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U.S. Federal Labor Relations Authority

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12:0540(102)NG - New York State Nurses Association and VA Medical Center, Manhattan, NY -- 1983 FLRAdec NG

[ v12 p540 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

 12 FLRA No. 102
                                            Case No. O-NG-542
    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 the issue
 of the negotiability of the following Union proposal:
    Article 5.03 Work Schedules
          A. Each supervisor will make a reasonable effort within the
       demands of patient care needs to give each employee every other
       weekend off.  To meet the staffing requirement, part-time
       employees can be asked to work two weekends a month.
          B.  Each supervisor will make a reasonable effort to minimize
       rotation to the least amount necessary to meet patient care needs.
        Rotation will be distributed on an equitable basis among both
       full-time and part-time employees.  During the four-week posting
       period, nurses may be assigned to evening relief or night relief,
       but not both.  During a four-week posting period, no nurse will be
       required to rotate from the day to evening shift or the day to
       night shift on more than three separate occasions.
          C. If, following a four-week period of evening or night relief,
       a nurse is scheduled to provide relief on the relief shift other
       than that worked during the last four-week period, the nurse will
       be given at least 50 hours of non-duty time between the end of one
       four-week period of relief and the beginning of the next four-week
       period of relief.  (The underscored portions are at issue.)
    Upon careful consideration of the entire record, including the
 parties' contentions, the Authority makes the following determinations.
 In agreement with the Agency, the Authority finds that the Union's
 proposal would interfere with management's right to determine the
 numbers, types, and grades of employees or positions assigned to a tour
 of duty and, therefore, is negotiable only at the Agency's election
 under section 7106(b)(1) of the Statute.  /1/
    The disputed portions of the proposal, taken together, state absolute
 requirements that on specified days or during specified time periods
 certain employees would not be required to work.  The proposal thereby
 would require management to assign nurses based solely on a schedule
 regardless of personnel needs.  In this regard, the Agency contends
 without controversion that in order to meet its responsibility to
 provide quality medical care while complying with the Union's work
 schedule proposal it would have to hire additional personnel.  Thus, the
 proposal is substantively identical in effect to the proposal which was
 before the Authority and held to be negotiable only at the election of
 the agency under section 7106(b)(1) in American Federation of Government
 , Employees, Local 3669, AFL-CIO and Veterans Administration Medical
 Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2 FLRA 640 (1980).  In that case,
 regardless of the particular nursing skills and specializations required
 at a given time to provide quality medical care, management would have
 been required by the Union's proposal to make assignments solely on the
 basis of which nurses had not received the previous weekend off.  For
 the reasons stated in V.A. Medical Center, Minneapolis, the proposal
 herein would similarly directly interfere with the numbers, types and/or
 grades of employees assigned to a work project or tour of duty and,
 accordingly, is negotiable only at the election of the Agency under
 section 7106(b)(1) of the Statute.
    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.  /2/ Issued, Washington, D.C., August 12, 1983
                                       Barbara J. Mahone, Chairman
                                       Ronald W. Haughton, Member
                                       Henry B. Frazier III, Member
                                       FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 --------------- FOOTNOTES$ ---------------
    /1/ Section 7106(b)(1) provides as follows:
          Sec. 7106.  Management rights
                                .  .  .  .
          (b) Nothing in this section shall preclude any agency and any
       labor organization from negotiating--
          (1) at the election of the agency, on the numbers, types, and
       grades of employees or positions assigned to any organizational
       subdivision, work project, or tour of duty, or on the technology,
       methods, and means of performing work(.)
    /2/ In view of the decision herein, the Authority finds it
 unnecessary to reach the Agency's contention that negotiation of the
 proposal is also barred by an Agency regulation for which there is a
 compelling need.