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52:0141(15)NG - - AFGE, Local 3392 and GPO, Public Documents Distribution Center, Pueblo, CO - - 1996 FLRAdec NG - - v52 p141

[ v52 p141 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

52 FLRA No. 15





LOCAL 3392










September 11, 1996


Before the Authority: Phyllis N. Segal, Chair; Tony Armendariz and Donald S. Wasserman, Members.

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), and concerns the negotiability of one proposal providing that certain duties will be performed by a supervisor. For the reasons that follow, we find that the proposal affects management's right to assign work and is, therefore, outside the duty to bargain.

II. Proposal

The duties of Postage Report information for SSU, and Reimbursable reports for Unit II be returned to supervisory duties.

III. Positions of the Parties

A. Union

The Union asserts that as a result of an unfair labor practice charge filed by the Union, the parties agreed to bargain over proposed changes related to the assignment of duties to employees.(1) The Union maintains that, as management was willing to negotiate and did agree to other matters related to the assignment of duties to the employees, the remaining proposal is also negotiable. According to the Union, the duties of postage and reimbursable report preparation were formerly performed exclusively by supervisors. The Union maintains that these duties "place an unfair burden on bargaining unit employees, in that errors made in these two (reporting) duties may seriously affect the operation of [the] Agency, as well as damage the yearly evaluation of [the] employees." Petition for Review at 1-2.

B. Agency

The Agency argues that the proposal violates its rights, under sections 7106(a)(2)(A) and (B) of the Statute, "to assign and direct work." Statement of Position at 1. Contrary to the Union's claim that the duties of postage and reimbursable report preparation were exclusively performed by supervisors, the Agency asserts that these duties are included in the position descriptions of unit employees, although previous supervisors had undertaken these duties. The Agency contends that because it is clearly established that proposals concerning the assignment of work to supervisors are nonnegotiable, the proposal is nonnegotiable. Finally, the Agency maintains that the proposal is not an appropriate arrangement within the meaning of section 7106(b)(3).

IV. Analysis and Conclusion

Although the Agency claims that the proposal violates its right under section 7106(a)(2)(A) to direct work, section 7106(a)(2)(A) concerns the right to direct employees.(2) It is clear from the Agency's brief, as well as the cases on which the Agency relies, that the Agency is claiming that the proposal violates its right to assign particular duties to particular employees under section 7106(a)(2)(B) of the Statute. Consequently, we construe the Agency's claim that the proposal violates its right to direct work as a claim that the proposal affects the Agency's right to assign work under section 7106(a)(2)(B) of the Statute.(3)

The right of an agency to assign work under section 7106(a)(2)(B) of the Statute includes the right to determine the particular duties to be assigned, the right to decide when work assignments will occur, and the right to decide to whom or what positions the duties will be assigned. American Federation of Government Employees, National Border Patrol Council and U.S. Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service, 51 FLRA 1308, 1315 (1996). Additionally, proposals or provisions that concern the assignment of specific duties to particular management officials directly interfere with an agency's right to assign work. Id.

The proposal seeks to require the Agency to assign the duties of preparing the postage and reimbursable reports to a supervisor rather than to a member of the bargaining unit. As such, the proposal affects management's right to assign work under section 7106(a)(2)(B) of the Statute. Id. As the Union makes no claim that its proposal is intended to be an appropriate arrangement under section 7106(b)(3), there is no need to address the Agency's argument that the proposal is not an appropriate arrangement.(4) Accordingly, we conclude that the proposal is outside the duty to bargain.

V. Order

The petition for review is dismissed.

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

1. The settlement agreement between the parties provided that the "Agency and the Union will commence bargaining over the proposed changes . . . and negotiate to agreement or impasse . . . ." Attachment to Petition for Review.

2. The right to direct employees has been defined as the right to supervise and guide the employees in the performance of their duties on the job. National Association of Government Employees, Local R1-109 and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Medical Center, Newington, Connecticut, 47 FLRA 651, 656 (1993).

3. In this regard, the Agency makes no claim, and thus we do not address, whether the proposal also would be found to be outside the duty to bargain because it determines the terms and conditions of employment of non-unit employees.

4. The Union makes no claim that the Agency's refusal to bargain over the proposal violates the settlement agreement. Therefore, there is no need for us to address that matter. We note, in this regard, that the settlement agreement does not address the negotiability of the proposals.