15:0286(64)AR - Army Missile Readiness Command and AFGE Local 1858 -- 1984 FLRAdec AR



[ v15 p286 ]
15:0286(64)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:


 15 FLRA No. 64
 
 U.S. ARMY MISSILE
 READINESS COMMAND
 Activity
 
 and
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF 
 GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, 
 LOCAL 1858
 Union
 
                                            Case No. O-AR-415
 
                                 DECISION
 
    This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to the award of
 Arbitrator John A. Griffin 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.  /1/
 
    The Arbitrator stated the dispositive issue as whether the grievant
 had been improperly denied a noncompetitive promotion.  The Arbitrator
 essentially determined that in November 1979 the grievant's position was
 upgraded because of additional duties and responsibilities and that the
 grievant was entitled at that time to have been noncompetitively
 promoted.  Accordingly, as his award the Arbitrator ordered the grievant
 retroactively promoted with backpay and also ordered the payment of
 reasonable attorney fees.
 
    In its first exception the Agency contends that the award violates
 section 7121(c)(5) of the Statute which precludes grievances concerning
 the classification of any position which does not result in the
 reduction in grade or pay of an employee.  However, the Authority has
 expressly determined that a grievance and an award pertaining to whether
 the grievant was entitled to a noncompetitive promotion as a result of
 the grievant's position being upgraded do not concern the classification
 of any position within the meaning of section 7121(c)(5) of the Statute.
  Warner Robins Air Logistics Center, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia and
 American Federation of Government Employees, Local 987, 10 FLRA No. 69
 (1982).  Accordingly, this exception provides no basis for finding the
 award contrary to section 7121(c)(5) of the Statute and is denied.
 
    In its second exception the Agency contends that the Arbitrator's
 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 by an arbitrator 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.  The submission to the Arbitrator is for the limited purpose
 of having the Arbitrator clarify and interpret his award of attorney
 fees to articulate fully specific findings on all pertinent statutory
 provisions.
 
    Issued, Washington, D.C., July 17, 1984
                                       Barbara J. Mahone, Chairman
                                       Ronald W. Haughton, Member
                                       Henry B. Frazier III, Member
                                       FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTH