15:0401(84)AR - Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration and AFGE Local 2814 -- 1984 FLRAdec AR



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15:0401(84)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:


 15 FLRA No. 84
 
 UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT
 OF TRANSPORTATION, FEDERAL
 RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION
 Agency
 
 and
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
 EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 2814
 Union
 
                                            Case No. O-AR-497
 
                                 DECISION
 
    This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to the award of
 Arbitrator Seymour Strongin 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 concerned the filling of a GS-12 Railroad
 Safety Inspector (Hazardous Materials) position in Fort Worth, Texas.
 The list of "Best Qualified" applicants included two external
 candidates, i.e., applicants who were not employed by the Agency, and
 three internal candidates, i.e., Agency employees.  The dispute arose
 when the Agency selected one of the external candidates to fill the
 position rather than the grievant, the most senior of the internal
 candidates.
 
    The Arbitrator found that while the Agency had a statutory right to
 make a selection from any appropriate source, the Agency also had a duty
 under the parties' collective bargaining agreement to give special
 consideration in filling vacancies to unit employees