17:1045(140)CA - Treasury, Bureau of Public Debt and NTEU and Chapter 190 -- 1985 FLRAdec CA

[ v17 p1045 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

 17 FLRA No. 140
 Charging Party
                                            Case No. 3-CA-20005
                            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
 stipulation of facts, accompanying exhibits, and the parties'
 contentions, /1/ the Authority finds:
    The complaint alleges that the Department of the Treasury, Bureau of
 the Public Debt (the Respondent) violated section 7116(a)(1) and (8) of
 the Statute /2/ by failing to grant the Union's request for official
 time under section 7131(a) /3/ to its unit employees, for the time they
 spent in travel related to contract negotiations while they were
 representing the National Treasury Employees Union and Chapter 190 (the
 Union).  The Respondent stipulates that it denied official time for such
 travel incident to the negotiations.  In addition to the issue of
 entitlement to official time under section 7131(a) for travel incident
 to representing an exclusive representative in negotiations, this case
 also raises a question as to how many union representatives would be
 entitled to official time for such travel.
    The Union is the exclusive representative of a unit of approximately
 1,600 employees, approximately 700 of whom are located in Washington,
 D.C. and approximately 900 of whom work in Parkersburg, West Virginia.
 Chapter 190 represents the Parkersburg, West Virginia employees.  On
 July 28, 1980 the parties agreed on ground rules for master contract
 negotiations to be held in Washington, D.C. with each negotiating team
 being composed of a chief negotiator and five other members, one of whom
 would be an alternate.  Two members of the Respondent's team worked in
 Parkersburg.  On April 23, 1981 the Union requested official time for
 four unit employees, Wanda Wiseman, Susan Wiggins, Dianna Meredith and
 Ed Bloomer, who worked in Parkersburg, for April 27, when they would
 travel to Washington for negotiations to be held the following day.  The
 Respondent refused the request and these four employees took annual
 leave for the travel that day.  On April 28, two of the four
 Parkersburg, West Virginia unit employees, Wiseman and Wiggins,
 participated in the negotiations on official time while Meredith and
 Bloomer took annual leave for the day.  On April 29, Meredith and
 Bloomer participated as members of the Union negotiating team while
 Wiseman and Wiggins took annual leave.
    On July 14, 1981 the Union requested reinstatement of annual leave
 taken by the four unit employees on April 27.  Further, it requested
 official time for travel from Parkersburg, West Virginia to Washington,
 D.C. on July 6, 1981 and for return travel to Parkersburg on July 9,
 1981 incurred by Bloomer and Wiseman who served as members of the
 negotiating team during sessions on July 7 and July 8, 1981.  The
 Respondent denied the Union's request on July 15, 1981 and Bloomer and
 Wiseman took annual leave for the July 6 and July 9 travel time.
    The Authority has held that when it is required that an employee
 travel to participate in activities for which the employee would be on
 official time under section 7131(a) of the Statute, during the time the
 employee would be in a duty status, such travel time is part of the
 official time.  /4/ Thus, by refusing to grant official time to unit
 employees on April 27, 1981, July 6, 1981 and July 9, 1981 for travel in
 connection with contract negotiations while they were representing the
 Union and during which they would be on official time, the Respondent
 failed to comply with section 7131(a) of the Statute, in violation of
 section 7116(a)(1) and (8).
    With respect to the amount of official time requested for the four
 Parkersburg employees to travel on April 27, 1981 to contract
 negotiating sessions, section 7131(a) limits official time granted under
 that section to the number of employees "not to exceed the number . . .
 representing the agency." Therefore, the number of union representatives
 who must be paid for their representation time is pegged to the number
 of agency representatives.  Department of Health and Human Services,
 Region IV, Atlanta, Georgia, 9 FLRA 1065, 1066 n.2 (1982).  The
 stipulated facts show that five employees were designated as
 participating union representatives at the April 28 and 29 negotiating
 sessions and were afforded official time in respect thereto, the same as
 the number of individuals on the management negotiating team who
 participated during those sessions.  It is noted further that of the
 five positions on the Union negotiating team, two positions were
 allocated to the four Parkersburg employees and official time was
 concededly afforded to only two of these employees.  The Authority
 concludes that, as travel time is included in official time and the same
 limits apply, the entitlement to official time for travel in this
 instance is an amount equivalent to that necessary for two employees
 representing the Union to travel from Parkersburg, West Virginia, to
 Washington, D.C.
    Pursuant to section 2423.29 of the Rules and Regulations of the
 Federal Labor Relations Authority and section 7118 of the Statute, the
 Authority hereby orders that the Department of the Treasury, Bureau of
 the Public Debt shall:
    1.  Cease and desist from:
    (a) Refusing to provide official time for travel on April 27, 1981
 for two employees designated as representatives of the National Treasury
 Employees Union and Chapter 190, the employees' exclusive
 representative, in connection with contract negotiations, pursuant to
 section 7131(a) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations
 Statute, and for travel on July 6 and July 9, 1981 to employees Wanda
 Wiseman and Ed Bloomer as designated representatives of National
 Treasury Employees Union and Chapter 190 in connection with contract
    (b) In any like or related manner interfering with, restraining, or
 coercing employees in the exercise of their rights assured by the
    2.  Take the following affirmative action in order to effectuate the
 purposes and policies of the Statute:
    (a) Grant official time to two employees designated by the National
 Treasury Employees Union and Chapter 190 for time spent on April 27,
 1981 while in a travel status in connection with contract negotiations
 and restore an equivalent amount of annual leave used, and to employees
 Wanda Wiseman and Ed Bloomer for the time spent on July 6 and July 9,
 1981 while in a travel status in connection with negotiations and make
 them whole for annual leave used.
    (b) Post at all of its offices copies of the attached Notice on forms
 to be furnished by the Federal Labor Relations Authority.  Upon receipt
 of such forms