53:1174(93)RP - - Army Reserve Command, 88th Regional Support Command, Fort Snelling, MN and AFGE Local 2144 and AFGE Local 1882 - - 1998 FLRAdec RP - - v53 p1174

[ v53 p1174 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

53 FLRA No. 93











(Petitioner/Labor Organization)




(Intervenor/Labor Organization)




January 20, 1998


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

I. Statement of the Case

This case is before the Authority on an application for review of a Regional Director's (RD) decision filed by Intervenor American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1882, AFL-CIO (AFGE, Local 1882), under section 2422.31 of the Authority's Regulations.(1) The RD granted a petition seeking to amend a certification to change from AFGE, Local 1882 to American Federation of Government Employees, Local 2144, AFL-CIO (AFGE, Local 2144). The RD found that the change was accomplished in a manner consistent with the required procedures established in Veterans Administration Hospital, Montrose, New York, 4 A/SLMR 858 (1974), review denied 3 FLRC 259 (1975) (Montrose).

For the reasons set forth below, we grant review under section 2422.31(c)(3)(i). We conclude that the RD erred in granting the petition to amend AFGE, Local 1882's certification, and we dismiss the petition.

II. Background and RD's Decision

AFGE, Local 1882 was certified as the exclusive representative of a unit of employees reporting to the 88th Regional Support Command, Fort Snelling, Minnesota (Activity).(2) In addition to being the exclusive representative of that unit, Local 1882 is the certified exclusive representative of numerous other units.

Notice of a special meeting was given by a Vice President of Local 1882 to all Local 1882 members in the Fort Snelling bargaining unit. The notice advised Union members that the purpose of the special meeting was to discuss and vote on whether the unit should seek to amend its certification to reflect a change in designation from AFGE, Local 1882 to AFGE, Local 2144.(3) The special meeting was held, and the Union members who were present voted unanimously (6-0) to change the unit's designation from Local 1882 to Local 2144.

A petition to effect the change in certification from AFGE, Local 1882 to AFGE, Local 2144 was filed in the name of Local 1882 by the same Vice President of Local 1882 who called the meeting. Subsequently, the President of Local 1882 requested that the petition be withdrawn on the ground that the Vice President had no authority to act on behalf of Local 1882. The Regional Director approved the withdrawal.

Shortly thereafter, a second petition was filed, again seeking to change Local 1882's certification to Local 2144. This petition, which is at issue here, was filed on behalf of AFGE, Local 2144 by AFGE, Local 2144's President. In response to the filing of the second petition, the President of AFGE, Local 1882 submitted a letter to a Field Agent at the Chicago Regional Office stating, among other things, that the President of Local 2144 did not have the authority to act on behalf of Local 1882, and requesting that the petition be withdrawn.

The Regional Office conducted an investigation of the petition. As a result of that investigation, the RD concluded that the change in affiliation met the procedural requirements of Montrose and that the change in affiliation would not affect the continuity of representation. Based on these findings, without addressing the issue of AFGE, Local 2144's standing to file the petition to amend certification, the RD granted the petition.

III. AFGE, Local 1882's Application for Review

AFGE, Local 1882 claims that the Authority should grant review under 5 C.F.R. § 2422.31(c)(3)(i), (ii) and (iii), overturn the RD's decision, and dismiss the petition to amend certification on three grounds.

First, Local 1882 claims that a petition to amend certification based on Montrose is intended only to accommodate a nominal or technical change of an activity or exclusive representative. Local 1882 argues that Authority precedent provides that such a petition is "an inappropriate vehicle to change the certification from one labor organization to another[,]" as occurred in this case. Petition for Review at 11.

Second, Local 1882 claims that the Montrose standards were not followed. Specifically, Local 1882 argues that the meeting during which the secret ballot to change Local 1882's affiliation took place did not meet the Montrose requirements because it was not a "special meeting"; it did not take place at a time and place convenient to all members; and only members of the Fort Snelling bargaining unit received notice of the meeting.

Finally, AFGE, Local 1882 claims that AFGE, Local 2144 lacked standing to file the petition. Relying on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C., 52 FLRA 772 (1996) (EPA), Local 1882 claims that a petition to amend certification must be dismissed where it is filed by a person who has "no authority to act in the name of the incumbent labor organization." Petition for Review at 23. Because Local 2144 was not the incumbent labor organization at the time the petition was filed, Local 1882 claims the petition must be dismissed. Local 1882 contends that although the Authority issued new representation regulations that were not applicable in EPA, the Authority did not intend for a non-incumbent labor organi