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24:0176(23)CU - Treasury, Bureau of the Mint, Mint, Denver, CO and AFGE Local 695 -- 1986 FLRAdec RP

[ v24 p176 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

 24 FLRA No. 23
                                            Case No. 7-CU-60009
    On October 20, 1986, the American Federation of Government Employees,
 AFL-CIO, Local 695 (AFGE) filed a timely application for review pursuant
 to section 2422.17(a) of the Authority's Rules and Regulations, seeking
 to set aside the Regional Director's Decision and Order on Petition for
 Clarification of Unit in the above-named case.  In its application for
 review, AFGE contends that compelling reasons exist within the meaning
 of section 2422.17(c) of the Authority's Rules and Regulations for
 granting the application.
    Upon consideration of AFGE's application for review, including all
 arguments in support thereof, the Authority concludes that no compelling
 reason exists for granting the application.  Rather, the application in
 essence expresses mere disagreement with the Regional Director's
 findings, which are based on precedent, and have not been shown to be
 clearly erroneous or to have prejudicially affected the right of any
    Accordingly, pursuant to section 2422.17(f)(3) of the Authority's
 Rules and Regulations, the application for review of the Regional
 Director's Decision and Order on Petition for Clarification of Unit is
    Issued, Washington, D.C. November 21, 1986.
                                       /s/ Jerry L. Calhoun, Chairman
                                       /s/ Henry B. Frazier III, Member
                                       /s/ Jean McKee, Member
                                       FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
    This matter is before the Authority because of the Agency's request
 for reconsideration and "Motion to Amend" the Authority's Decision and
 Order on Negotiability Issues of August 15, 1986, in the above-entitled
 matter.  Specifically, the Agency seeks reconsideration of the
 Authority's order as to Provisions 1 and 3.  The Union filed an
    In its decision, the Authority found negotiable Provisions 1 and 3 of
 the parties' local supplemental agreement covering assignments and hours
 which had been disapproved by the Agency under section 7114(c) of the
 Statute.  Consequently, the Authority ordered the Agency to rescind its
 disapproval of these provisions.  The Authority based its determinations
 that Provisions 1 and 3 were negotiable on the Union's clear,
 unequivocal statements of intent in the petition for review concerning
 each provision, which statements were found to be consistent with the
 language of each provision.  Although the Agency acknowledged that in
 view of the Union's statements of intent its disapproval of the two
 provisions may be moot the Agency continued to maintain that the
 provisions were nonnegotiable.  As to the Agency's continued claims of
 nonnegotiability the Authority stated in a footnote that since the
 Union's clear, unequivocal statements of intent concerning the
 provisions showed that the Agency's claims of nonnegotiability were
 baseless, "any disagreement over these provisions should have been
 resolved bilaterally." Thus, the Authority urged the Agency "to act in a
 more positive manner, so as not to burden the Union and the Authority
 with the resolution of unnecessary disputes."
    The Agency does not challenge the Authority's holding that Provision
 1 and 3 are negotiable.  Instead, it contends, first, that the Authority
 committed an error in finding that the Agency had "disapproved" the
 provisions under section 7114(c) of the Statute.  Rather, the Agency
 states that because each of the provisions was subject to a negotiable
 as well as a nonnegotiable interpretation, it merely sought to clarify
 the meaning of the two provisions by holding them negotiable so long as
 the Union accepted the Agency's interpretation of their meaning.  Thus,
 the Agency requests the Authority to correct its order requiring the
 Agency to rescind its disapproval of these provisions because "so
 interpreted, the proposals were never disapproved." Second, the Agency
 states that if it is forced to stop its practice of providing
 alternative or conditional approvals when a contract provision is
 subject to both negotiable and nonnegotiable interpretations because of
 the comments such as these contained in the Authority's footnote, "the
 result will clearly be to produce more, not fewer appeals." Thus, the
 Agency further requests that the Authority either delete or alter the
 footnote in question.
    Section 2429.17 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations provides
 that a party which can establish "extraordinary circumstances" may
 request reconsideration of an Authority decision.  We conclude that the
 Agency has not established such "extraordinary circumstances."
 Specifically, we view the Agency's arguments as simply disagreeing with
 the Authority's interpretation of the record and legal determinations
 that the Agency disapproved the two provisions in question.
    Moreover, we reject the Agency's claim that the Authority's footnote
 urging the Agency to act in a positive manner so as to further the
 bilateral resolution of negotiability issues must increase rather than
 decrease the number of negotiability appeals.  In our view, this request
 for reconsideration confirms our observations that the Agency in this
 case should have resolved without our involvement its questions
 regarding the meaning of language which was negotiated and agreed to by
 the parties at a local level within the Agency.
    Consequently, we conclude that the Agency has failed to establish the
 existence of extraordinary circumstances and deny its request for
    Issued, Washington, D.C., November 21, 1986.
                                       /s/ Jerry L. Calhoun, Chairman
                                       /s/ Henry B. Frazier III, Member
                                       /s/ Jean McKee, Member
                                       FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY