39:0899(79)CU - - Defense Mapping Agency, Hydrographic/Topographic Center, Louisville Office, Louisville, KY and NFFE Local 1482 - - 1991 FLRAdec RP - - v39 p899

[ v39 p899 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

39 FLRA No. 79










LOCAL 1482

(Labor Organization/Petitioner)


(35 FLRA 625 (1990))


February 28, 1991

Before Chairman McKee and Members Talkin and Armendariz.

I. Statement of the Case

This case is before the Authority on an application for review filed by the Petitioner (Union) under section 2422.17(a) of the Authority's Rules and Regulations. The Union seeks review of the Regional Director's (RD) Decision and Order on Petition for Clarification of Unit (CU). The RD dismissed the CU petition, without prejudice to the Union filing a representation petition, upon finding that the Union's CU petition raised a question concerning representation that may not be resolved in a CU petition. The Activity did not file an opposition to the Union's application for review.

For the following reasons, we deny the Union's application for review.

II. Background

In 1969, the Activity granted the Union recognition for a unit of nonprofessional employees. In 1979, the Union filed a representation (RO) petition in Case No. 4-RO-13 seeking an election to determine whether professional employees should be included in its existing unit. The parties mutually agreed that Cartographer Project Leaders would be excluded from the petitioned-for bargaining unit. As a result of the election and the parties' agreement, the Project Leaders were excluded from the Union's certified unit.

On May 12, 1989, the Acting Regional Director (ARD) issued a Decision and Order in Case No. 4-CU-80021 finding that Cartographer Project Leaders and Cartographer Project Directors should be included in the Union's bargaining unit. The Activity filed an application for review only as to the ARD's determination that the Project Leaders should be included in the unit. We granted review of the ARD's decision in Defense Mapping Agency Hydrographic/Topographic Center, Louisville Office, Louisville, Kentucky, 34 FLRA 407 (1990) because it appeared that substantial questions of law or policy were raised because of the absence of, or departure from, Authority precedent with respect to:

Whether a petition for clarification of unit seeking to include in a unit, without an election, employees in positions which have been previously specifically excluded from a certified bargaining unit under the circumstances presented in this case, is a permissible process for seeking to add those employees to a unit.

On review of the ARD's decision in Defense Mapping Agency Hydrographic/Topographic Center, Louisville Office, Louisville, Kentucky, 35 FLRA 625 (1990) (Defense Mapping Agency), we found that the record lacked the necessary information for us to determine whether, under the standards set forth in the Authority's Decision in Federal Trade Commission, 35 FLRA 576 (1990) (FTC), a CU petition was the appropriate petition to file in the instant case. In FTC, we determined that a CU petition was the proper procedure to clarify, consistent with the parties' intent, inclusions or exclusions from a unit after the basic question of representation had been resolved. In FTC, we also found that, in the absence of a demonstration that affected employees have undergone meaningful changes in their job duties or functions, a CU petition was not appropriate for including employees who were specifically excluded from the original certification pursuant to a voluntary pre-election agreement approved by an RD of the Authority.

Therefore, based on the above findings, we remanded Defense Mapping Agency to the RD to determine if any meaningful changes have occurred in Project Leaders' job duties or functions since the time the unit was certified in 1979. If there have been meaningful changes in the Project Leaders' job duties, the RD was directed to process the CU petition, determine whether to include the Project Leaders in the unit, and issue a new decision in this case. If there have not been meaningful changes, the RD was directed to dismiss the CU petition and permit the Union to file an RO petition.

III. Regional Director's Decision

On remand, the RD found that the Union's CU petition raised a question concerning representation that may not be resolved in a unit clarification petition. In this regard, the RD determined that there have been no meaningful changes in the duties or functions of the Project Leaders since the parties agreed to exclude them from the bargaining unit in 1979, because they allegedly performed some supervisory functions.

The RD found that, at the time of the 1979 election, Project Leaders: (1) made maps and helped Production Cartographers make maps; (2) solved technical or scientific problems that arose during work assignments; (3) conducted on-the-job training in formal classroom settings as well as at the worksite of Production Cartographers; (4) supervised the technical work of groups of lower-graded "Cartographic Technicians" who compiled material and made maps from this material; (5) maintained a Quality Inspection folder in which they documented the progress of assignments; and (6) were responsible for the quality of work produced by the team. RD's decision at 2. The RD also found that Project Leaders: (1) reviewed assignment sheets to determine what the Cartographers needed to do; (2) decided what equipment, what process, and what materials the Cartographers should use in completing assignments; (3) advised supervisors of the team members performance; and (4) investigated and recommended action to correct recurring problems in the Branch or between Branches. The RD further stated that Project Leaders acted as supervisors or branch chiefs in their absence. Id. at 2-3.

The RD c