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U.S. Federal Labor Relations Authority

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13:0455(81)NG - Planners, Estimators and Progressmen Association, Local No. 8 and Navy, Charleston Naval Shipyard, Charleston, SC -- 1983 FLRAdec NG

[ v13 p455 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

 13 FLRA No. 81
                                            Case No. O-NG-601
    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
    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
    /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.