U.S. Federal Labor Relations Authority

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12:0149(36)NG - AFGE Local 1749 and Air Force, 47th Flying Training Wing, Laughlin AFB, TX -- 1983 FLRAdec NG

[ v12 p149 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

 12 FLRA No. 36
                                            Case No. O-NG-554
    This case comes before the Authority pursuant to section
 7105(a)(2)(E) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute
 (the Statute) and raises an issue concerning the negotiability of the
 following Union proposal.
          All training/drills to be conducted after 1600 hours,
       Saturdays, Sundays and on holidays must be pre-scheduled in
       writing, and a copy provided to the designated union steward of
       each shift and copies posted on appropriate bulletin boards thirty
       (30) days prior to training being performed.  Any deviation from
       the scheduled training will be rescheduled thirty (30) days from
       the scheduled date with a copy of the change provided to the union
       steward of each shift and the change posted on the appropriate
       bulletin boards.
    Upon careful consideration of the entire record, including the
 parties' contentions, the Authority makes the following determinations.
 The Union's proposal is intended to cover the scheduling and
 notification of training of a unit of fire fighters at an Agency
 location which conducts aircraft pilot training.  In this regard, the
 Agency states:
          Training to prepare/qualify firefighters to operate as a team
       during an emergency must of necessity be conducted in close
       proximity to the aircraft runways;  therefore, it is impossible to
       conduct such firefighting training during the time student pilots
       are flying or practicing takeoffs/landings.  . . . It should also
       be noted that firefighter training cannot be conducted during the
       time student pilots are flying because the firefighters would then
       be unable to perform their primary duty, that of immediate
       response to an emergency.  Consequently, there are occasions when
       firefighter training can only be given after 1600 hours daily or
       on Saturdays, Sundays or holidays.  /1/
    With respect to the constraints which would be imposed by the Union
 proposal, the Agency contends:
          In order to be qualified as a firefighter and/or a team,
       firefighters must be prepared to respond on a moment's notice.
       The only way management has to assure itself of this preparedness
       is through unscheduled training/drills.
 Also in this connection, the Agency asserts, "It would be impossible for
 management to schedule, 30 days in advance, training which would provide
 firefighters with the necessary skills/abilities for responding to a
 'middle-of-the-night' emergency during a driving rain storm." /2/
    Thus, in the circumstances of this case as described by the Agency,
 the instant proposal would prevent management from acting at all to
 assign certain types of training to firefighters after 1600 hours and on
 weekends and holidays, periods during which training must be conducted
 on occasion, without the requisite notice.  That is, it would not be
 possible to schedule training in adverse weather conditions 30 days in
 advance of its performance nor, under the notice required by the
 proposal, would it be possible to conduct unannounced drills to assess
 the readiness of employees to respond to emergencies.  Hence, the Union
 proposal, as written, is inconsistent with the Agency's right under
 section 7106(a)(2)(B) of the Statute "to assign work." See International
 Association of Fire Fighters, Local F-61 and Philadelphia Naval
 Shipyard, 3 FLRA 438 (1980).  /3/
    Accordingly, pursuant to section 2424.10 of the Authority's Rules and
 Regulations, IT IS ORDERED that the Union's petition for review be, and
 it hereby is, dismissed.  Issued, Washington, D.C., June 7, 1983
                                       Barbara J. Mahone, Chairman
                                       Ronald W. Haughton, Member
                                       Henry B. Frazier III, Member
                                       FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 --------------- FOOTNOTES$ ---------------
    /1/ Agency Statement of Position at 2.
    /2/ Id. at 4.
    /3/ In its response to the Agency's statement of position, the Union
 says that the proposal does not cover readiness tests or security
 checks.  This assertion is inconsistent with the plain language of the
 proposal which covers "(a)ll training/drills to be conducted.  . . . "
 In finding the instant proposal nonnegotiable, the Authority does not
 decide whether a more limited proposal, such as that described by the
 Union, would be negotiable.