Defense Mapping Agency, Hydrographic/Topographic Center, Providence Field Office (Activity) and American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1884, AFL-CIO (Union) 



[ v04 p66 ]
04:0066(7)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:


 4 FLRA No. 7
 
 DEFENSE MAPPING AGENCY, HYDROGRAPHIC/
 TOPOGRAPHIC CENTER, PROVIDENCE FIELD
 OFFICE
 (Activity)
 
 and
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
 EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, LOCAL 1884
 (Union)
 
                                            Case No. 0-AR-116
 
                        ORDER DISMISSING EXCEPTIONS
 
    THIS MATTER IS BEFORE THE AUTHORITY ON THE AGENCY'S EXCEPTIONS TO
 ARBITRATOR JEROME S. RUBENSTEIN'S RULING IN THE ABOVE-ENTITLED CASE,
 WHICH FOUND THE DISPUTED GRIEVANCE PROCEDURALLY ARBITRABLE.  FOR THE
 REASONS INDICATED BELOW, THE AGENCY'S EXCEPTIONS MUST BE DISMISSED.
 
    BASED UPON INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THE AGENCY'S SUBMISSION, IT
 APPEARS THAT A HEARING ON THE MATTER IN DISPUTE WAS SCHEDULED FOR JUNE
 10, 1980, AT WHICH THE GRIEVANCE WAS TO BE PRESENTED TO THE ARBITRATOR
 BOTH ON THE ISSUE OF ITS PROCEDURAL ARBITRABILITY, AND ON ITS MERITS.
 FOLLOWING THE PARTIES' PRESENTATIONS AT THAT HEARING ON THE ISSUE OF THE
 GRIEVANCE'S PROCEDURAL ARBITRABILITY, THE ARBITRATOR MADE AN ORAL RULING
 THAT THE MATTER WAS PROCEDURALLY ARBITRABLE (WHICH RULING IS THE SUBJECT
 OF THE INSTANT APPEAL).  THE PARTIES THEN BEGAN A PRESENTATION OF THE
 CASE ON ITS MERITS.  HOWEVER, IT FURTHER APPEARS THAT BEFORE THE
 PRESENTATION OF THE CASE ON ITS MERITS WAS COMPLETED, THE ARBITRATOR
 GRANTED A MOTION TO CONTINUE THE HEARING ON THE MERITS OF THE GRIEVANCE.
  IN THIS REGARD, THE AGENCY STATES:
 
    THUS, THERE IS NO WRITTEN AWARD OF THE ARBITRATOR ON EITHER THE
 PROCEDURAL ARBITRABILITY
 
    ISSUE OR THE MERITS ISSUE . . . ;  NOR WILL ONE BE RENDERED UNTIL
 SOME TIME AFTER THE
 
    COMPLETION OF THE HEARING ON 26 AUGUST 1980.
 
    IT THUS APPEARS THAT THE PARTIES ARE IN THE PROCESS OF PRESENTING
 BOTH THE PROCEDURAL AND THE MERITS ASPECTS OF THEIR DISPUTE TO THE
 ARBITRATOR IN THE COURSE OF A SINGLE PROCEEDING, WITH THE EXPECTATION OF
 RECEIVING AN AWARD COVERING BOTH PROCEDURAL AND MERITS ISSUES SOMETIME
 AFTER THE COMPLETION OF THE HEARING BEFORE THE ARBITRATOR.  FURTHER, THE
 HEARING'S COMPLETION DATE APPEARS TO BE IMMINENT.  THUS, UNDER THESE
 PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCES, WHERE THE PARTIES HAVE COMMENCED THEIR
 PRESENTATION ON THE MERITS TO THE ARBITRATOR, AND HAVE SCHEDULED A DATE
 FOR COMPLETING THAT PRESENTATION, IT WOULD NOT EFFECTUATE THE PURPOSES
 OF THE STATUTE TO CONSIDER, AT THIS TIME, THE MATTER OF THE ARBITRATOR'S
 RULING LIMITED TO THE ISSUE OF PROCEDURAL ARBITRABILITY.
 
    ACCORDINGLY, FOR THE REASONS STATED ABOVE, AND APART FROM OTHER
 CONSIDERATIONS, THE AGENCY'S EXCEPTIONS ARE HEREBY DISMISSED, WITHOUT
 PREJUDICE TO THE AGENCY'S RIGHT TO REFILE ITS EXCEPTIONS TO THE
 ARBITRATOR'S AWARD ON THE ARBITRABILITY ISSUE (INCLUDING HIS