[ v20 p186 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
20 FLRA No. 24 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, LOCALS R4-1, R4-97 and R4-103 Union and DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY NAVAL WEAPONS STATION YORKTOWN, VIRGINIA Agency Case No. 0-NG-1114 DECISION AND ORDER ON NEGOTIABILITY ISSUE The petition for review in this case comes before the Federal Labor Relations Authority (the Authority) pursuant to section 7105(a)(2)(E) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute) and presents an issue concerning the negotiability of the following Union proposal: Employees of the bargaining unit may elect to receive their pay by one of the following methods: 1. Electronic Funds Transfer 2. Mailed to a non work address, or 3. Hand delivery at the work site. Upon careful consideration of the entire record, including the parties' contentions, /1/ the Authority makes the following determinations. The Union's proposal would require the Agency to continue its current practice of providing bargaining unit employees with the option of having their paychecks hand-delivered to their work site. In this regard, the instant proposal is to the same effect as the proposal found nonnegotiable in Federal Employees Metal Trades Council, AFL-CIO and Department of the Navy, Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, California, 16 FLRA No. 88(1984), petition for review filed sub nom. Federal Employees Metal Trades Council, AFL-CIO v. FLRA, No. 85-7039 (9th Cir. January 22, 1985). /2/ In that case the Authority found that as paycheck delivery determinations involved "methods and means of performing work," a union proposal which would have required the agency to maintain distribution of paychecks to the workplace for new employees as well as current employees, interfered with the agency's right to determine its methods and means of performing work under section 7106(b)(1) of the Statute and, thus, was negotiable only at the election of the agency. The Authority concludes, in agreement with the Agency, that for the reasons stated and the cases cited in Mare Island Naval Shipyard, the Union's proposal in this case also substantively restricts the Agency's right to determine its methods and means of performing work. Inasmuch as the proposal would effectively place a substantive restriction on the Agency's ability to determine its methods and means of performing work it is not procedural in nature. See American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO and Air Force Logistics Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, 2 FLRA 603(1980), enforced sub nom. Department of Defense v. Federal Labor Relations Authority, 659 F.2d 1140, 1152 (D.C. Cir. 1981), cert. denied sub nom. AFGE v. FLRA, 455 U.S. 945(1982). Thus, contrary to the Union's assertion, the proposal is not a negotiable procedure within the meaning of section 7106(b)(2) of the Statute. /3/ This conclusion is not altered by the Union's contention that the instant proposal is consistent with Government-wide guidance promulgated by the General Accounting Office (GAO) concerning the distribution of paychecks. /4/ The Authority noted in Mare Island Naval Shipyard that an agency should conform to established pay principles as prescribed by the GAO. However, while the GAO regulation only provides agencies with three options in the location to which paychecks may be distributed, its guidance does not mandate which of these options or combination of options an agency must select. Therefore, the Authority's determination in this case that, pursuant to section 7106(b)(1) of the Statute, the manner in which paychecks are distributed is negotiable only at the election of the Agency, is completely consistent with established pay principles as prescribed by the GAO. 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, Washington, D.C., September 18, 1985 (s) HENRY B. FRAZIER III Henry B. Frazier III, Acting Chairman (s) WILLIAM J. MCGINNIS JR. William J. McGinnis, Jr., Member FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY --------------- FOOTNOTES$ --------------- /1/ The Agency contends that because the Union's petition for review was not timely filed from the date the Agency served its nonnegotiability allegation on the Union it is untimely. This contention cannot be sustained. In this case, the Authority finds that the allegation referred to by the Agency was unsolicited and that in accordance with established precedent, the Union is permitted to ignore the unsolicited allegation and, instead, to elect to request a written allegation from the Agency. International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, AFL-CIO, Local 121 and Department of the Treasury, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Washington, D.C., 10 FLRA 198(1982). Since the Union filed its petition for review within 15 days of service of the Agency's written negotiability allegation provided in response to the Union's written request, the Union's petition for review is timely. The Union's contention that the Agency's statement of position was untimely filed also cannot be sustained. The record establishes the Union's petition for review was not served on the agency head, pursuant to section 2424.4(b) of the Authority's Rules and Regulations, until April 17, 1985. Since the Agency's statement of position was filed on May 22, 1985, pursuant to sections 2424.6 and 2429.22 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations, it was timely filed. /2/ Accord American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1533 and Department of the Navy, Naval Commissary Store Region, Oakland and Navy Commissary Store, Alameda, California, 16 FLRA No. 89(1984), petition for review filed sub nom. American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 1533 v. FLRA, No. 85-7050 (9th Cir. January 28, 1985). /3/ Section 7106(b)(2) of the Statute provides, in relevant part: Section 7106. Management rights * * * * (b) Nothing in this section shall preclude any agency and any labor organization from negotiating-- * * * * (2) procedures which management officials of the agency will observe in exercising any authority under this section(.) /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.