14:0782(106)AR - Naval Air Development Center, Navy and AFGE Local 1928 -- 1984 FLRAdec AR
[ v14 p782 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
14 FLRA No. 106 NAVAL AIR DEVELOPMENT CENTER, DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY Activity and AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 1928, AFL-CIO Union Case No. O-AR-417 DECISION This matter is before the Authority on an exception to the award of Arbitrator Peter Florey filed by the Agency under section 7122(a) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute and part 2425 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations. The Union filed an opposition. The parties submitted to arbitration a claim for environmental differential pay. The Arbitrator as his award remanded the case to the parties, essentially to negotiate the exact amount of backpay, and ruled that payment of attorney fees will be "triggered" by retroactive payments made under the award. In a supplemental award the Arbitrator directed payment of backpay and directed that the amount of attorney fees be adjusted to account for the supplemental proceedings. The Agency has filed an exception to the award of attorney fees. /1/ In its exception the Agency contends that the award of attorney fees is contrary to the Back Pay Act, 5 U.S.C. 5596. Specifically, the Agency argues that the award of attorney fees is not in accordance with the standards established under 5 U.S.C. 7701(g) which govern an award of attorney fees under the Back Pay Act. In International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and United States Army Support Command, Hawaii, 14 FLRA No. 90 (1984), the Authority for the first time addressed in detail the statutory requirements regarding awards of attorney fees by arbitrators. The Authority held that under the applicable standards of the Back Pay Act, an arbitrator must provide a fully articulated, reasoned decision setting forth the specific findings supporting the determination on each pertinent statutory requirement, including the basis upon which the reasonableness of the amount was determined when fees are awarded. In this case the Arbitrator's award of fees is not in accordance with these standards. However, the Arbitrator's determination was made without the benefit of the instruction and guidance provided by United States Army Support Command, Hawaii. Consequently, the Authority shall remand the award to the parties to have them obtain a clarification and interpretation of the award of attorney fees by the Arbitrator. Accordingly, pursuant to section 2425.4 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations, the award is remanded to the parties with the direction that they request, jointly or separately, that the Arbitrator clarify the award.