U.S. Federal Labor Relations Authority

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15:0022(6)AR - GSA and AFGE -- 1984 FLRAdec AR

[ v15 p22 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

 15 FLRA No. 6
 Charging Party
                                            Case No. 8-CA-1121
                            DECISION AND ORDER
    This matter is before the Authority pursuant to the Regional
 Director's "Order Transferring Case to the Federal Labor Relations
 Authority" in accordance with section 2429.1(a) of the Authority's Rules
 and Regulations.
    Upon consideration of the entire record, including the stipulation of
 facts, accompanying exhibits, and the parties' contentions, /1/ the
 Authority finds:
    The complaint alleges that on or about May 1, 1981, the General
 Services Administration (the Respondent) unilaterally implemented a
 change in working conditions affecting unit employees in its Phoenix and
 Las Vegas Field Zones without first providing adequate notice to the
 American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO (AFGE), the
 employees' exclusive representative, and an opportunity to bargain
 concerning the impact and implementation of such change in employee
 working conditions in violation of section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the
 Statute.  /2/
    The stipulated record indicates that since September 10, 1980, the
 AFGE has been certified as the exclusive representative of two
 consolidated units of professional and non-professional employees,
 respectively, of the General Services Administration, including
 employees located in Phoenix, Arizona, and the Las Vegas Field Office,
 Las Vegas, Nevada. At all times relevant herein, there existed no
 negotiated agreement between the parties with respect to the national
 consolidated units.
    By cover letter dated April 6, 1981, the Respondent transmitted to
 AFGE a document known as Transmittal Letter No. 23, entitled "Special
 Operations Response Teams." The stipulated record further indicates that
 Transmittal Letter No. 23, which established procedures and guidelines
 relative to special operations response teams, had a substantial impact
 on the Federal Protective Officers in the AFGE's exclusive unit located
 in the Phoenix and Las Vegas Field Zones. The April 6, 1981 letter
 indicated that any response AFGE wished to make should be individual to
 be contacted, but did not indicate whether or when implementation of
 Transmittal Letter No. 23 would actually take place.
    The April 6, 1981 letter was received by AFGE on or about April 14,
 1981, and thereafter, by letter dated April 29, 1981, AFGE requested
 that the parties discuss and bargain over, inter alia, the impact and
 implementation of Transmittal Letter No. 23.  Also on April 29, 1981,
 the Director of the Federal Protective Service for the Respondent's
 Region 9 notified employees at the Phoenix and Las Vegas Field Zones by
 letter that Transmittal Letter No. 23 would be implemented on May 1,
 1981.  The record further indicates that implementation did in fact
 occur on that date.
    The General Counsel takes the position that the Respondent's April 6,
 1981 letter attached to Transmittal Letter No. 23 did not provide
 adequate notice to AFGE of an intended change in working conditions,
 since it did not indicate either that the transmittal letter was in fact
 to be implemented or the specific date of implementation.  The General
 Counsel further argues that, even if the April 6, 1981 letter
 constituted sufficient notice of the Respondent's intent to implement,
 AFGE was not provided with a reasonable opportunity to bargain prior to
 actual implementation.  The Respondent contends that the April 6, 1981
 letter was sufficient notice to AFGE of its intended change in working
 conditions, and clearly set a response deadline of April 21, 1981, with
 the address, telephone number and name of the person to whom AFGE's
 response should be directed, thereby providing sufficient time for AFGE
 to request bargaining.
    It is well-established that a union must be given adequate notice by
 agency management and an opportunity to request bargaining over the
 impact and implementation of changes in working conditions affecting
 unit employees.  /3/ The question here presented is whether the
 Respondent's notification on April 6, 1981, of an intended change in the
 terms and conditions of employment of unit employees constituted
 adequate notice under the Statute to have enabled AFGE to request
    For the reasons which follow, the Authority finds that AFGE was
 provided adequate notice and an opportunity to request bargaining prior
 to the implementation of Transmittal Letter No. 23, and that the
 Respondent's conduct in implementing the changes contained therein was
 not violative of the Statute.
    As previously stated, AFGE was notified of an intended change in
 terms and conditions of employment of unit employees at two of the
 Respondent's facilities. In the Authority's view, these changes which
 were drafted as a complete plan and which were accompanied by a letter
 setting forth a deadline by which AFGE's response was to be made,
 clearly demonstrated the Respondent's intention to implement such
 changes.  While the General Counsel argues that the failure to specify
 an implementation date constituted a failure to provide adequate notice,
 the Authority concludes to the contrary since it could clearly be
 ascertained that implementation was forthcoming, and the period of time
 given for a response was reasonable. It was then incumbent upon AFGE to
 request bargaining, if it so desired, or to at least request more time
 to respond, if necessary. Under these circumstances, the Respondent's
 April 29, 1981 directive that Transmittal Letter No. 23 be implemented
 at the Phoenix and Las Vegas Field Zones effective May 1, 1981, and its
 implementation on that date, cannot be found to have violated the
 Statute.  Accordingly, the Authority shall order that the complaint be
 dismissed in its entirety.  /4/
    IT IS ORDERED that the complaint in Case No. 8-CA-1121 be, and it
 hereby is, dismissed.
    Issued, Washington, D.C., June 6, 1984
                                       Barbara J. Mahone, Chairman
                                       Ronald W. Haughton, Member
                                       Henry B. Frazier III, Member
                                       FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 --------------- FOOTNOTES$ ---------------
    /1/ The General Counsel moved to strike portions of the Respondent's
 brief on the ground that it contains factual material not included in
 the stipulation.  In reaching its decision in the instant case, the
 Authority has, of course, considered only facts contained in the
 stipulation, and therefore the motion to strike is denied.
    /2/ Section 7116(a)(1) and (5) provides:
          Sec. 7116.  Unfair labor practices
          (a) For the purpose of this chapter, it shall be an unfair
       labor practice for an agency--
          (1) to interfere with, restrain, or coerce any employee in the
       exercise by the employee of any right under this chapter;
                                .  .  .  .
          (5) to refuse to consult or negotiate in good faith with a
       labor organization as required by this chapter(.)
    /3/ See, e.g., Internal Revenue Service (District, Region and
 National Office Unit and Service Center Unit), 10 FLRA 326 (1982).
    /4/ See United States Department of Defense, Department of the Army,
 Headquarters, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, 8 FLRA 623 (1982) and U.S.
 Department of the Air Force, Air Force Systems Command, Electronic
 Systems Division, Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts, 5 FLRA 637 (1981).