NEGOTIATING THE 7106(b)(1) “NUMBERS” OF EMPLOYEES
Biden’s Order requires agencies to negotiate over the “numbers…of employees or positions assigned to any organizational subdivisions, work project or tour of duty.” About the only way to make a numbers proposal non-negotiable is to focus on the total number of employees the agency must employee rather than the number assigned to a component, e.g., tour of duty, work project, etc. Office of Surface Mining, 53 FLRA 427 (1997). Indeed, it does not matter whether the union demands the agency increase, decrease or maintain the current number of employees; the proposal would still be negotiable. FAA, 60 FLRA 159 (2004) Consequently, unions can now demand that agencies fill vacant positions, assign two people certain jobs or tasks, or spell out the staffing for a tour of duty, which the FLRA has defined as the hours of a day (a daily tour of duty) and the days of an administrative workweek (a weekly tour of duty) that constitute an employee’s regularly scheduled administrative workweek. NAGE, Local R5-184, 52 FLRA 1024 (1997).