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U.S. Federal Labor Relations Authority

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21:0975(114)NG - Antilles Consolidated Education Association and U.S. Navy Dept., Puerto Rico -- 1986 FLRAdec NG

[ v21 p975 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

 21 FLRA No. 114
                                            Case No. 0-NG-992
                         I.  Statement of the Case
    This case is before the Authority because of a negotiability appeal
 filed under section 7105(a)(2)(E) of the Federal Service
 Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute), and concerns the
 negotiability of one Union proposal.
                              Union Proposal
          The union (A.C.E.A.) will be allowed three negotiators on
       official time.
                     II.  Positions of the Agency /1/
    Although not stated, it is apparent that the Agency determined to be
 represented at negotiation by less than three negotiators.  Thus, the
 Agency argues that, under section 7131(a) of the Statute, the Union is
 limited to the same number of negotiators on official time as the number
 of negotiators representing management.  The Agency also claims that the
 Union previously agreed to be represented at such negotiations by two
 negotiators.  Finally, the Agency contends that the number of
 negotiators representing management is not a matter concerning the
 working conditions of bargaining unit employees.  In support, the Agency
 relies on National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 1451 and Naval
 Training Center, Orlando, Florida, 3 FLRA 87 (1980), enforced sub nom.
 National Federation of Federal Employees v. FLRA, 652 F.2d 191 (D.C.
 Cir. 1981).
                      III.  Analysis and Conclusions
    The Agency has provided no support for its claim that the Union
 agreed to be represented at the negotiations by two negotiators.  It is
 well established that the parties bear the burden of creating a record
 sufficient for the Authority to resolve a negotiability dispute.  See
 National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 1167 v. Federal Labor
 Relations Authority, 681 F.2d 886, 891 (D.C. Cir. 1982), aff'g National
 Federation of Federal Employees, Local 1167 and Department of the Air
 Force, Headquarters, 31st Combat Support Group (TAC), Homestead Air
 Force Base, Florida, 6 FLRA 588 (1981).  A party failing to assume this
 burden acts at its peril.
    Representation of employees in matters concerning their employment
 clearly affects the working conditions of those employees.  National
 Treasury Employees Union and Department of Treasury, U.S. Customs
 Service, 21 FLRA No. 2, 7-8 (1986);  American Federation of Government
 Employees, AFL-CIO and Air Force Logistics Command, Wright-Patterson Air
 Force Base, Ohio, 2 FLRA 604 (1980) (Union Proposal II), enf'd as to
 other matters 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
 (1982).  Further, the number of union representatives involved in the
 negotiation process necessarily influences the effective presentation of
 matters affecting bargaining unit working conditions.  Thus, a request
 by a union for sufficient personnel to allow it to carry out its
 representational responsibilities under the Statute is inextricably tied
 to the conditions of employment of the employees it represents.
    Contrary to the Agency's claim, this proposal does not, in any
 manner, determine the number of negotiators who will represent the
 Agency.  Rather, the proposal would authorize official time for a number
 of union representatives beyond that authorized under section 7131(a).
 The Authority has previously held that, under section 7131(d) of the
 Statute, a proposal seeking more union negotiators than the number
 designated by management is within the duty to bargain.  American
 Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO and U.S. Environmental
 Protection Agency, 15 FLRA 461 (1984).  (Proposal 2).  The Authority
 finds the Union's proposal to be within the duty to bargain for the
 reasons set forth in that case.  /2/
                                IV.  Order
    Accordingly, pursuant to section 2424.10 of the Authority's Rules and
 Regulations, IT IS ORDERED that the Agency shall upon request (or as
 otherwise agreed to by the parties) bargain concerning the proposal
 presented herein.
    Issued, Washington, D.C., May 23, 1986.
                                       /s/ Jerry L. Calhoun, Chairman
                                       /s/ Henry B. Frazier III, Member
                                       FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
                ---------------  FOOTNOTES$ ---------------
    (1) The Agency did not file a statement of Position and the Union did
 not file a reply Brief in this case.
    (2) In finding this Union proposal to be within the duty to bargain,
 the Authority makes no judgment as to its merits.