09:0922(128)AR - AFGE Local l857 and Sacramento Air Logistics Center, McClellan AFB, CA -- 1982 FLRAdec AR



[ v09 p922 ]
09:0922(128)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:


 9 FLRA No. 128
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF
 GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES,
 AFL-CIO, LOCAL 1857
 Union
 
 and
 
 SACRAMENTO AIR LOGISTICS
 CENTER, MCCLELLAN AIR FORCE
 BASE, CALIFORNIA
 Activity
 
                                            Case No. O-AR-220
 
                                 DECISION
 
    THIS MATTER IS BEFORE THE AUTHORITY ON EXCEPTIONS TO THE AWARD OF
 ARBITRATOR LEO V. KILLION FILED BY THE UNION UNDER SECTION 7122(A) OF
 THE FEDERAL SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS STATUTE (THE STATUTE) AND
 PART 2425 OF THE AUTHORITY'S RULES AND REGULATIONS.  THE AGENCY FILED AN
 OPPOSITION.
 
    THE PARTIES IN THIS CASE SUBMITTED TO ARBITRATION THE ISSUE OF
 WHETHER THE WORK PERFORMED BY EMPLOYEES IN THE VARIOUS WORK PROCESSES
 OF
 THE ACTIVITY'S FUEL TEST AREA WARRANTED THE PAYMENT OF AN ENVIRONMENTAL
 DIFFERENTIAL UNDER CATEGORY 4 (POISONS (TOXIC CHEMICALS)-- HIGH DEGREE
 HAZARD) OR CATEGORY 5 (POISONS (TOXIC CHEMICALS)-- LOW DEGREE HAZARD) OR
 UNDER CATEGORY 9 (WORK IN FUEL STORAGE TANKS) OF APPENDIX J, PART II OF
 FEDERAL PERSONNEL MANUAL SUPPLEMENT 532-1.  AFTER REVIEWING ALL OF THE
 EVIDENCE, THE ARBITRATOR DETERMINED THAT THE WORK PERFORMED DID NOT
 WARRANT THE PAYMENT OF AN ENVIRONMENTAL DIFFERENTIAL.  WITH RESPECT TO
 CATEGORY 9, THE ARBITRATOR DETERMINED THAT THE WORK IN AN AIRCRAFT FUEL
 TANK DID NOT FIT THE DESCRIPTION OF A FUEL STORAGE TANK.  WITH RESPECT
 TO CATEGORY 4 AND CATEGORY 5, THE ARBITRATOR DETERMINED THAT THE
 EMPLOYEES DID NOT WORK WITH TOXIC CHEMICALS WITHIN THE MEANING OF THESE
 CATEGORIES.  MOREOVER, HE DETERMINED THAT IN ANY EVENT AN ENVIRONMENTAL
 DIFFERENTIAL WAS NOT WARRANTED UNDER THESE CATEGORIES BECAUSE THE
 POTENTIAL FOR INJURY HAD BEEN PRACTICALLY ELIMINATED BY PROTECTIVE
 DEVICES AND/OR SAFETY MEASURES.  ACCORDINGLY, AS HIS AWARD THE
 ARBITRATOR DENIED THE GRIEVANCE REQUESTING ENVIRONMENTAL DIFFERENTIAL
 PAY.
 
    IN ITS EXCEPTIONS THE UNION CONTENDS THAT THE AWARD IS DEFICIENT TO
 THE EXTENT IT DENIES AN ENVIRONMENTAL DIFFERENTIAL UNDER EITHER CATEGORY
 4 OR CATEGORY 5 FOR EXPOSURE TO TOXIC CHEMICALS.  SPECIFICALLY, THE
 UNION CONTENDS THAT THE AWARD IN THIS RESPECT IS CONTRARY TO FPM
 SUPPLEMENT 532-1 AND IS BASED ON A NONFACT.  THE UNION ARGUES THAT THE
 ARBITRATOR ERRONEOUSLY FOUND THAT THE EMPLOYEES DID NOT WORK WITH TOXIC
 CHEMICALS WITHIN THE MEANING OF APPENDIX J AND ERRONEOUSLY CONCLUDED
 THAT AN ENVIRONMENTAL DIFFERENTIAL FOR EXPOSURE TO TOXIC CHEMICALS WAS
 NOT WARRANTED UNDER FPM SUPPLEMENT 532-1.
 
    THE UNION'S EXCEPTIONS PROVIDE NO BASIS FOR FINDING THE AWARD
 DEFICIENT.  IT IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT THE SPECIFIC WORK SITUATIONS FOR
 WHICH AN ENVIRONMENTAL DIFFERENTIAL IS PAYABLE ARE LEF