[ v13 p455 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
13 FLRA No. 81 PLANNERS, ESTIMATORS AND PROGRESSMEN ASSOCIATION, LOCAL NO. 8 Union and DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, CHARLESTON NAVAL SHIPYARD, CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA Agency Case No. O-NG-601 DECISION AND ORDER ON NEGOTIABILITY ISSUE 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 raises issues relating to the negotiability of the following Union proposal: The Employer agrees that unit Employees, of the Association, will be extended non-clocking privileges. Upon careful consideration of the entire record, including the parties' contentions, the Authority makes the following determinations. The Union's proposal would extend to bargaining unit employees the practice of manually recording their time and attendance instead of mechanically through use of a time clock. The Agency contends the proposal is negotiable only at its election because it involves matters which are not within the meaning of the term "working conditions" under section 7103(a)(14) of the Statute and because the proposal involves the Agency's choice of "methods" or "means" of performing work under section 7106(b)(1). Section 7103(a)(14) defines "conditions of employment" as personnel policies, practices, and matters whether established by rule or regulation, or otherwise, affecting working conditions. Based on the record, the Agency requires that there be recordings of employees' time and attendance so that there are records to be processed for payroll purposes, to insure proper credit and charges to employees' leave accounts, and to determine employees' retirement benefit entitlements. Thus, the Agency has issued an instruction requiring some employees to record their time and attendance manually and some through use of a time clock, and the records are used to determine employees' entitlement to pay, leave, and retirement benefits. Therefore, the policy or practice set forth in the instruction, which requires bargaining unit employees to make mechanical time recordings, and from which the Union wishes to exempt such employees, is a personnel policy and practice established by the Agency and is a matter which affects the working conditions of bargaining unit employees and the employment relationship. See National Treasury Employees Union and Internal Revenue Service, 3 FLRA 693 (1980) (proposed procedures regarding outside employment are directly related to conditions of employment by virtue of agency regulations). /1/ As to section 7106(b)(1) of the Statute, /2/ management's reserved authority in this connection consists of the right to determine which methods and means will be used in accomplishing or furthering the performance of an agency's work. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 2477 and Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. (and the case consolidated therewith), 7 FLRA No. 89 (1982), affirmed as to other matters sub nom. Library of Congress v. Federal Labor Relations Authority, 699 F.2d 1280 (D.C. Cir. 1983); National Treasury Employees Union and U.S. Customs Service, Region VIII, San Francisco, California, 2 FLRA 254 (1979). In the present case, the Agency's declared purpose in requiring time clocks is to attain accurate and reliable time and attendance records which it states is one of the functions which it must perform. In this connection, both parties make statements in the record that some employees at Charleston Naval Shipyard are excused from clocking and their time cards reflect written entries only. /3/ Even assuming as contended by the Agency, that recording employees' time and attendance constitutes the "methods" or "means" of performing the Agency's work under section 7106(b)(1), the Agency has not in any manner shown how the proposal would conflict with the Agency's stated objective of choosing such methods or means, i.e., the attainment of accurate and reliable time and attendance records. Based on the record, the proposal is only intended to allow bargaining unit employees' records to be made manually on time cards, as is the case with other employees at the activity, instead of mechanically through use of a time clock. In this regard, the Agency has not shown and it is not apparent that the objective of attaining accurate and reliable time and attendance records can only be achieved by the use of time clocks, rather than manually recording entries on the time cards. Therefore, the proposal is not inconsistent with the Agency's right to determine the "methods" or "means" of performing its work and, thus, does not involve a matter which is negotiable only at the Agency's election under section 7106(b)(1) of the Statute. See American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, National Immigration and Naturalization Service Council and U.S. Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service, 8 FLRA No. 75 (1982) (Union Proposal 2), reversed as to other matters sub nom. Department of Justice v. Federal Labor Relations Authority, No. 82-1622 (D.C. Cir. June 10, 1983). See also American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 1760 and Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Social Security Administration, Northeastern Program Service Center, Flushing, New York, 8 FLRA No. 40 (1982). Accordingly, the Authority finds the Union's proposal concerns a matter within the scope of the duty to bargain under the Statute. 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 on the proposal. /4/ Issued, Washington, D.C., December 2, 1983 Barbara J. Mahone, Chairman Ronald W. Haughton, Member Henry B. Frazier III, Member FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY --------------- FOOTNOTES$ --------------- /1/ For a discussion of the considerations relevant to a determination of whether a matter affects conditions of employment, see American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO and Air Force Logistics Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, 2 FLRA 604 (1980) (Proposal I concerning day care facilities), 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, 455 U.S. 945 (1982) and National Association of Air Traffic Specialists and Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, 6 FLRA No. 106 (1981) (Proposal IV concerning payroll deductions). /2/ Section 7106(b)(1) provides: 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(.) /3/ Agency Statement of Position at 1 and Union Reply Brief at 1. /4/ In deciding that the Union's proposal is within the duty to bargain, the Authority makes no judgment as to its merits.