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52:0665(63)NG - - Intl. Federationof Professional and Technical Engimeers ( IFPTE )and Army Corps of Engineers, South Pacific Division, San Francisco, CA - - 1996 FLRAdec NG - - v52 p665

[ v52 p665 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

52 FLRA No. 63

















November 29, 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. For the reasons that follow, we find that the proposal relates to the classification of positions and is not within the duty to bargain pursuant to section 7103(a)(14)(C) of the Statute.

II. Proposal

The job series (i.e., Title/Box 5, Pay Schedule/Box 6, OCC Code/Box 7 in DA Form 374 dated 1 June 1976) for all project managers shall be the same generic series (i.e., interdisciplinary) as project manager Job Description, Job Number G2810. (Note, specific individual positions will be tailored to recognize qualifying job series.)

III. Positions of the Parties

The Union contends that this proposal concerns the types of positions assigned to an organizational subdivision within the meaning of section 7106(b)(1), citing the Authority's decision in District No. 1, Pacific Coast District, Marine Engineers Beneficial Association and Panama Canal Commission, 26 FLRA 390, 391-92 (1987) (Panama Canal Commission). The Union denies that this proposal concerns position classification.

The Agency asserts that this proposal is not within the duty to bargain. Specifically, the Agency argues that the proposal relates to the classification of positions, which is excluded from the definition of conditions of employment pursuant to section 7103(a)(14)(B). Additionally, the Agency contends that the proposal conflicts with management's rights to assign employees under section 7106(a)(2)(A) and make selections in filling positions under section 7106(a)(2)(C).

IV. Analysis and Conclusions

1. Background and Meaning of the Proposal

This proposal arose during negotiations concerning the Agency's proposed reorganization of the Directorate of Program and Project Management. As proposed by the Agency, the staffing of the reorganized Directorate will include 12 non-supervisory project managers. Ten of the project manager positions will be classified as General Engineer, GS-801; one will be classified as Civil Engineer, GS-810; and one will be an interdisciplinary position, classifiable as either Regional Economist, GS-110, or Civil Engineer, GS-810.

An interdisciplinary position is one involving duties and responsibilities closely related to more than one occupation and, consequently, classifiable to two or more occupational series.(1) Position Classification Standards at 24. Pursuant to OPM's instructions, the position description for an interdisciplinary position should indicate that it is interdisciplinary and the various series in which the position may be classified. Id. at 25. The final classification of the position is determined by the qualifications of the person selected to fill it. Id.

The Union proposes that all 12 non-supervisory project manager positions be interdisciplinary. To that end, the first sentence of the proposal at issue in this case provides that the position descriptions for all of the project managers will state that the positions are interdisciplinary. The parenthetical specifies that the choice of disciplines assigned to the individual positions will be tailored to reflect the existing content of the particular position. In this latter regard, various statements that the Union makes in its petition in this case indicate that it views the existing content and requirements of the project manager positions as supporting classification in more than one discipline.

2. The Proposal Relates to the Classification of Positions

Section 7103(a)(14)(B) of the Statute excludes policies, practices, and matters "relating to the classification of any position" from the definition of conditions of employment. In construing that section, the Authority relies on the definitions of the terms "classification" and "position" that appear in 5 C.F.R. § 511.101. See March Air Force Base, Riverside, California, 13 FLRA 255, 257 (1983). As defined by 5 C.F.R. § 511.101, "classification" is: "the analysis and identification of a position and placing it in a class under the position-classification plan established by OPM under chapter 51 of title 5, United States Code";(2) "position" is: "the work, consisting of the duties and responsibilities, assigned by competent authority for performance by an employee." 5 C.F.R. § 511.101 (c) and (e). Under the system established by OPM, classification entails the identification of the appropriate title, series, grade, and pay system of a position. See 5 C.F.R. § 511.701(a) (a classification action is the determination to establish or change the title, series, grade or pay system of a position).

The proposal in this case requires the Agency to re-identify certain project manager positions as interdisciplinary and classifiable to more than one occupational series. Although the proposal does not specify the particular titles and series to which the positions would be classifiable, it nevertheless concerns the identification and placement of the positions into a class under the position-classification scheme established pursuant to chapter 51 of title 5, U.S. Code. Cf. U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Finance and Accounting Service, Indianapolis Center, Indianapolis, Indiana and American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1411, 48 FLRA 1124, 1129 (1993) (when the substance of a grievance concerns the class and series in which a position should be placed under the OPM classification standards, the grievance concerns the classification of a position within the meaning of section 7121(c)(5)). Accordingly, because this proposal concerns the job series into which the specified positions will be placed, it concerns a matter that is excluded from the definition of conditions of employment pursuant to section 7103(a)(14)(B). Therefore, this proposal is not within the duty to bargain.(3) E.g., National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 862 and Tooele Army Depot, Tooele, Utah, 3 FLRA 455, 460 (1980). In view of this conclusion, it is unnecessary to address the parties' contentions concerning the applicability of section 7106 to this proposal.

V. Order

The Union's petition for review is dismissed.

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

1. "Series" is defined as:

A subdivision of an occupational group consisting of positions similar as to specialized line of work and qualification requirements. Series are designated by a title and number such as the Accounting Series, GS-510; the Secretary Series, GS-318; the Microbiology Series, GS-403.

U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Introduction to the Position Classification Standards 4 (1991) (Position Classification Standards).

"Occupational Group" is defined as:

A major subdivision of the General Schedule, embracing a group of associated or related occupations; e.g., the Accounting and Budget Group, GS-500; the Engineering and Architecture Group, GS-800; the General Administrative, Clerical, and Office Services Group, GS-300.

Id. at 3.

2. "Class" is defined as:

[A]ll positions which are sufficiently similar as to (1) kind or subject-matter of work, (2) level of difficulty and responsibility, and (3) the qualification requirements of the work, to warrant similar treatment in personnel and pay administration.

5 C.F.R. § 511.101(b).

3. Panama Canal Commission, on which the Union relies, did not address the issue of classification and, consequently, is distinguishable from this case.