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The decision of the Authority follows:
45 FLRA No. 101
Before Chairman McKee and Members Talkin and Armendariz.
I. Statement of the Case
This matter is before the Authority on a request for reconsideration of our decision in 45 FLRA 281 (1992) filed on behalf of the Activity by the U.S. Department of the Navy (the Agency) under section 2429.17 of our Rules and Regulations. Neither AFGE nor IAM (collectively referred to as the Unions) filed a response to the Agency's request. Because the Agency fails to establish that extraordinary circumstances exist warranting reconsideration of our decision, we will deny the request.
II. The Decision in 45 FLRA 281
In 45 FLRA 281, the Authority granted IAM's application
for review of the Regional Director's (RD) decision in this matter. In her decision, the RD found that, as a result of a reorganization by the Activity, the bargaining units for which AFGE and IAM had been certified as exclusive representatives are no longer appropriate. The RD found that the Activity, therefore, is under no obligation to continue to recognize AFGE and IAM as the exclusive representatives for the employees formerly in those units. The RD found that an Activity-wide unit appeared to be appropriate, but declined to order an election in this matter and stated that, unless her decision is overturned by the Authority, she would revoke the certifications of AFGE and IAM.
IAM sought review of the RD's failure to make a conclusive appropriate unit finding, her refusal to order an election, and her expressed intention to revoke the Unions' certifications. Neither the Activity nor AFGE filed a statement of position with regard to IAM's application for review.
On review, the Authority concluded, in agreement with the RD, that an election in this case was not warranted and that a determination as to the appropriateness of an Activity-wide unit may only be made upon the filing of a petition for certification of representative. The Authority also concluded, in disagreement with the RD, that the certifications of AFGE and IAM should not be revoked. In this regard, the Authority stated:
[T]o revoke the certifications of AFGE and IAM would not be proper. Although the units for which AFGE and IAM were certified are no longer appropriate, the RD did not cite, and we are not aware of, any precedent warranting revocation of certification in circumstances similar to those in this case. Accordingly, we will direct the RD not to revoke the certifications. Any matters relating to the parties' rights and obligations as to the units represented by AFGE and IAM may be resolved as appropriate in other proceedings, including proceedings under the [Federal Service Labor-Management Relations] Statute. We note that any matters relating to the deduction of dues are governed by section 7115 of the Statute.
45 FLRA at 288.
III. Agency's Request for Reconsideration
The Agency contends that the Authority's decision not to revoke the certifications of AFGE and IAM is inconsistent with the Statute. The Agency asserts that, having found that the units for which the Unions were certified are no longer appropriate, the Authority should have revoked the Unions' certifications. The Agency argues that by failing to revoke the certifications, the Authority "is, in effect, forcing the [A]ctivity to continue to recognize, in some unspecified way, inappropriate units and labor organizations whose status as employee representative arises from such inappropriate units." Agency's Request at 4.
Additionally, the Agency argues that the Authority's decision not to revoke the certifications "unnecessarily exposes the [A]ctivity to uncertainty and liability [and] leaves the [A]ctivity and the [A]gency confused as to what, if any, obligations management retains with regard to" AFGE and IAM. Id. at 5. The Agency notes that the Authority's decision stated that any matters relating to the parties' rights and obligations as to the units represented by AFGE and IAM may be resolved as appropriate in other proceedings, including proceedings under the Statute. However, the Agency asserts that "this is an abrogation of the Authority's obligation to answer questions put to it and it leaves the [A]ctivity in a quagmire of uncertainty and potential litigation . . . ." Id. at 5-6.
Finally, the Agency contends that the Authority's decision in 45 FLRA 281 "deviates from prior precedent without explanation." Id. at 6. The Agency claims that Federal Aviation Administration, Aviation Standards National Field Office, 15 FLRA 60 (1984) (FAA) constitutes "clear precedent" because the circumstances of FAA "were similar in all material respects to the circumstances in the instant case" and the Authority's order in FAA "was, in fact, a revocation of certification." Agency's Request at 7, 8. Therefore, the Agency asserts that the Authority's finding that there is no precedent warranting decertification of the Unions in circumstances such as those in the instant case "is clearly mistaken" and its "failure to explain its departure from prior precedent is reversible error." Id.
IV. Analysis and Conclusions
Section 2429.17 of our Rules and Regulations permits a party that can establish the existence of "extraordinary circumstances" to request reconsideration of a decision of the Authority. We conclude that the Agency has not established extraordinary circumstances within the meaning of section 2429.17 to warrant reconsideration of our decision in 45 FLRA 281.
Specifically, with respect to the Agency's arguments that the Authority's decision is inconsistent with the Statute and constitutes an abrogation of the Authority's responsibilities to resolve disputes presented to it, we find that the Agency does not establish the existence of extraordinary circumstances warranting reconsideration. Rather, the Agency's contentions constitute mere disagreement
with the Authority's determination not to revoke the certifications and the Authority's statement regarding the appropriate resolution, if necessary, of any other matters relating to the parties' rights and obligations.
Additionally, we find that the Agency's reliance on FAA does not provide a basis warranting reconsideration. In FAA, the Authority found that, as to certain former bargaining units, the agency was under no obligation to continue to recognize the unions certified for those units. Similarly, in our decision in this case, we found that the Activity is under no obligation to continue to recognize AFGE and IAM as exclusive representatives for the units for which they had been certified. However, contrary to the Agency's contention, in FAA the Authority neither explicitly nor implicitly revoked the certifications of the unions involved. Moreover, the Authority stated in FAA that its decision did not preclude the unions from seeking, through the filing of appropriate petitions, a determination as to other rights. Therefore, we find that the Agency's reliance on FAA is misplaced.
Consequently, we conclude that the Agency has failed to establish that extraordinary circumstances exist which warrant reconsideration of our decision in 45 FLRA 281. Accordingly, we will deny the request.
The Agency's request for reconsideration is denied.
(If blank, the decision does not have footnotes.)