DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY U.S. CUSTOMS SERVICE WASHINGTON, D.C. and NATIONAL TREASURY EMPLOYEES UNION



United States of America



BEFORE THE FEDERAL SERVICE IMPASSES PANEL



In the Matter of )

DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY )

U.S. CUSTOMS SERVICE )

WASHINGTON, D.C. )

and ) Case No. 91 FSIP 55

NATIONAL TREASURY EMPLOYEES )

UNION )

)



DECISION AND ORDER



The National Treasury Employees Union (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 between it and the Department of the Treasury, U.S. Customs Service, Washington, D.C.

(Employer).



After investigation of the request for assistance, the Panel directed the parties to meet informally with Chief Legal Advisor Donna M. Di Tullio for the purpose of resolving the issue concerning awards. They were advised that if no settlement were reached, Ms. Di Tullio would report to the Panel on the status of

the dispute, including the parties' final offers, and her recommendations for resolving the issue. After considering this information, the Panel would take whatever action it deemed appropriate to resolve the impasse, including the issuance of a binding decision.



The parties met with Ms. Di Tullio on December 3, 1990, in Washington, D.C., but they were unable to reach a settlement. Ms. Di Tullio has reported to the Panel based on the record developed by the parties, and the Panel now has considered the entire record



BACKGROUND



The Employer's mission is to enforce the U.S. Customs laws through the clearance of overseas passengers and cargo, and monitor

border points of entry to deter and apprehend smugglers and those

entering the country without proper authorization. The Union represents approximately 11,000 employees in a nationwide consolidated bargaining unit; the majority hold positions as customs inspectors. The parties recently negotiated a successor term agreement which they anticipate shall become effective shortly; until then, they are following the terms of their current collective-bargaining agreement (CBA) which was

negotiated in 1987.



The dispute arose when the Employer implemented Operation Short STOP, an intensified multi-agency enforcement operation along the southwest border. The program was implemented on October 29, 1990, for