American Federation of Government Employees, Local 987, AFL-CIO (Union) and Warner Robins Air Logistics Center, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia (Activity) 

 



[ v03 p550 ]
03:0550(89)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:


 3 FLRA No. 89
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
 EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, LOCAL 987
 Union
 
 and
 
 WARNER ROBINS AIR LOGISTICS CENTER,
 ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, GEORGIA
 Activity
 
                                            Case No. 0-AR-22
 
                                 DECISION
 
    THIS MATTER IS BEFORE THE AUTHORITY ON A PETITION FOR REVIEW OF THE
 AWARD OF ARBITRATOR HAROLD P. KNIGHT FILED BY THE AGENCY UNDER SECTION
 7122(A) OF THE FEDERAL SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS STATUTE (5
 U.S.C. 7122(A)).
 
    THE FACTS WHICH GAVE RISE TO THIS DISPUTE ARE NOT SPECIFICALLY SET
 FORTH IN THE ARBITRATOR'S AWARD.  HOWEVER, FROM THE ARBITRATOR'S AWARD
 AND THE SUBMISSIONS TO THE AUTHORITY BY THE PARTIES, IT APPEARS THAT
 THIS DISPUTE INVOLVED THE FILLING BY THE ACTIVITY OF GS-7 VACANCIES IN
 THE PROCUREMENT FIELD.  IN FILLING GS-1102-5 OR 7 POSITION, THE ACTIVITY
 HAD BEEN DETERMINING THE QUALIFICATIONS OF CANDIDATES BY EITHER THE
 GS-1102-5/7 QUALIFICATION STANDARD, WHICH REQUIRES SPECIALIZED
 EXPERIENCE, OR THE GS-000-5/7 QUALIFICATION STANDARD, WHICH REQUIRES
 GENERAL EXPERIENCE AND/OR EDUCATION SUPPLEMENTED BY THE PROFESSIONAL AND
 ADMINISTRATIVE CAREER EXAM (PACE).  THE UNION FILED A GRIEVANCE WHICH
 ALLEGED THAT A COMPETITIVE PROMOTION CERTIFICATE FOR GS-7 VACANCIES IN
 PROCUREMENT INCLUDED INDIVIDUALS WHO DID NOT MEET THE QUALIFICATION
 STANDARD FOR THE PROCUREMENT SERIES.  THE UNION ARGUED THAT THE ACTIVITY
 WAS REQUIRED TO USE THE SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS OF THE
 GS-1102-7 QUALIFICATION STANDARD IN DETERMINING THE QUALIFICATION OF
 CANDIDATES.
 
    AS NOTED BY THE ARBITRATOR, THE PARTIES, DURING THE PROCESSING OF THE
 GRIEVANCE, MUTUALLY AGREED TO SUBMIT THIS DISPUTE TO THE CIVIL SERVICE
 COMMISSION.  BOTH OF THE PARTIES BELIEVED THAT THIS DISPUTE COULD BE
 RESOLVED BY AN INTERPRETATION OF CSC HANDBOOK X-118, WHICH DEALS WITH
 QUALIFICATION STANDARDS.  THIS REQUEST RESULTED IN CORRESPONDENCE, NOTED
 BY THE ARBITRATOR, BETWEEN THE ACTIVITY AND THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION
 AND LATER BETWEEN THE AGENCY AND THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION.  THE
 ACTIVITY RECEIVED THREE LETTERS FROM THE ATLANTA REGIONAL OFFICE OF THE
 CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, DATED OCTOBER 21, 1977, DECEMBER 5, 1977, AND
 FEBRUARY 24, 1978.  THEREAFTER, THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE DIRECTLY
 CORRESPONDED WITH THE CENTRAL OFFICE OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION.
 THIS INQUIRY RESULTED IN A RESPONSE FROM THE COMMISSION'S CENTRAL OFFICE
 DATED MAY 23, 1978.
 
    APPARENTLY, THE CORRESPONDENCE DID NOT RESOLVE THIS DISPUTE BECAUSE
 THE MATTER WAS SUBMITTED TO ARBITRATION.  THE ARBITRATOR STATED THE
 ISSUE TO BE RESOLVED AS FOLLOWS:
 
    WAS THE METHOD, USED BY MANAGEMENT TO DETERMINE THE INDIVIDUAL
 EMPLOYEE QUALIFICATIONS, IN
 
    COMPLIANCE WITH THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION STANDARD FOR GS-1102
 SERIES CLASSIFICATION?
 
