U.S. Federal Labor Relations Authority

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15:0522(109)CA - SBA, Washington, DC and SBA Salt Lake City District Office, Salt lake City, UT and AFGE Local 1099 -- 1984 FLRAdec CA

[ v15 p522 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

 15 FLRA No. 109
 Charging Party
                                            Case No. 7-CA-20211
                            DECISION AND ORDER
    This matter is before the Authority pursuant to the Regional
 Director's "Order Transferring Case to the Authority" in accordance with
 section 2429.1(a) of the Authority's Rules and Regulations.
    Upon consideration of the entire record in this case, including the
 parties' stipulation of facts, accompanying exhibits, and contentions of
 the parties, the Authority finds:
    On January 29, 1981, the American Federation of Government Employees,
 Local 1099, AFL-CIO (the Union) was certified as the exclusive
 representative of all non-professional General Schedule employees of the
 Small Business Administration, Salt Lake City District Office, Salt Lake
 City, Utah (Respondent Activity).  The certification added the employees
 to an already existing nationwide unit of certain employees of the Small
 Business Administration, Washington, D.C. (Respondent Agency), for which
 nationwide unit the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE)
 had been certified as the exclusive representative on August 22, 1978.
 At all times material herein, AFGE and the Respondent Agency have been
 parties to a collective bargaining agreement dated August 13, 1980,
 covering the nationwide unit as well as the unit employees of the
 Respondent Activity.
    From September 1979 until March 7, 1982, the employees in the Salt
 Lake City facility worked under a compressed work week program whereby
 in each two-week pay period they worked one 8 hour workday and eight 9
 hour workdays.  On February 5, 1982, the Activity, at the direction of
 the Agency's Region VIII, notified the Union by letter that "the work
 schedule experiment will be terminated." The letter advised the Union
 that notice was being given pursuant to "Article Four of the Master
 Agreement." The letter specifically limited bargaining to "any request
 for negotiations on impact of the proposed change," and it further
 requested that the Union waive the contractual 15-day period to make a
 bargaining demand, in order that termination of the program could be
 implemented on February 21, 1982, as in the other offices in Region
    On February 16, 1982, the Union replied to the Activity's letter
 asserting that notice had not been given in accordance with the
 collective bargaining agreement, /1/ denying the request to waive the
 15-day period to make a bargaining demand;  and stating that the
 Activity's proposal to negotiate the termination of the compressed work
 schedule experiment was not valid and " . . . termination of the program
 is not authorized at this time."
    By letter dated February 22, 1982, the Activity replied to the
 Union's letter of February 16, 1982, declaring that "the decision to
 terminate the experiment is a statutory right of the Agency and
 therefore, not subject to negotiation or your authorization." The letter
 concluded by stating that since the Union had failed to request
 bargaining within the specified time, notification was then being given
 that the experiment would be terminated at the Activity on March 7,
 1982.  The experiment was terminated on March 7, 1982.
    The complaint alleges that Respondents violated section 7116(a)(1)
 and (5) of the Statute /2/ by refusing to bargain over the decision to
 terminate the compressed work week schedule and by terminating the
 compressed work week schedule at the Salt Lake City District Office
 without first bargaining with the Union over the substance and impact
 and implementation of the change.
    The Authority has held the Statute requires that, prior to
 effectuating a change in established conditions of employment, an agency
 must give the exclusive representative notice and an opportunity to
 negotiate.  See Department of the Air Force, Scott Air Force Base,
 Illinois, 5 FLRA 9 (1981);  Internal Revenue Service (District, Region
 and National Office Unit and Service Center Unit), 10 FLRA 326 (1982).
 Further, in Social Security Administration, 11 FLRA No. 76 (1983),
 application for enforcement docketed, No. 84-1015 (D.C. Cir. Jan. 13,
 1984), the Authority held that the decision to conduct or terminate
 flexible or compressed work schedule experiments is a proper subject for
 good faith bargaining.
    The General Counsel contends that the Union's letter of February 16,
 1982, constituted a valid request to bargain.  However, in the
 Authority's view that letter falls short of the Union's exercise of its
 statutory right to request bargaining under the circumstances.  /3/ In
 this regard, although the Union was in fact afforded timely notice of
 the proposed termination of the compressed work week program in the
 Respondent Activity's facility, the Union elected not to request
 bargaining or to submit proposals.  The Union instead insisted that
 management's notice was not in accordance with the parties' Master
 Agreement.  Accordingly, the Authority concludes that the Respondent did
 not unlawfully refuse to bargain in good faith or unlawfully terminate
 the experiment, and therefore did not violate section 7116(a)(1) and (5)
 of the Statute, as alleged.
    IT IS ORDERED that the complaint in Case No. 7-CA-20211 be, and it
 hereby is, dismissed.
    Issued, Washington, D.C., August 10, 1984
                                       Barbara J. Mahone, Chairman
                                       Ronald W. Haughton, Member
                                       Henry B. Frazier III, Member
                                       FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 --------------- FOOTNOTES$ ---------------
    /1/ The complaint does not allege that the Union was not given proper
 or adequate notice of the change and the record does not support such a
    /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 Division of Military and Naval Affairs, State of New York,
 Albany, New York, 8 FLRA 307, 320 (1982);  United States Department of
 Defense, Department of the Army, Headquarters, Fort Sam Houston, Texas,
 8 FLRA 623, 624 (1982).