47:1161(107)CA - - Sacramento Air Logistics Center, Mcclellan AFB, CA and AFGE, Local 1857 - - 1993 FLRAdec CA - - v47 p1161

[ v47 p1161 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

47 FLRA No. 107










LOCAL 1857

(Charging Party/Union)




July 14, 1993


Before Chairman McKee and Members Talkin and Armendariz.

I. Statement of the Case

This unfair labor practice case is before the Authority in accordance with section 2429.1(a) of the Authority's Rules and Regulations, based on a stipulation of facts by the parties, who have agreed that no material issue of fact exists. The Respondent and the General Counsel filed briefs.

The complaint alleges that the Respondent violated section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute) when it unilaterally changed the hours of work of employees in its control tower without giving the Union notice or the opportunity to bargain over the impact and implementation of its decision to effectuate the change.

For the reasons stated below, we find that the Respondent did not commit the unfair labor practice alleged and we will dismiss the complaint.

II. Facts

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the exclusive representative of a nationwide consolidated unit of employees, including employees at the Respondent's facilities. The Charging Party is an agent of AFGE for representing employees at the Respondent's base.

Approximately ten Air Traffic Control Specialists, who are included in the bargaining unit, work in the Respondent's Base Operations Division. These employees are permanently assigned to one of three shifts: a day shift (6:00 a.m.--2:00 p.m.); a swing shift (2:00 p.m.--10:00 p.m.); or a graveyard shift (10:00 p.m.--6:00 a.m.). At least three employees are assigned to each shift. The Air Traffic Control Specialists are considered "base essential" personnel. Stipulation paragraph 6.

Employees assigned to the swing shift receive a pay differential equal to 7% of the base hourly rate for work performed between 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Employees assigned to the graveyard shift receive a differential equal to 10% of the base hourly rate for work performed between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. The Air Traffic Control Specialists are General Schedule (GS) employees who do not receive any form of differential while they are in a leave status.

The Respondent decided to close its base operations and determined that it would not operate its control tower from 10:00 p.m., December 24, 1991, until 9:00 a.m., December 25, 1991, and from 10:00 p.m., December 31, 1991, until 9:00 a.m., January 1, 1992. Previously, the control tower had not shut down during other base closures. On November 21, 1991, the Respondent issued a letter to Base Operations employees notifying them of its intention to close the control tower at the times indicated. The Respondent then posted a schedule for the month. Employees on the swing shift would not be affected by the hours of the closure. Employees assigned to the day and graveyard shifts were given the opportunity to take an "uncommon tour of duty" (UTD) or annual leave during the period of the closure.

On December 16, 1991, the Respondent notified the Union of its intention to close Base Operations on the specified dates. On December 17, 1991, the Union demanded that the Respondent cease its closure plans and requested to bargain concerning the closure. On December 18, 1991, the Respondent notified the Union that based on the existing provisions of the parties' Master Labor Agreement (MLA) and the local Supplement, the Respondent would not bargain with the Union on the closure. The Base Operations were closed at the specified times on December 24-25 and December 31-January 1.

The Respondent and the Union are bound by the terms of the MLA negotiated at the national level and the Supplement which was negotiated at the local level. Article 23 of the parties' MLA states:


If for any reason, the Employer schedules or effects shutdown of activities, a reasonable effort will be made to provide work for employees not having annual leave to their credit. If work cannot be provided for such employees, annual leave may be advanced to the extent determined appropriate by the Employer.

Stipulation paragraph 10.

Article 39 of the parties' local Supplement states:

Section 3. Changes in tours of duty shall be in compliance with applicable laws and regulations and affected individuals will be notified, in writing no later than one (1) week prior to the effective date of such change. Notice periods for changes in tours of duty may be waived by the employees concerned.

Stipulation paragraph 11.

III. Positions of the Parties

A. Respondent

The Respondent contends that the Base Operations closure which shut down the control tower was governed by the parties' MLA and the local Supplement. The Respondent asserts that it complied with the MLA by providing the UTD work for employees not electing to take annual leave during the closure. The Respondent also asserts that it complied with the Supplement by providing employees written notice 34 days in advance of the closure and that the written notice more than complied with the 7-day written notice requirement in the Supplement. The Respondent maintains that "[r]ight down the line, item by item, the Respondent followed and complied with the terms of the parties' collective bargaining agreement." Respondent's Brief at 4. Citing Department of the Navy, Marine Corps Logistics Base, Albany, Georgia v. FLRA, 962 F.2d 48, 60 (D.C. Cir. 1992), the Respondent argues that "[t]o now hold that the Respondent should have bargained yet one more time 'robs [the] provisions covering those matters of all meaning because (the Respondent) is required to bargain anew regarding the same matters already addressed in the agreement[].'" Id.

B. General Counsel

The General Counsel argues that the Respondent had a duty to barg