12:0041(11)AR - HUD and AFGE -- 1983 FLRAdec AR



[ v12 p41 ]
12:0041(11)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:


 12 FLRA No. 11
 
 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF
 HOUSING AND URBAN
 DEVELOPMENT
 Agency
 
 and
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF
 GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES,
 AFL-CIO
 Union
 
                                            Case No. O-AR-508
 
                                 DECISION
 
    This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to the award of
 Arbitrator Joseph M. Sharnoff 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 submitted to the Arbitrator the issue of the
 arbitrability of the Union's grievance concerning the competitive levels
 established by the Agency for a proposed reduction-in-force (RIF).  The
 Arbitrator noted that the parties' agreement specifically excludes from
 the scope of the grievance procedure "any and all matters for which a
 statutory appeals procedure exists." The Arbitrator found that one such
 matter was the propriety of competitive levels for a RIF because
 individual employees with appeal rights to the Merit Systems Protection
 Board (MSPB) could contest that matter in the context of an appeal to
 MSPB from any final RIF action by the Agency.  Noting that there was no
 dispute that under the parties' agreement employees were accordingly
 precluded from filing a grievance protesting competitive levels the
 Arbitrator identified the essence of the parties' dispute in this case
 as whether the Union was likewise precluded from filing such a grievance
 to further its institutional interests.  Emphasizing that the agreement
 excludes "any and all matters" in this regard, the Arbitrator determined
 that the Union could not grieve competitive levels.  Accordingly, as his
 award, the Arbitrator decided that the grievance was not arbitrable.
 
    In its exceptions, the Union contends that the award is contrary to
 the definition of grievance in section 7103(a)(9) of the Statute and
 that the Arbitrator exceeded his authority.  However, the Authority has
 held that the scope of the negotiated grievance procedure is a mandatory
 subject for collective bargaining under the Statute, Vermont Air
 National Guard, Burlington, Vermont, 9 FLRA No. 92 (1982), and, as
 noted, the Arbitrator expressly determined that the Union's grievance
 was excluded by the parties from the scope of their grievance procedure.
  Thus, the Union's exceptions constitute nothing more than disagreement
 with the Arbitrator's interpretation and application of the agreement
 and do not provide a basis for finding the award deficient.  See Social
 Security Administration, Great Lakes Program Service Center and American
 Federation of Government Employees, Local 1395, 9 FLRA No. 129 (1982);
 San Antonio Air Logisti