support management; value engineering; product improvement; materiel management; configuration management; international logistics, tools and equipment engineering; transportation and traffic management for assigned systems/materiel; and executes the mission of single manager for conventional ammunition for the Department of Defense. Lastly, the Dugway Proving Ground plans, conducts, evaluates, and reports the results of development and development-type tests, in accordance with integrated testing cycle policies, and assesses the military value of chemical warfare and biological defense systems, flame incendiary and smoke obscurant systems. The record reveals that DARCOM is decentralized, with authority vested in local installation commanders to establish and administer civilian personnel policy and labor-management relations policy, and to negotiate and approve collective bargaining agreements. Although DARCOM Headquarters conducts a post-signing review of installation agreements, it neither participates in the local negotiations process nor controls the negotiations. Each installation negotiates its own local agreement, deals with the union on a day-to-day basis, resolves grievances, and generally conducts labor management relations. NAGE represents employees at 2 of DARCOM's 14 major subordinate commands, 9 of the 66 DARCOM installations, 3 of the 19 depots and depot activities, 2 of the 13 activities and 25 ammunition plants known as Armaments Command, and 1 of the 11 testing activities. NAGE exclusively represents 8,536 (8.1%) of DARCOM's total workforce of 104,121 employees, and represents all of the employees at only 2 of the 9 installations included in the petition. In Department of Transportation, Washington, D.C., 5 FLRA No. 89 (1981), the Authority dismissed petitions to consolidate units noting that section 7112(a)(1) of the Statute requires any unit found appropriate to conform to the three criteria established by that section-- a clear and identifiable community of interest among the employees in the unit, the promotion of effective dealings with, and the efficiency of the operations of, the agency involved. The Authority further noted that section 7112(d) of the Statute, /3/ which provides for the consolidation of existing units into a single more comprehensive unit, requires that such consolidated unit meet the same three criteria required of any proposed unit. In addition to the Department of Transportation case, the Authority has issued other decisions involving the proposed consolidation of units under the Statute. /4/ In making its determinations on the appropriateness of such proposed consolidated units, the Authority considered several factors. As stated in Department of the Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, 8 FLRA No. 4 (1982), primary among these factors, in determining whether there was a community of interest, were: the degree of commonality and integration of the mission and function of the components involved; the distribution of the employees involved throughout the organizational and geographical components of the agency; the degree of similarity in the occupational undertakings of the employees in the proposed unit; and the locus and scope of personnel and labor relations authority and functions. The Authority finds that the employees in the proposed consolidated unit herein do not share a clear and identifiable community of interest. The record reveals that the proposed unit would be limited to employees at only 2 of the 14 major subordinate commands, 2 of the 13 activities and 25 ammunition plants in the Armaments Command, and only 1 of 11 testing activities. Of the nine DARCOM installations included in the petition, NAGE represents all employees at only two locations; the other 57 DARCOM installations are not included at all. The proposed consolidated unit includes only a relatively small portion of the employees in each division of DARCOM with most of them having different career interests and working conditions because of the uniqueness of each mission. Further, there appears to be a near total lack of job mobility from one NAGE unit to another. The job classifications and the terms and conditions of employment at each location also appear to relate to specific and unique local functions. The record also reveals that the delegation of authority to each installation commander has resulted in local control over personnel, labor relations (including negotiating separate bargaining agreements) and working conditions. Given these facts, the Authority finds that the petitioned for consolidated unit would not ensure a clear and identifiable community of interest among the employees involved. The Authority further finds that it would not promote effective dealings to require DARCOM-wide negotiations for a unit wholly unrepresented in 12 of the 14 DARCOM major commands and 57 of the 66 DARCOM installations, and thus not reflective of DARCOM's organizational structure. Moreover, as noted above, effective supervision, personnel authority and control of labor relations have been historically delegated to the local installations and have resulted in effective bargaining relationships, not only with NAGE, but with some 13 other labor organizations (exclusively representing approximately 70% of DARCOM's employees) as well. Thus, the Authority concludes that effective dealings with DARCOM, and the efficiency of its operations, would not be promoted by the proposed unit. Accordingly, the Authority finds that the proposed consolidated unit is not appropriate, and will order that the petition be dismissed. ORDER IT IS ORDERED that the petition in Case No. 3-UC-18 be, and it hereby is, dismissed. Issued, Washington, D.C., January 28, 1983 Ronald W. Haughton, Chairman Henry B. Frazier III, Member Leon B. Applewhaite, Member FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY APPENDIX UNIT 1 Included: All non-supervisory, non-professional employees at PUAD and the Pueblo Army Depot Field Calibration Activity at Fort Bliss, Texas. Excluded: All employees as stated in section 10 of Executive Order 11491, as amended, and those units covered by exclusive recognition which are Guard units, Fire Prevention and Protection Units, Communications Center Units, Boiler and Domestic Heating Units and 6th Army Medical Unit which are serviced by PUAD through servicing agreement and all non-appropriated employees. UNIT 2 Included: All non-supervisory Wage Grade employees of the Employer at the Savanna Army Depot, Savanna, Illinois. Excluded: Management officials, Quality Assurance Specialist (Ammunition Surveillance) personnel and Interns, professional employees, Civilian Personnel Technicians, and other personnel as excluded by Executive Order 