12:0052(14)AR - DOD Dependents Schools and Overseas Education Association -- 1983 FLRAdec AR



[ v12 p52 ]
12:0052(14)AR
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 n