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16:0619(88)NG - FEMTC and Navy, Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, CA -- 1984 FLRAdec NG

[ v16 p619 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

 16 FLRA No. 88
                                            Case No. O-NG-768
    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
 concerning the negotiability of the following proposal:
          (P)ay distribution for new hires be handled in the same manner
       as for current employees i.e., new hired will have the option of
       selecting direct mail or hand delivery of their pay.
    Upon careful consideration of the entire record, including the
 parties' contentions, the Authority makes the following determinations.
 The dispute herein arose as a result of the Agency's implementation of a
 new policy whereby it would only distribute paychecks of new employees
 to designated addresses and not to the workplace.  The Union's proposal
 would require the Agency to maintain for new employees the manner of
 paycheck distribution which is presently used in distributing paychecks
 to current employees.  That is, the Agency would be required to
 distribute new employee's paychecks to the workplace and not to
 employees' designated addresses.  In agreement with the Agency, the
 Authority finds that the disputed proposal concerns the technology,
 methods and means of performing work within the meaning of section
 7106(b)(1) of the Statute and thus is negotiable only at the election of
 the Agency.  /1/
    The duty of an agency to bargain with a labor organization over
 conditions of employment does not extend to those matters which involve
 the technology, methods and means of performing work.  National Treasury
 Employees Union and U.S. Customs Service, Region VII, San Francisco,
 California, 2 FLRA 255 (1979).  In American Federation of Government
 Employees, AFL-CIO and Air Force Logistics Command, Wright-Patterson Air
 Force Base, Ohio, 2 FLRA 604 (1980) (Union Proposals VIII and IX),
 enforced sub nom. Department of Defense v. FLRA, 659 F.2d 1140 (D.C.
 Cir. 1981), cert. denied sub nom. AFGE v. FLRA, 455 U.S. 945, 102 S.Ct.
 1443 (1982), the Authority ruled that those matters which directly and
 integrally relate to the accomplishment of the mission of the agency
 fall within the meaning of performing work under section 7106(b)(1).
    In the instant case, the Agency's mission could not be accomplished
 without the continued and steady operation of the Agency.  Such
 continuous operation is only ensured by the presence of a workforce
 whose goal is to effectuate the Agency's mission, and whose presence is
 only ensured when the Agency fulfills its payroll obligation.
 Therefore, the process which the Agency adopts to fulfill its payroll
 obligation so as to ensure the continued, uninterrupted operation of the
 Agency constitutes a support operation without which the Agency's
 mission could not be accomplished.  Thus, the Authority finds, herein,
 that mission-related matters which fall within the meaning of
 "performing work" under section 7106(b)(1) include support functions
 which are integrally related to the Agency's mission and without which
 the mission could not be accomplished.
    Thus, insofar as the Union tacitly concedes that the proposal
 involves the methods and means by which the Agency performs its payroll
 function, and the Authority finds that the payroll function involves
 performing work within the meaning of section 7106(b)(1), the Authority
 concludes that the proposal interferes with the Agency's right to
 determine its methods and means of performing work and is therefore
 outside the duty to bargain.
    The Authority's finding in this respect is consistent with
 Congressional intent.  The House-Senate Conference Committee Report
 illustrates that the term "performing work" was intended to include
 those matters which directly and integrally relate to the agency's
 operations as a whole.  In the House-Senate Conference Committee Report,
 the Conferees noted the following:
          The Senate (section 7218(a)(2)(E)) prohibits negotiations on
       the methods and means by which agency operations are to be
       conducted.  The House permits-- but does not require-- the agency
       to negotiate on such matters (House section 7106(b)(1)).  The
       Senate recedes.  The conferees wish to emphasize, however, that
       nothing in the bill is intended to require an agency to negotiate
       on the methods and means by which agency operations are to be
       conducted.  /2/
    The instant proposal is distinguishable from other proposals which
 the Authority has found not to interfere with the agency's right to
 determine its methods and means of performing work and therefore
 negotiable.  These proposals, unlike the instant proposal, do not
 involve matters which constitute an integral part of an agency's
 operation, but, rather, relate principally to matters affecting working
 conditions of employees.  /3/
    In holding that the proposal directly interferes with section
 7106(b)(1), the Authority finds, contrary to the Union's contention that
 the proposal is procedural in nature, that the proposal instead concerns
 the substantive exercise of management's right.  By requiring the Agency
 to distribute paychecks to the workplace, and thereby precluding the
 Agency from distributing paychecks to employees' designated addresses,
 the Union's proposal directly affects the Agency's determination as to
 its methods and means of performing its payroll function.  See
 International Organization of Master, Mates and Pilots and Panama Canal
 Commission, 13 FLRA No. 87 (1983) (Union Proposals 3 and 4).
    The Authority's finding in this case does not, however, affect the
 Agency's obligation to negotiate over the impact and implementation of
 its proposed change.  Clearly, the Agency is obligated to negotiate over
 the impact and implementation of its change in the process which is
 utilizes to distribute payroll.  Headquarters, 77th U.S. Army Command,
 Fort Totten, New York and American Federation of Government Employees,
 Local 2739, AFL-CIO, 9 FLRA 762 (1982).  Moreover, it should be noted
 that the Agency does not perform its payroll function in an atmosphere
 free of constraint but should conform to established pay principles as
 prescribed by the General Accounting Office.  /4/
    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.  /5/ Issued, Was4ington, D.C., November 30, 1984
                                       Henry B. Frazier III, Acting
                                       Ronald W. Haughton, Member
                                       FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 --------------- FOOTNOTES$ ---------------
    /1/ Section 7106(b)(1) of the Statute reads in pertinent part as
    Sec. 7106.  Management rights
                                  * * * *
          (b) Nothing in this section shall preclude any agency and any
       labor organization from negotiating--
          (1) at the election of the agency, . . . on the technology,
       methods, and means of performing work(.)
    /2/ S. Conf. Rep. No. 95-1272, 95th Cong., 2nd Sess. 154 (1978).
    /3/ See American Federation of Government Employees, Local 644,
 AFL-CIO and U.S. Department of Labor, Mine Health and Safety
 Administration, Morgantown, West Virginia, 15 FLRA No. 170 (1984) (work
 facilities);  and American Federation of State, County and Municipal
 Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 2477 and Library of Congress, 7 FLRA 578
 (1982), enforced sub nom. Library of Congress v. Federal Labor Relations
 Authority, 699 F.2d 1280 (D.C. Cir. 1983) (office designs);  and Wright
 Patterson Air Force Base, 2 FLRA 604, 615 (equal employment opportunity
    /4/ The General Accounting Office Policy and Procedure Manual For
 Guidance of Federal Agencies, Title 6, Section 16.6, only provides the
 Agency with three options in the location to which paychecks can be
 distributed.  The GAO manual reads as follows:
          16.6 Distribution of Paychecks and U.S. Savings Bonds
          Checks and bonds to individuals shall be mailed by the
       disbursing officer to the persons being paid or their designees or
       delivered to designated agents in the employing offices for
       delivery to the employees at the work locations.
    /5/ In view of the decision herein, the Authority finds it
 unnecessary to consider the other contentions of the Agency with respect
 to the negotiability of the proposal.