11491, as amended. UNIT 3 Included: All non-supervisory employees in the Fire Protection and Prevention Branch at the Savanna Army Depot, Savanna, Illinois. Excluded: Management officials, Quality Assurance Specialist (Ammunition Surveillance) personnel and Interns, professional employees, Civilian Personnel Technicians, and other personnel as excluded by Executive Order 11491, as amended. UNIT 4 Included: All non-supervisory employees in the Security Office at Savanna Army Depot, Savanna, Illinois. Excluded: Management officials, Quality Assurance Specialist (Ammunition Surveillance) personnel and Interns, professional employees, Civilian Personnel Technicians, and other personnel as excluded by Executive Order 11491, as amended. UNIT 5 Included: All non-supervisory class-act employees of the Employer at the Savanna Army Depot, Savanna, Illinois. Excluded: Management officials, Quality Assurance Specialist (Ammunition Surveillance) personnel and Interns, professional employees, Civilian Personnel Technicians, and other personnel as excluded by Executive Order 11491, as amended. UNIT 6 Included: All non-supervisory, professional employees located at Headquarters, United States Army Armament Materiel Readiness Command, Rock Island, Illinois. Excluded: Management officials, employees engaged in Federal personnel work in other than a purely clerical capacity, supervisors, guards, non-professional General Schedule (GS) employees and Wage Grade (WG) employees. UNIT 7 Included: All General Schedule (GS) employees, including temporary employees with appointments of more than 180 days, employed at Rock Island Arsenal and the United States Army Communications Command Agency-Rock Island and Midwest Commissary Field Office-Rock Island Commissary. Excluded: All management officials and supervisors, all employees engaged in Federal personnel work in other than a purely clerical capacity, guards, firefighters, professional employees, Wage Grade employees and temporary employees with appointments of less than 180 days based upon a specific event non-recurring. UNIT 8 Included: All employees of the U.S. Army Natick Laboratories at Natick, Massachusetts and at Sudbury, Massachusetts. Excluded: Management executives, employees engaged in Federal personnel work in other than purely clerical capacities and supervisors as set forth in Executive Order 11491, as amended. UNIT 9 Included: All civilian employees paid from appropriated funds at the Watervliet Arsenal except the following: Excluded: 1. All supervisors and management officials. 2. All employees engaged in Federal personnel work in other than a purely clerical capacity. 3. All professional employees. 4. All Industrial Engineering Technicians in Work Measurement Section, Production Planning and Control Division. 5. All secretaries and clerk-stenographers GS-04 and above, to Staff Office Chiefs, Directorate Chiefs and above. 6. All employees, GS-09 and above, identified in the following managerial classes: 018, 110, 341, 343, 345, 560, 1152 and those employees, GS-12 and above, in the 334 class. 7. All guards. 8. All staff advisors to the Commanding Officers, e.g., EEO Officer, Small Business Advisor and Administrative Officer. UNIT 10 Included: All non-supervisory Wage Grade employees, temporary Wage Grade employees of Red River Army Depot, Texarkana, Texas, and the U.S. Army Communications Command Detachment, Red River Army Depot, Texarkana, Texas. Excluded: Management officials, professional employees, General Schedule employees, employees assigned to exclusive units in the Electrician's Unit; Mobile Rail Unit; non-supervisory Wage Grade employees in the Property and Procurement Division; Plumbers, Pipefitters, Welders and Fixed Industrial Equipment Mechanics Unit; Water Treatment Plant Operators Unit; employees assigned to tenant activities other than the U.S. Army Communications Command Detachment, Red River Army Depot; guards; employees engaged in Federal personnel work in other than a purely clerical capacity and supervisors as defined in Executive Order 11491, as amended. UNIT 11 Included: All appropriated fund employees at Dugway Proving Ground. Excluded: All management officials, supervisors, guards, professional personnel and employees engaged in Federal personnel work in other than a purely clerical capacity. UNIT 12 Included: All General Schedule non-supervisory professional employees at Dugway Proving Ground. Excluded: All management officials, supervisors, guards, professional personnel and employees engaged in Federal personnel work except in a purely clerical capacity. UNIT 13 Included: All employees of the Eustis Directorate, U.S. Army Air Mobility Research and Development Laboratory paid under appropriated funds. Excluded: Supervisors and professional employees of the above-named Activity. --------------- FOOTNOTES$ --------------- /1/ NAGE also filed a separate petition (Case No. 3-UC-21) for consolidation of its units within the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) which the Regional Director consolidated with this case. Thereafter, the Authority granted TRADOC's request to sever the two cases for the reasons stated therein. See U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, 11 FLRA No. 28 (1983). /2/ Sec. 7112. Determination of appropriate units for labor organization representation (a)(1) The Authority shall determine the appropriateness of any unit. The Authority shall determine in each case whether, in order to ensure employees the fullest freedom in exercising the rights guaranteed under this chapter, the appropriate unit should be established on an agency, plant, installation, functional, or other basis and shall determine any unit to be an appropriate unit only if the determination will ensure a clear and identifiable community of interest among the employees in the unit and will promote effective dealings with, and efficiency of the operations of, the agency involved. /3/ Section 7112(d) provides as follows: (d) Two or more units which are in an agency and for which a labor organization is the exclusive representative may, upon petition by the agency or labor organization, be consolidated with or without an election into a single larger unit if the Authority considers the larger unit to be appropriate. The Authority shall certify the labor organization as the exclusive representative of the new larger unit. /4/ See Army and Air Force Exchange Service, Dallas, Texas, 5 FLRA No. 90 (1981); Department of Defense, U.S. Army, Corps of Engineers, 5 FLRA No. 91 (1981); Air Force Logistics Command, United States Air Force, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, 7 FLRA No. 33 (1981); Department of the Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, 8 FLRA No. 4 (1982).