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The decision of the Authority follows:
35 FLRA No. 25
FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
HEADQUARTERS, 101st AIRBORNE DIVISION
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES
ORDER GRANTING APPLICATION FOR REVIEW
March 23, 1990
Before Chairman McKee and Members Talkin and Armendariz.
Statement of the Case
This case is before the Authority on an application for review filed on January 25, 1990 by the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 2022 (Union) under section 2422.17 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations. The Union seeks review of the Acting Regional Director's Decision and Order on Petition For Clarification of Unit, finding that 10 individuals employed as management analysts are performing personnel work within the meaning of section 7112(b)(3) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute) and thus should be excluded from the bargaining unit.(*/) The U.S. Department of the Army, Headquarters, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Kentucky (Activity) filed an opposition to the application for review.
For the reasons discussed below, we grant the application.
II. Regional Director's Decision
The Union filed a petition under section 7111(b)(2) of the Statute seeking to clarify its existing bargaining unit to include, inter alia, 10 management analysts. On November 30, 1989, the Acting Regional Director issued her Decision and Order on Petition For Clarification of Unit, finding that the management analysts should be excluded from the bargaining unit. Because their duties varied, the Acting Regional Director made separate findings as to various management analysts.
The management analyst positions in question are located in the Activity's Directorate of Resource Management. The Directorate has two divisions, the Management Analysis Division and the Program and Budget Division. In regard to the eight GS-09 and GS-11 management analysts employed in the Management Analysis Division, the Acting Regional Director made the following findings:
The [m]anagement [a]nalysts . . . provide management consulting services on all aspects of improving management operations for the installation, writing work and quality assurance plans, accumulating cost and workload data and conducting management studies. These [a]nalysts conduct management studies of missions, organizations, functions, work processes, methods and procedures. These studies recommend measures to clarify, appraise, refine, alter, or improve present management applications and practices within the various segments of the activity. . . . The studies recommend action to resolve management problems or improve the efficiency or economy of operations. For the most part, the recommendations are routinely put into effect. In some cases, the studies will have direct impact on the personnel of the particular organization being studied.
Decision and Order at 11-12.
The Acting Regional Director also found that the principal duties of one management analyst, who functions as the Activity's financial computer specialist, involve the Activity's automated systems. The duties of this position entail conducting detail studies, which are presented to directors and managers, relating to automated systems that the Activity is contemplating designing or developing and designing and developing software for various software systems in various languages. Id. at 12.
The Acting Regional Director found that the duties of another management analyst involve conducting "studies relative to Resource Management Systems for the Directorate of Resource Management, Program and Budget Division, and supported operational/analytical/financial program staff of the installation." Id. at 13. That management analyst also conducts a variety of complex management studies of budget systems, evaluates existing or proposed budget systems, conducts reviews and recommends action to improve operating efficiency and increase productivity through the use of automation.
Based on the foregoing, the Acting Regional Director found that the analysts are "directly involved in performing personnel work affecting the bargaining unit and making recommendations to management concerning such personnel actions." Id. at 15. The Acting Regional Director further found that "these personnel functions are more than routine and clerical in nature." Id. Therefore, the Acting Regional Director concluded that the management analysts are employees engaged in personnel work in other than a purely clerical capacity within the meaning of section 7112(b)(3) of the Statute, and should be excluded from the bargaining unit.
III. Application for Review
The Union asserts that the duties of the management analysts do not affect, or have an impact on, other personnel within the meaning of section 7112(b)(3) of the Statute. It argues that management analysts "are staff specialist [sic], not line managers", who "ordinarily make no management decisions, but advise managers on certain decisions they make." Application for Review at 1. The Union argues that it is the management analysts' supervisors who decide what data and recommendations are presented to management and then management decides what, if any, of the presented data or recommendations will be implemented. Id. at 2. Even assuming that management analysts do make recommendations directly to management, the Union claims that "a recommendation does not in itself carry any impact on personnel" because (1) management often fails to implement the recommendations in full or at all; and (2) management analysts have not completed a regular management study affecting personnel in over a year. Id. at 3-4. The Union also argues that the other work performed by management analysts, such as "consulting services" and writing of work and quality assurance plans, does not in any way affect other personnel within the meaning of the Statute. Id. at 2.
The Agency opposes the application for review. It argues that the application for review should be denied because the application simply "states a disagreement with the facts found by the Acting Regional Director and merely reiterates the [Union's] case" presented at the hearing. Agency's Opposition at 2.
We conclude that a compelling reason exists within the meaning of section 2422.17(c) of the Authority's Rules and Regulations for granting the application for review.
We find that a substantial question of law or policy is raised in this case because of the absence of specific Authority precedent. The question concerns whether the management analysts' role or involvement in the conduct of studies and the formulation of recommendations on matters affecting, or having a potential effect on, personnel decisions is of such a nature as to create a conflict of interest between the management analysts' job duties and their union affiliation.
For this reason, we grant the application for review. In accordance with section 2422.17(g) of the Authority's Rules and Regulations, the parties may submit briefs within 10 days after issuance of this Order. Such briefs shall be limited to the question set forth above.
The application for review of the Acting Regional Director's Decision and Order on Petition for Clarification of Unit is granted. In accordance with section 2422.17(g) of the Authority's Rules and Regulations, the parties may submit briefs within 10 days after issuance of this Order. Briefs should be directed to:
Ms. Alicia Columna
Case Control Office
Federal Labor Relations Authority
500 C Street S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20424
(If blank, the decision does not have footnotes.)
*/ The Acting Regional Director also found that four other employees should be included within the bargaining unit. As neither party seeks review of those findings, they are not at issue here.