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51:0003(1)NG - - Intl Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, ( IFPTE )Local 49 and Army, South Pacific Division, San Francisco, CA - - 1995 FLRAdec NG - - v51 p3

[ v51 p3 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

51 FLRA No. 1














August 4, 1995


Before the Authority: Phyllis N. Segal, Chair; and Tony Armendariz, Member.

I. Statement of the Case

This case is before the Authority on a negotiability appeal filed by the Union under section 7105(a)(2)(E) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute). The appeal requests an Authority determination on the negotiability of one bargaining proposal, which would require the parties to use a particular Agency job description form (DA Form 374, dated June 1, 1976) to document certain agreements reached during negotiations over a reorganization. For the reasons which follow, we find that the proposal is negotiable.

II. Proposal

Department of the Army Job Description (DA Form 374 dated 1 Jun. '76) will be used by the parties as the document to capture agreements made during negotiations regarding bargaining under the Statute and Executive Order 12871 regarding the reorganization of the South Pacific Division Laboratory, Sausalito, California.

III. Positions of the Parties

A. Agency

The Agency argues that the proposal does not concern conditions of employment of bargaining unit employees for two reasons. First, the Agency claims that the proposal requires bargaining over the content of job descriptions for supervisory personnel and employees who are in other bargaining units. Second, the Agency argues that the content of job descriptions is a matter related to the classification of positions, which is excluded from the definition of conditions of employment by section 7103(a)(14)(B) of the Statute. The Agency also contends that, by requiring the Agency to assign specific duties and responsibilities to specific employees, the proposal directly interferes with its rights to assign employees and to assign work under section 7106(a)(2)(A) and (B) respectively.

B. Union

The Union asserts that the proposal requires that DA Form 374 be used "as the document to capture specific job position agreements reached between the parties when bargaining under Section 7106(b)(1) . . . over the reorganization of the South Pacific Division Laboratory, Sausalito, California." Petition for Review at 4. The Union states, in its Petition for Review, that the parties' negotiations may involve the contents of position descriptions. However, the Union states that this proposal seeks only "to formally document agreements" and does not concern the "negotiability of the substance of those agreements." Union's Reply Brief at 2. The Union states that it does not intend, and the proposal's wording does not require, that the Agency negotiate over the contents of job descriptions.(1)

IV. Analysis and Conclusions

An agency's obligation to bargain under section 7103(a)(12) of the Statute extends to conditions of employment affecting bargaining unit employees. The term "conditions of employment" is defined in section 7103(a)(14) of the Statute as "personnel policies, practices, and matters, whether established by rule, regulation, or otherwise, affecting working conditions . . . ." Matters "relating to the classification of any position" are excluded from the definition of conditions of employment by section 7103(a)(14)(B).

By its terms, the proposal only requires that a specific job description form be used "as the document to capture agreements" during the parties' negotiations over a reorganization. In its petition for review, the Union refers to other proposals addressing aspects of the reorganization, and explains where any agreements reached on those other proposals would be included on the form required by the proposal in this case. Petition for Review at 3. See also Union letter of July 22, 1994 (Enclosure 6 to Petition for Review); Agency letter of September 20, 1994 (Enclosure 7 to Petition for Review). The Union further explains, consistent with the wording of the proposal at issue in this case, that those other proposals are not before us for a negotiability determination. Union's Reply Brief at 2. In short, the negotiability of those other proposals is not at issue in this case.(2)

Consequently, we find that nothing in the proposal in this case requires the Agency to bargain over the content of job descriptions for, or any aspect relating to the classification of positions of, supervisory personnel, employees in other bargaining units, or the unit employees included in this case. We reject the Agency's arguments to the contrary. As no other basis is argued or apparent for concluding that the proposal does not concern a condition of employment, we find that it does.

We also reject the Agency's contention that the proposal interferes with its rights to assign work and assign employees under section 7106(a)(2)(A) and (B) of the Statute. The Agency argues that this interference results from the proposal's requirement for bargaining over job descriptions contained in DA Form 374. However, as already stated, the proposal does not require bargaining over the content of job descriptions or any other substantive matter.(3) As it is not alleged, or apparent to us, that the proposal otherwise conflicts with any law, rule or regulation, we conclude that there is no basis for finding the proposal nonnegotiable under the Statute.

V. Order

The Agency shall upon request, or as otherwise agreed to by the parties, negotiate over the proposal.(4)

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

1. Although the Union initially requested a negotiability ruling "block by block" of the 13 blocks on DA Form 374, the Union explained in its Reply Brief that this request should not be construed to mean that the proposal requires negotiations over the contents of job descriptions or the classification of positions. Petition for Review at 4.

2. Similarly, the reference in the proposal before us to "Executive Order 12871" does not present any issue concerning the Executive Order.

3. It appears, in this regard, that the proposal is in the nature of a proposed ground rule. Cf. Department of Health and Human Services, Region VII, Kansas City, Missouri, 14 FLRA 258, 259 (1984) (ground rules proposals concern "matters relating to the 'framework' of negotiations, such as the number of participants for each side; the location of negotiations; a schedule for negotiation meetings; the procedures for initiating, negotiating and agreeing to proposals; and procedures to help resolve impasses."); Department of Defense Dependent Schools, 14 FLRA 191, 193 (1984) (ground rules negotiations may include proposals over general arrangements such as time, place, and length and agenda of negotiations meetings).

4. In finding the proposal to be negotiable, we make no judgment as to its merits.