U.S. Federal Labor Relations Authority

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15:0130(24)CU - DOE, Oak Ridge Operations Office, Oak Ridge, TN and OPEIU Local 510 -- 1984 FLRAdec RP

[ v15 p130 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

 15 FLRA No. 24
 Labor Organization/Petitioner
                                            Case No. 4-CU-20004
    Upon a petition duly filed with the Authority under section
 7111(b)(2) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute
 (the Statute), a hearing was held before a hearing officer of the
 Authority.  The Authority has reviewed the hearing officer's rulings
 made at the hearing and finds that they are free from prejudicial error.
  The rulings are hereby affirmed.
    Upon the entire record in this case, including the parties'
 contentions, the Authority finds:  The Petitioner, Office and
 Professional Employees International Union, Local 510, AFL-CIO (the
 Union) seeks to clarify the unit for which it is certified as exclusive
 representative by including in that unit certain previously
 unrepresented employees of the Clinch River Breeder Reactor Project
 Office (CRBRPO).  The existing bargaining unit consists of some 600
 professional and nonprofessional employees of the Department of Energy's
 Oak Ridge Operations Office (ORO) and its Technical Information Center
 (TIC), both of which are located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.  /1/
    The Union contends that as a result of a reorganization in April of
 1981, employees of CRBRPO now share a clear and identifiable community
 of interest with employees of ORO and that certain employees of CRBRPO
 should now be accreted to the existing unit.  The Activity opposes the
 requested clarification, contending that while, as a result of the
 reorganization, CRBRPO is now organizationally subordinate to ORO,
 CRBRPO and ORO continue to be engaged in separate and distinct missions
 that are not functionally integrated, the employees of the two
 organizations do not share a community of interest, and the inclusion of
 the CRBRPO employees sought would not promote effective dealings or
 efficiency of agency operations.
    The record shows that the mission of ORO includes the production of
 nuclear weapons components in support of national defense programs, the
 supply of enriched uranium to fuel nuclear power plants in the United
 States and abroad, and energy research and development.  CRBRPO has as
 its specific mission the design, construction, and operation of a
 demonstration breeder reactor power plant.  The Department of Energy
 (DOE) has entered into cooperative agreements with private utility
 companies as well as with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to
 provide certain products and services necessary to complete the project.
    Under an arrangement approved by the Congressional Joint Committee on
 Atomic Energy in 1976, CRBRPO's project staff is composed of employees
 from differing sources including DOE, private utility companies, and the
 TVA.  CRBRPO employs some 210 individuals, 20 of whom are Federal
 employees.  Of these 20, approximately six are sought to be included in
 the existing professional/nonprofessional unit.
    Employee work groups within CRBRPO are organized according to skill
 groupings without regard to an individual's organizational affiliation.
 Thus, for example, professional engineers employed by DOE work alongside
 and in some instances supervise the work of engineers employed by either
 private utility companies or the TVA.  DOE employees working in other
 specialized skill groupings receive day-to-day supervisory direction
 from non-Federal employees.  The record reveals that line supervisors
 and managers may counsel or admonish employees employed by organizations
 other than their own.  Supervisors and managers make recommendations
 concerning the performance of employees assigned to them, irrespective
 of the employees' ultimate organizational affiliation.
    As a result of the 1981 reorganization, primary decision making
 authority for both CRBRPO and ORO now resides with the Manager of ORO.
 Thus, rather than reporting directly to DOE Headquarters, the Director
 of CRBRPO now reports to the Manager of ORO.  As a further result of the
 reorganization, a number of key supervisors and managers previously
 employed by ORO have been reassigned to positions of responsibility with
 CRBRPO or hold dual appointments in both organizations.
    The record reveals that, apart from the changes enumerated above, the
 1981 reorganization has had little discernible impact upon the
 conditions of employment of either CRBRPO or ORO employees.  Thus,
 employees of CRBRPO continue to occupy a separate physical facility some
 three miles distant from ORO Headquarters, perform essentially the same
 work in furtherance of the same mission of CRBRPO, and operate under the
 same day-to-day supervision as they had previously.  Moreover, the
 record discloses almost no interchange between the employees of CRBRPO
 and those of ORO.  While it appears that ORO's Organization and
 Personnel Division provides personnel/labor relations services for both
 organizations, this was also true prior to the reorganization.
    In deciding questions concerning accretion, the Authority is bound by
 the three criteria for determining the appropriateness of any unit, as
 mandated by section 7112(a)(1) of the Statute;  that is, the Authority
 may determine any unit to be appropriate only if the determination will
 ensure a clear and identifiable community of interest among the
 employees in the unit and will promote effective dealings with, and
 efficiency of the operations of, the agency involved.  See, e.g.,
 International Communication Agency, 5 FLRA 97 (1981).  In the instant
 case, as noted above, at no time have the two groups of employees at
 issue herein been integrated, either physically or functionally, and
 noting particularly the unique conditions of employment within CRBRPO
 arising from the commingling of Federal and non-Federal employees, the
 Authority concludes that accretion of the six CRBRPO employees to the
 currently certified unit is not appropriate.  In this regard, inasmuch
 as the employees of CRBRPO continue after the reorganization to perform
 identifiably distinct functions, work in a different location under
 different supervision, and have no functional interchange with the
 employees in the certified unit represented by the Union, the Authority
 concludes that they do not share a distinct community of interest with
 such employees.  Moreover, for the reasons set forth above, including
 the physical and functional separation of the CRBRPO employees and their
 functional commingling with non-Federal employees, it is concluded that
 effective dealings and efficiency of agency operations would not be
 promoted by including CRBRPO employees in the bargaining unit
 exclusively represented by the Petitioner.  Accordingly, OPEIU's
 petition for clarification of unit shall be dismissed.  See General
 Services Administration, National Capital Region, 5 FLRA 285 (1981).
    IT IS ORDERED that the Petition in Case No. 4-CU-20004 be, and it
 hereby is dismissed.
    Issued, Washington, D.C., June 14, 1984
                                       Barbara J. Mahone, Chairman
                                       Ronald W. Haughton, Member
                                       Henry B. Frazier III, Member
                                       FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
    /2/ Compare department of the navy, naval Hospital, submarine base
 bangor clinic, bremerton, washington, 15 FLRA NO. 23 (1984) (employee
 administratively transferred along with their function into a different
 activity were accreted into an existing bargaining unit, as requested by
 the gaining activity and the labor organization exclusively representing
 that activity's employees, inasmuch as the inclusion of such employees
 in the established bargaining unit satisfied the three criteria of
 section 7112(A)(1) of the statute), and federal aviation administration,
 aviation standards national field office, 15 FLRA