    IN HIS AWARD THE ARBITRATOR REFERRED SPECIFICALLY TO CERTAIN EXHIBITS
 WHICH HAD BEEN INTRODUCED AT THE ARBITRATION HEARING, STATING THAT HE
 WAS NOTING THEM "FOR THEIR APPLICATION IN THIS HEARING." ONE OF THESE
 EXHIBITS WAS THE MAY 23, 1978, LETTER FROM THE CENTRAL OFFICE OF THE
 CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, WHICH THE ARBITRATOR QUOTED FROM AS FOLLOWS:
 
    IN ALL CASES, HOWEVER, SPECIALIZED OR JOB-RELATED EXPERIENCE SHOULD
 BE GIVEN DUE WEIGHT IN
 
    EVALUATING THE POTENTIAL OF EMPLOYEES TO FILL A VACANCY.
 
    HE ALSO NOTED THAT THE LETTER STATED THAT WRITTEN TESTS SUCH AS PACE
 SHOULD BE USED AS ONE OF SEVERAL EVALUATION FACTORS, INCLUDING
 JOB-RELATED EXPERIENCE WHEN SUCH EXPERIENCE EXISTS.  REFERRING TO THE
 FEBRUARY 24, 1978, LETTER FROM THE ATLANTA REGIONAL OFFICE OF THE CIVIL
 SERVICE COMMISSION, THE ARBITRATOR CONCLUDED THAT THE ACTIVITY'S METHOD
 OF DETERMINING QUALIFICATIONS WAS UNACCEPTABLE TO THE COMMISSION.  THE
 ARBITRATOR NOTED THAT THIS LETTER WAS THE LAST ADVICE CONCERNING THE
 SELECTION OF PERSONS FOR OCCUPATIONS AND THAT IN THIS LETTER THE
 PROCEDURE USED BY THE ACTIVITY WAS SPECIFICALLY DISAPPROVED.  THE
 ARBITRATOR MADE THE FOLLOWING AWARD:
 
    THE METHOD USED WAS NOT ACCEPTABLE TO THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION
 AND THEREFORE THE
 
    GRIEVANCE IS GRANTED AND NEW PROMOTION CERTIFICATES ARE TO BE ISSUED
 UNDER PROPER PROCEDURE OF
 
    SELECTION.
 
    THE AGENCY FILED A PETITION FOR REVIEW OF THE ARBITRATOR'S AWARD
 PURSUANT TO THE RULES OF PROCEDURE SET FORTH IN 5 C.F.R. PART
 2411(1978), WHICH, TO THE EXTENT CONSISTENT WITH THE PROVISIONS OF
 SECTION 7122(A) OF THE FEDERAL SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS
 STATUTE (5 U.S.C. 7122(A)) AND AS AMENDED BY SECTION 2400.5 OF THE
 TRANSITION RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS
 AUTHORITY, 44 F.R. 44741, REMAIN OPERATIVE WITH RESPECT TO THIS CASE.
 THE AGENCY REQUESTS THAT THE AUTHORITY ACCEPT ITS POSITION FOR REVIEW OF
 THE ARBITRATOR'S AWARD ON THE BASIS OF ITS ONE EXCEPTION WHICH IS
 DISCUSSED BELOW.  THE UNION FILED AN OPPOSITION.
 
    IN ITS EXCEPTION TO THE ARBITRATOR'S AWARD, THE AGENCY CONTENDS THAT
 THE AWARD IS BASED ON A NONFACT.  IN SUPPORT OF ITS EXCEPTIONS, THE
 AGENCY PRINCIPALLY ARGUES THAT THE FEBRUARY 24, 1978, LETTER FROM THE
 ATLANTA REGIONAL OFFICE OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, WHICH THE
 ARBITRATOR TERMED THE "LAST SUCH ADVICE CONCERNING THE SELECTION OF
 PERSONS FOR OCCUPATIONS," WAS NOT THE LAST SUCH ADVICE.  TO THE
 CONTRARY, THE AGENCY CLAIMS THAT THE LAST SUCH ADVICE WAS CONTAINED IN
 THE MAY 23, 1978, LETTER F