[ v11 p195 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
11 FLRA No. 44 PROVIDENCE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION MEDICAL CENTER, DAVIS PARK, PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND Activity and LABORERS INTERNATIONAL UNION OF NORTH AMERICA, HEALTH CARE DIVISION, LOCAL 1056, AFL-CIO Labor Organization/Petitioner Case No. 1-RO-39 DECISION AND ORDER Upon a petition duly filed with the Authority under section 7111(b)(1) 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, including the parties' contentions, the Authority finds: The Petitioner, Laborers International Union of North America, Health Care Division, Local 1056, AFL-CIO (LIUNA), seeks an election in a unit of all General Schedule (GS) professional employees of the Activity, excluding, inter alia, all Title 38 /1/ professional employees. /2/ The Activity contends that the only appropriate unit under the Statute would encompass all unrepresented professional employees, including Title 38 professionals; that the unit sought therefore is inappropriate because the GS professional employees do not share a community of interest separate and distinct from the other professional employees of the Activity; and that such a unit would lead to unwarranted fragmentation of the Activity and would not promote effective dealings and efficiency of agency operations. For approximately 10 years, until May 1980, Local 980, National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE), had been the certified exclusive representative for a unit consisting of all nonsupervisory professional personnel at the Activity, including Title 38 professionals; i.e., the same unit which the Activity contends is the only appropriate unit herein. /3/ LIUNA now seeks a unit limited to the GS professional employees in the former NFFE unit, excluding Title 38 professionals, contending that GS professionals have a community of interest separate from Title 38 professionals. The Authority finds that the unit which the Petitioner seeks to represent is not appropriate for exclusive recognition under section 7112(a)(1) of the Statute. /4/ The record establishes that the GS professionals here sought, as well as the Title 38 professional employees of the Activity, have the same or substantially similar occupational classifications and job descriptions and perform the same functions; work side-by-side as integrated medical treatment teams; have common supervision; are functionally integrated in carrying out the mission of the Activity; have essentially the same working conditions and are subject to the same legal and administrative constraints applicable to patient care. Moreover, as indicated above, there has been a history of collective bargaining at the Activity for a unit consisting of GS and Title 38 professional employees. While Title 38 professionals are paid under a slightly different salary scale than GS professionals and are in a different competitive area for purposes of reduction-in-force, the Authority concludes that such differences fail to support the Petitioner's assertion that Title 38 professional employees have a clear and identifiable community of interest separate and distinct from the other professional employees at the Activity. Accordingly, the Authority finds that the unit sought is not appropriate for exclusive recognition under section 7112(a)(1) of the Statute and shall therefore dismiss the petition. See Department of the Navy, Navy Publications and Printing Service Branch Office, Vallejo, California, 10 FLRA No. 108 (1982). See also Naval Sea Support Center, Atlantic Detachment, 7 FLRA No. 99 (1982). ORDER IT IS ORDERED that the petition in Case No. 1-RO-39 be, and it hereby is, dismissed. Issued, Washington, D.C., February 1, 1983 Ronald W. Haughton, Chairman Henry B. Frazier III, Member Leon B. Applewhaite, Member FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY --------------- FOOTNOTES$ --------------- /1/ 38 U.S.C. 4104-4110. /2/ LIUNA stated at the hearing that it was willing to proceed to an election only in the unit described in its petition. /3/ The only nonsupervisory professionals excluded from the NFFE unit were nurses, who have been represented in a separate unit since 1979 by the Petitioner, LIUNA Local 1056. /4/ Section 7112(a)(1) of the Statute provides in pertinent part: The Authority 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.