16:1001(133)CA PASS, LOCAL 301 VS DOT, FAA -- 1984 FLRAdec CA

[ v16 p1001 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

16 FLRA NO. 133





     Charging Party

Case No. 5-CA-20057


This matter is before the Authority pursuant to the Regional Director's "Order Transferring Case to the Federal Labor Relations Authority" in accordance with section 2429.1(a) of the Authority's Rules and Regulations.

Upon consideration of the entire record, including the stipulation of facts, accompanying exhibits, and the contentions of the parties, 1 the Authority finds:

The complaint herein alleges that U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, Airways Facilities Sector, Chicago O'Hare Airport, Chicago, Illinois (Respondent) violated section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Federal Service Labor - Management Relations [ v16 p1001 ] Statute (the Statute) 2 when it refused to negotiate with Professional Airways Systems Specialists, Local 301 (the Union) over its decision to terminate the employee shuttle which was implemented by an agreement between the Respondent and the Union. The complaint alleges further that the Respondent's conduct herein constituted a clear and patent breach of that agreement, in violation of section 7116(a)(1) and (5).

The Respondent Activity maintains its facility at Chicago O'Hare Airport, Chicago, Illinois, known as the Airways Facilities Sector, which has as its headquarters the Chicago O'Hare Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) Building at the airport. In addition, the Respondent maintains numerous other facilities at or near the airport, including one called the Elk Grove Staging Area (Elk Grove facility), which is located west of the airport in Elk Grove Village, Illinois.

The Union was certified on January 9, 1978, as the exclusive representative of a unit of all non-supervisory electronic technicians at the Activity. The electronic technicians are primarily responsible for the maintenance and repair of Respondent's airways facilities equipment at approximately 80 locations at O'Hare Airport.

In November 1979, the point of duty was changed for the electronic technicians in the Environmental Support Unit and the Logistics Unit, from the Activity's headquarters at the O'Hare ATCT Building to the Elk Grove facility. Approximately 15 members of the bargaining unit were affected.

Upon arrival at Elk Grove at the beginning of their shift, employees use government vehicles provided by the Activity to travel to equipment sites where they perform their regular duties. In July 1980, as a result of negotiations with the Union, the Activity agreed to authorize use of [ v16 p1002 ] one of these government vehicles for an employee shuttle from a facility on the east side of the airport called the "RTR - C site" to the Elk Grove facility in the morning, and back at the end of the day. The shuttle operated for a few days and stopped. The shuttle was reestablished by a memorandum from the Respondent dated December 9, 1980, after a meeting between the Activity and the Union. On December 22, 1980, the Activity and the Union signed an agreement which stated that the shuttle "shall be governed by the procedures specified" in the December 9 memorandum to employees.

After the shuttle was reestablished, employees drove their private vehicles from their homes to the RTR - C site, where they parked and assembled. They then drove the shuttle vehicle to the Elk Grove facility, arriving at the beginning of their shift. Thirty minutes prior to the end of their shift, the affected employees would depart from the Elk Grove facility in the shuttle vehicle and travel back to the RTR - C site. The users of the shuttle usually had access to two-way radios which could be used by supervisors to direct employees to equipment and other sites where they were required to work, but the record does not indicate that the shuttles ever were diverted for work purposes.

On September 16, 1981, based upon notice that operation of the shuttle bus was contrary to 31 U.S.C. 638a(c)(2), 3 the Respondent advised the Union by memorandum that the parties' agreement to reestablish the shuttle would have to be withdrawn effective October 3, 1981, and offered to negotiate the impact and implementation of the decision. When the parties met on October 7, 1981, the Union took the position that the decision to terminate the shuttle, as well as the impact of the decision, was negotiable, and declined to negotiate about only the impact and implementation of the decision to end the shuttle. The Activity offered again to negotiate over impact and implementation and took the position that the decision to end the shuttle service was nonnegotiable because it was inconsistent with the previously cited provisions of Federal law. The Activity terminated the operation of the shuttle effective November 1, 1981. [ v16 p1003 ]

The Authority has previously determined that a proposal involving shuttle bus transportation of employees from a point between their homes and their workplaces was not inconsistent with 31 U.S.C. 638a(c)(2), and was therefore negotiable, if (1) such transportation of employees were incident to use of the Government vehicle for official purposes as determined by the agency within its administrative discretion; and (2) such transportation of employees were itself within the Government's interest as determined by the agency within its administrative discretion, subject to collective bargaining. The Authority further stated that a determination as to whether a particular use is in the Government's interest "is a matter within the agency's administrative discretion and, hence, subject to bargaining." American Federation of Government Employees, AFL - CIO, Local 3525 and United States Department of Justice, Board of Immigration Appeals, 10 FLRA 61 (1982). In the instant case, discontinuance of the shuttle service was not required by law and a decision on whether to continue such service was within the agency's administrative discretion, subject to collective bargaining. By its refusal to bargain concerning the discontinuance of the shuttle, the Activity violated section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute.

The Authority finds that a status quo ante remedy is appropriate in these circumstances, where the decision to discontinue the shuttle service was itself within the d