DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY NAVAL HOSPITAL BREMERTON BREMERTON, WASHINGTON and LOCAL 48, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO

United States Of America

 

BEFORE THE FEDERAL SERVICE IMPASSES PANEL

 

In the Matter of

DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY

NAVAL HOSPITAL BREMERTON

BREMERTON, WASHINGTON

and

LOCAL 48, AMERICAN FEDERATION

OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES,

AFL-CIO

Case No. 90 FSIP 184

DECISION AND ORDER

Local 48, American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO (Union), filed a request for assistance with the Federal Service Impasses Panel (Panel) to consider a negotiation impasse under section 7119 of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (Statute) between it and the Department of the Navy, Naval Hospital Bremerton, Bremerton, Washington (Employer).

The Panel determined that the impasse should be resolved on the basis of written submissions from the parties with the Panel to take whatever action it deemed appropriate to resolve the impasse. Submissions were made pursuant to these procedures and the Panel has considered the entire record.

BACKGROUND

The Employer is responsible for providing medical services to active duty and retired military members and their dependents. There are approximately 275 professional and nonprofessional employees in 2 bargaining units at the Naval Hospital Bremerton and its 3 branch clinics, who occupy positions such as registered nurse, social worker, pharmacist, physician, and industrial hygienist.

In 1989, the Employer considered implementing a surcharge in the hospital's dining facility; however, the parties agreed that an a la carte menu would be established in order to avoid a price increase. In April 1990, the Employer notified the Union that the a la carte menu would be discontinued due to the issuance of a ruling by the Navy's Inspector General which held that the commander of a naval hospital lacks authority to waive the surcharge for civilian employees, unless the employees are involved in food preparation or directed to remain on the hospital's premises during meal periods.

ISSUE AT IMPASSE

The parties dispute whether bargaining-unit employees should pay a surcharge on food purchased in the hospital cafeteria.

1. The Employer's Position

The Employer proposes that all bargaining-unit employees pay such a surcharge, unless the employee is directly involved in food s