DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE HEADQUARTERS SPACE SYSTEMS DIVISION LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA and LOCAL 2429, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO

United States of America

BEFORE THE FEDERAL SERVICE IMPASSES PANEL

 

In the Matter of 

DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE

HEADQUARTERS SPACE SYSTEMS

DIVISION

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

and

LOCAL 2429, AMERICAN

FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT

EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO

 

DECISION AND ORDER

The Department of the Air Force, Headquarters Space Systems Division, Los Angeles, California (Employer) and Local 2429, American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO (Union), filed a joint request with the Federal Service Impasses Panel (Panel) to consider a negotiation impasse under section 7119 of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (Statute).

After investigation of the request for assistance, the Panel directed the parties to meet informally with Panel Chairman Roy M. Brewer for the purpose of resolving the issues at impasse. The parties were advised that if no settlement were reached, Chairman Brewer would report to the Panel on the status of the dispute and his recommendations for resolving the issues. After considering this information, the Panel would take whatever action it deemed appropriate to resolve the impasse including the issuance of a binding decision.

During Chairman Brewer's meeting with the parties on March 14, 1990, in Los Angeles, California, two of the issues at impasse were resolved, leaving one for the Panel to consider. Chairman Brewer reported to the Panel based on the record developed by the parties, including their post-conference written submissions. The Panel has now considered the entire record.

BACKGROUND

The bargaining unit is composed of approximately 1,000 nonprofessional civilian employees of the Air Force Space Systems Division (SSD) and Contract Division. They provide clerical and other support personnel functions for the divisions. SSD is involved with the development of the strategic defense initiative (SDI) and satellite research. The Contract Division is charged with procurement, purchasing, and other contract functions. The dispute herein, however, affects only the 13 bargaining-unit employees of SSD. The collective bargaining agreement expired January 18, 1984, and has been automatically extended by mutual agreement since then.

The dispute arose from negotiations over an Employer-initiated, voluntary, 4-10 compressed work schedule experiment, which already has been implemented with respect to 27 nonbargaining-unit employees.(1)  During the informal conference the parties agreed to time and attendance procedures and to begin the test for all bargaining-unit employees who choose to participate 2 weeks after the Panel issues its decision in this case.

ISSUE

The issue in dispute is whether employees participating in the 4-10 compressed work schedule experiment should be required to revert to regular 8-hour workdays during workweeks in which a Federal holiday is observed.

1. The Employer's Position

The Employer proposes that for those weeks in which a Federal holiday is observed (e.g., Martin Luther King Day, President's Day, etc.) the entire workweek shall consist of 8-hour days. The Employer's reason for this provision is its concern over the ability to distribute work. It believes that by requiring a reversion to an 8-hour-a-day schedule during those weeks, management will be afforded a greater opportunity to evaluate the impact of the compressed work schedule on accomplishing work and meeting mission requirements during the test period. Any negative impact on employees would be addressed by virtue of their ability to withdraw at