U.S. Federal Labor Relations Authority

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15:0043(8)NG - National Weather Service Employees Organization and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration -- 1984 FLRAdec NG

[ v15 p43 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

 15 FLRA No. 8
                                            Case No. O-NG-564
    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 an issue
 relating to the negotiability of the following Union proposal.
                              Union Proposal
          Union negotiators will be authorized official time for
       prenegotiation meetings and official time for meetings held on
       Mondays and/or Fridays during the negotiation process. The period
       of time of actual negotiations will be official duty time.  This
       includes unit and non-unit members.  (The underlined sentence is
       in dispute.)
    Upon careful consideration of the entire record, including the
 parties' contentions, the Authority makes the following determination.
 The record reveals that the Union introduced the disputed proposal as a
 ground rule prior to the negotiation of a new collective bargaining
 agreement with one element of the Agency to which the Union is certified
 as exclusive representative.  The "non-unit members" referred to in the
 proposal are employed outside the bargaining unit in other components of
 the Agency.  The Agency contends that it is not obligated to bargain
 over the granting of official time to any employees who are employed
 outside the bargaining unit for which the collective bargaining
 agreement is to be negotiated.  The Union, on the other hand, argues
 that the words "(a)ny employee" in section 7131(a) of the Statute /1/
 authorize official time for negotiators both within and outside the
 bargaining unit.
    A similar position to the Union's herein was urged by the Authority's
 General Counsel in United States Air Force, 2750th Air Base Wing
 Headquarters, Air Force Logistics Command, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
 and Wright-Patterson AFB Fire Fighters Local F-88, International
 Association of Fire Fighters, AFL-CIO, 7 FLRA 738 (1982).  However, the
 Authority concluded, "consistent with the overall scheme of the Statute
 . . . that official time entitlement under section 7131(a) accrues only
 to an employee, serving as a representative of an exclusive
 representative, who is a member of the bargaining unit to which the
 right to negotiate the bargaining agreement applies." Thus, based on
 2750th Air Base Wing Headquarters and the reasons stated therein, the
 instant proposal, seeking official time for persons outside the
 bargaining unit for which a new collective bargaining agreement is to be
 negotiated, is outside the Agency's duty to bargain to the extent it
 seeks official time for non-unit employees.
    Accordingly, pursuant to section 2424.10 of the Authority's Rules and
 Regulations, IT IS ORDERED that the petition for review be, and it
 hereby is, dismissed.
    Issued, Washington, D.C., June 8, 1984
                                       Barbara J. Mahone, Chairman
                                       Ronald W. Haughton, Member
                                       Henry B. Frazier III, Member
                                       FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 --------------- FOOTNOTES$ ---------------
    /1/ Section 7131(a) provides, in pertinent part:
          Sec. 7131.  Official time
          (a) Any employee representing an exclusive representative in
 negotiation of a collective bargaining agreement under this chapter
 shall be authorized official time for such purposes . . . .