12:0052(14)AR - DOD Dependents Schools and Overseas Education Association -- 1983 FLRAdec AR
[ v12 p52 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
12 FLRA No. 14 DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE DEPENDENTS SCHOOLS Agency and OVERSEAS EDUCATION ASSOCIATION Union Case No. O-AR-321 DECISION This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to the award of Arbitrator Leroy S. Merrifield 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. After various requests by the Union for certain negotiations at the regional and local levels, instead of exclusively at the national level, the Agency filed a grievance. The parties failed to agree on a joint submission of the issue for arbitration. Consequently, the Arbitrator in accordance with the parties' agreement /1/ determined the issue to be: Is the proper interpretation of the Negotiated Agreement that (a) negotiations between OEA and DoDDS are appropriate only at the national level or (b) that negotiations are also appropriate at the regional and school levels? As his award the Arbitrator sustained the grievance, ruling that "(t)he proper interpretation of the Negotiated Agreement is that negotiations between OEA and DODDS are appropriate only at the national level. Association-Management relations at lower levels are deliberations, as defined in the Agreement." In its first exception the Union contends that the Arbitrator erroneously framed the issue to be arbitrated. In its second exception the Union essentially contends that by erroneously narrowing the issue so as not to consider appropriate mandates of the Statute, the award is deficient because in terms of this case the Statute requires negotiations at the local and regional levels. In its third, and final, exception, the Union contends that the Arbitrator erroneously concluded that the agreement itself only permitted negotiations at the national level. The Authority concludes that these exceptions provide no basis for finding the award deficient. As noted, there was no joint stipulation of the issue being submitted to the Arbitrator. Thus, the Arbitrator, in accordance with the parties' agreement, appropriately determined the issue to be heard and the award is directly responsive to and properly confined to that issue. Consequently, the issue was not erroneously framed. See, e.g., San Antonio Air Force Logistics Center, Kelly Air Force Base, Texas and American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1617, 7 FLRA No. 84 (1982). Furthermore, since the Union's exclusive recognition is at the national level, the Statute does not require negotiations at other than the national level. See, e.g., Department of Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration and Local 1346, American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, 6 FLRA No. 33 (1981). Finally, the Union's third exception constitutes nothing more than disagreement with the Arbitrator's interpretation of the agreement and provides no basis for finding the award deficient. E.g., National Association of Government Employees, Local R4-96 and Naval Weapons Station, Yorktown, Virginia, 11 FLRA No. 116 (1983). Accordingly, the Union's exceptions are denied. Issued, Washington, D.C., May 12, 1983 Barbara J. Mahone, Chairman 19)Ronald W. Haughton, Member Henry B. Frazier III, Member FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY --------------- FOOTNOTES$ --------------- /1/ Article 13, Section 10E of the parties' agreement pertinently provides: If the parties fail to agree on a joint submission of the issue for arbitration, . . . the arbitrator shall determine the issue or issues to be heard.