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47:1242(114)CA - - Sacramento Air Logistics Center, McClellan AFB, CA and AFGE Local 1857 - - 1993 FLRAdec CA - - v47 p1242

[ v47 p1242 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

47 FLRA No. 114










(Charging Party/Union)




July 16, 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 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 General Counsel and the Respondent filed briefs with the Authority.

The complaint alleges that the Respondent violated section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute) by refusing to negotiate with the Charging Party over the detailing of certain unit employees. For the following reasons, we conclude that the Respondent did not violate the Statute and that the complaint must be dismissed.

II. Facts

The American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO (AFGE) is the exclusive representative of a nationwide bargaining unit, which includes certain employees of the Respondent. The Charging Party is an agent of AFGE for purposes of representing these employees.

On July 1, 1991, the Respondent notified the Charging Party that it intended to detail certain unit employees from its electric wire and mechanical support units to its shelter support unit. On July 3, the Charging Party requested to bargain over the impact and implementation of the details. The Respondent refused to bargain on the ground that the details were covered by Article 20 of the parties' collective bargaining agreement.(*) On July 16, the Respondent implemented the details "consistent with the provisions set forth in Article 20 . . ." Stip., para. 13 at 2.

III. Positions of the Parties

The Respondent argues that it was not obligated to bargain with the Union over the impact and implementation of the disputed details because Article 20 of the parties' agreement establishes procedures applicable to employee details and the Respondent complied with those procedures in effectuating the details.

The General Counsel argues that the Respondent was obligated to bargain with the Union because Article 20 does not constitute a clear and unmistakable waiver of the Union's right to bargain.

IV. Analysis and Conclusions

In U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration, Baltimore, Maryland, 47 FLRA No. 96 (1993) (SSA), we established a framework to be applied to cases in which an agency asserts that it has no obligation to bargain over a subject based on the terms of a negotiated agreement. We stated, as relevant here, that in determining whether a contract provision covers a matter in dispute we will first look to whether the express language of the provision reasonably encompasses the subject matter. In this examination, we will not require "an exact congruence of language, but will find the requisite similarity if a reasonable reader would conclude that the provision settles the matter in dispute." Id., slip op. at 15 (citation omitted). Second, if the agreement provision does not expressly encompass the subject matter proposed for negotiations, we will determine whether the subject matter is so commonly considered an aspect of the matter set forth in the agreement that the subject is "'inseparably bound up with and . . . plainly an aspect of . . . a subject expressly covered by the contract.'" Id. (citation omitted).

Applying the SSA test here, we find that procedures for implementing, and appropriate arrangements for employees affected by, the disputed details clearly are covered by the parties' agreement. In particular, Article 20 of the parties' agreement specifically addresses and establishes criteria and procedures for detailing unit employees. No argument is made or apparent that Article 20 does not apply in this case. Indeed, as noted previously, the parties stipulated that the details were effectuated in a manner consistent with that provision. The parties have bargained and reached agreement on the subject of employee details. Based upon the foregoing, we conclude that the Charging Party's bargaining request involved matters which are covered by the parties' agreement.

As the matters at issue are covered by the parties' agreement, the Respondent was not obligated to bargain over them. Accordingly, the Respondent's failure and refusal to do so did not violate the Statute, and we will dismiss the complaint. See Social Security Administration, Tucson District Office, Tucson, Arizona, 47 FLRA No. 99 (1993).

V. Order

The complaint is dismissed.

(If blank, the decision does not have footnotes.)

*/ Article 20 of the parties' agreement, entitled "Details to Bargaining Unit Positions," provides, in pertinent part:


a. A detail exists when an employee continues in the employee's current status and pay and is temporarily assigned to:

(1) An established position . . . .

(2) An unestablished position . . . .

b. Details to higher grade positions . . . will be effected in accordance with Article 13.

c. Details shall be fairly and equitably distributed among employees with requisite skills.

d. The Employer may utilize competitive procedures or volunteers to be ranked on the basis of seniority.

e. Under no circumstances will details be used for purposes of reprisal.

f. It is understood that qualifications and requisite skills are determined by the Employer.


Details for more than 30 consecutive days will be effected in the following manner:

a. Details to same or higher graded positions shall be effected from among the three most senior employees with requisite skills . . . .

b. Details to lower graded positions shall be effected from among the three least senior employees with requisite skills . . . .

c. The Employer shall establish rosters available to the Union to implement the requirements of this Section of this Article.

d. Exceptions to this roster may be made for employees who are handicapped or who have been assigned to light duty for medical reasons. Exceptions will be made in situations that require immediate response.

Stip., Exh. 2 at 88-89.