46:0782(68)CA - - Marine Corps Logistic Base, Barstow, CA and AFGE Local 1482 - - 1992 FLRAdec CA - - v46 p782
[ v46 p782 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
46 FLRA No. 68
FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES
LOCAL 1482, AFL-CIO
DECISION AND ORDER
November 27, 1992
Before Chairman McKee and Members Talkin and Armendariz.
I. Statement of the Case
This unfair labor practice case is before the Authority on exceptions to the attached decision of the Administrative Law Judge filed by the Respondent. The General Counsel filed an Opposition to the Respondent's exceptions.
The consolidated complaint alleged that the Respondent violated section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute) by unilaterally changing conditions of employment of unit employees when it increased the price of soft drinks in Base vending machines, without first notifying the Union and providing it with an opportunity to negotiate over the substance and the impact and implementation of the change and by refusing to bargain with the Union over a proposal concerning catering truck and vending machine prices.
Pursuant to section 2423.29 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations and section 7118 of the Statute, we have reviewed the rulings of the Judge made at the hearings and find that no prejudicial error was committed. We affirm the rulings. Upon consideration of the Judge's decision, the exceptions, the opposition, and the entire record, we adopt the Judge's findings, conclusions, and recommended Order.
The Respondent contends, contrary to the Judge's finding, that negotiations over catering truck and beverage item prices are barred by 5 U.S.C. § 5536 and Comptroller General decisions. We disagree. Initially, we note that matters pertaining to food services and related prices for bargaining unit employees are within the mandatory scope of bargaining. National Association of Government Employees, Local R1-144 and U.S. Department of the Navy, Naval Underwater Systems Center, Newport, Rhode Island, 43 FLRA 1331, 1345-46 (1992); American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 1622 and Department of the Army, Fort George G. Meade, 27 FLRA 11, 14 (1987). See also Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Veterans Canteen Service, Lexington, Kentucky, 44 FLRA 179 (1992), petition for review filed, No. 92-1185 (D.C. Cir. April 24, 1992); Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Veterans Canteen Service, Lexington, Kentucky, 44 FLRA 162 (1992), petition for review filed, No. 92-1184 (D.C. Cir. April 24, 1992). The Authority, in considering other proposals regarding food service for employees, has noted that "the Comptroller General has not interpreted 5 U.S.C. § 5536 as an absolute prohibition on agency subsidization of food for employees." National Association of Government Employees, Local R1-25 and Veterans Administration, Medical Center, Brockton, Massachusetts, 23 FLRA 266, 269 (1986).
Finally, we note that the Respondent contends that the Judge erred in stating that the Respondent did not litigate its position on the issue of whether a past practice existed permitting the Respondent to implement increases in the prices of vending machine products unilaterally. Although the Judge made that statement, the record shows that that issue was litigated. Moreover, we find that the Judge fully discussed this issue and that the Judge correctly determined that the record evidence was insufficient to find that such a past practice existed.
Pursuant to section 2423.29 of the Federal Labor Relations Authority's Rules and Regulations and section 7118 of the Statute, the Marine Corps Logistics Base, Barstow, California, shall:
1. Cease and desist from:
(a) Implementing unilateral changes in the working conditions of unit employees by increasing the price of canned beverages in Base vending machines without first notifying and negotiating with the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1482, AFL-CIO, the agent of the exclusive representative of certain of its employees, and affording it an opportunity to complete negotiations over the decision to implement the price increase and the impact and implementation of the change.
(b) Failing and refusing to negotiate with the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1482, AFL-CIO, the agent of the exclusive representative of certain of its employees, over matters previously determined negotiable by the Federal Labor Relations Authority.
(c) In any like or related manner interfering with, restraining or coercing its employees in the exercise of rights assured by the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute.
2. Take the following affirmative action in order to effectuate the purposes and policies of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute:
(a) Rescind the price increase for canned beverages in Base vending machines effected on March 8, 1991.
(b) Effect a further decrease in the price of canned beverages to 45 cents per can for the same number of days that the unilateral increase in price was in effect.
(c) Upon request, negotiate with the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1482, AFL-CIO, the agent of the excl