14:0240(44)AR - Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration and AFGE Local 2814 -- 1984 FLRAdec AR



[ v14 p240 ]
14:0240(44)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:


 14 FLRA No. 44
 
 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION,
 FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION
 Agency
 
 and
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF
 GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES,
 LOCAL 2814, AFL-CIO
 Union
 
                                            Case No. O-AR-356
 
                                 DECISION
 
    This matter is before the Authority on an exception to the award of
 Arbitrator Frederick U. Reel filed by the Agency 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 dispute in this matter concerns the filling of a GS-12 railroad
 safety inspector position in Little Rock, Arkansas.  The Agency posted
 the position vacancy and specified that requests for change to lower
 grade would be accepted, but that such requests would not be deemed
 essential to the Agency's mission and moving expenses consequently would
 not be paid by the Agency.  No applicants applied for the position and
 the posting was removed.  Thereafter, the Agency filled the position by
 reassignment of an employee who requested a change to lower grade from
 his position to the safety inspector position, and the Agency paid his
 moving expenses.  A grievance was filed and submitted to arbitration
 protesting the payment of the employee's moving expenses.
 
    The Arbitrator determined that the Agency had violated the parties'
 collective bargaining agreement and applicable travel regulations by
 paying the employee's moving expenses, and accordingly he sustained the
 grievance.  However, the Arbitrator expressly acknowledged that the
 question of an appropriate remedy was exceedingly difficult.
 Consequently, he outlined three alternative remedies and directed the
 Agency to remedy the violation by selecting one of the alternatives.
 The first remedy outlined is to restore the status quo ante by vacating
 the safety inspector position and returning the incumbent employee to
 his original position and by reposting the safety inspector position
 vacancy under the original terms.  The second remedy is to repost the
 vacancy with moving expenses to be paid and with the incumbent employee
 retained in the position.  The third remedy outlined by the Arbitrator
 is for the Agency to provide as part of the next posting of a vacancy in
 a safety inspector position that moving expenses will be paid.
 
    In its exception the Agency contends that the award is deficient
 because all three remedies are in some respect contrary to law, rule, or
 regulation.  The Authority agrees.
 
    Governing law and regulation clearly prescribe that in order for the
 payment of travel and transportation expense