U.S. Federal Labor Relations Authority

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16:0361(57)NG - NAGE, SEIU and Air Force, Scott AFB, IL -- 1984 FLRAdec NG

[ v16 p361 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

 16 FLRA No. 57
                                            Case No. O-NG-871
    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 two Union proposals.  Upon careful
 consideration of the entire record, including the parties' contentions,
 the Authority makes the following determinations.
                             Union Proposal 1
          Continue the practice of letting employees purchase items from
       the commissary during breaks and lunch periods.
                             Union Proposal 2
          Relative to unannounced inspections:  The employer agrees that
       it will only inspect the contents of any article when it has
       sufficient and reasonable grounds to suspect that the employee has
       stolen an item(s) and is attempting to transport it from the
       premises.  The Employer agrees that before such an inspection is
       made that the union President or designee will be notified and
       permitted to provide a representative to be present at the
       inspection on official time.  The employee will be given the
       opportunity to exercise any rights allowed by law and will be
       informed of those specific rights orally and in writing in a
       language understandable by the particular employee.  The Employer
       agrees that it will not conduct unannounced searches of employees.
        (Only the underlined portions of Union Proposal 2 are in
    In agreement with the Agency, the Authority concludes that the two
 Union proposals herein interfere with the Agency's right pursuant to
 section 7106(a)(2)(1) of the Statute to determine its internal security
 practices.  In this regard, an agency's right to determine its internal
 security practices includes the right to determine policies and actions
 which are part of its plan to secure or safeguard its physical property
 against internal or external risks.  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 347 (1982) at 362, reversed as to other
 matters sub nom. Department of Justice v. FLRA, 709 F.2d 724 (D.C. Cir.
    The record indicates that the first proposal pertains to employees of
 the Scott Air Force Base commissary.  The Agency decided to terminate a
 prior practice of allowing such employees with authorized commissary
 privileges, for example, retired military employees and employees who
 are military dependents, to purchase food items for other commissary
 employees who are not authorized such commissary privileges.  The Agency
 argues that this change was an essential component of its plan to
 safeguard its property, i.e., in this case, to prevent pilferage and
 unauthorized use of commissary stock.
    Union Proposal 1 is intended to continue this previous practice of
 permitting employees who are not authorized to purchase from the
 commissary to obtain commissary stock indirectly through employees who
 are authorized access.  In this manner the proposal would negate
 management's decision to safeguard commissary stock by insuring that
 such stock is not transferred to employees who are not entitled to
 obtain it from the commissary.  Thus, Union Proposal 1 interferes with
 the Agency's right to determine its internal security practices under
 section 7106(a)(1) of the Statute and is outside the duty to bargain.
 See American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 15 and
 Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, North Atlantic
 Region, 2 FLRA 874 (1980).
    Union Proposal 2 prevents the Agency from conducting unannounced
 searches of commissary and other employees at any time.  It further
 limits searches of hand carried items to circumstances in which the
 Agency has "sufficient and reasonable grounds" to believe that a theft
 has occurred and the employee is attempting to transport the stolen item
 off the premises.  This Union proposal interferes with the Agency's
 right to determine its internal security practices pursuant to section
 7106(a)(1) of the Statute by limiting the Agency's ability to conduct
 unannounced searched in furtherance of its plan to safeguard its
 property.  See Federal Employees Metal Trades Council and Department of
 the Navy, Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, California, 12 FLRA No.
 78 (1983).  Thus, Union Proposal 2 is outside the duty to bargain.
    Accordingly, pursuant to section 2424.10 of the Authority's Rules and
 Regulations, IT IS ORDERED that the Union's petition for review be, and
 it hereby is, dismissed.  Issued, Washington, D.C., October 31, 1984
                                       Henry B. Frazier III, Acting
                                       Ronald W. Haughton, Member
                                       FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY