15:0865(164)AR - AFGE Local 51 and Mint, Old Mint Building, Customer Service Division -- 1984 FLRAdec AR



[ v15 p865 ]
15:0865(164)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:


 15 FLRA No. 164
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
 EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 51
 Union
 
 and
 
 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE MINT,
 OLD MINT BUILDING,
 CUSTOMER SERVICE DIVISION
 Activity
 
                                            Case No. O-AR-496
 
                                 DECISION
 
    This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to the award of
 Arbitrator William B. Gould 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 Arbitrator as his award in this case found the grievance
 arbitrable under the parties' collective bargaining agreement and found
 that the Activity violated the agreement when it downgraded the customer
 service clerk-typists in July 1981.  With respect to a remedy the
 Arbitrator stated as follows:
 
          (I)nasmuch as it cannot be said with certainty that a proper
       evaluation would have resulted in a GS-4 rating only fifty percent
       (50%) backpay will be awarded.
 
    Accordingly, the Arbitrator awarded 50% backpay to the clerk-typists
 from the date of the downgrade until an evaluation consistent with the
 agreement is performed.
 
    As to the Arbitrator's finding that the grievance is arbitrable, the
 Agency has filed exceptions contending that to this extent the award is
 contrary to law and regulation, does not draw its essence from the
 collective bargaining agreement, is arbitrary and capricious, and is in
 excess of the Arbitrator's authority.  However, the Authority concludes
 that these exceptions constitute nothing more than disagreement with the
 Arbitrator's interpretation of the parties' agreement to find that the
 grievance before him was arbitrable.  Consequently, these exceptions
 provide no basis for finding the award deficient in this respect and are
 denied.  See San Antonio Air Logistics Center, Kelly Air Force Base, San
 Antonio, Texas and American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO,
 Local 1617, 9 FLRA 378 (1982).
 
    In its other exception the Agency contends that the Arbitrator's
 award of backpay is contrary to the Back Pay Act, 5 U.S.C. 5596.
 
    The Authority has uniformly held that in order for an award of
 backpay to be authorized under the Back Pay Act, there must be not only
 a determination that the employees were affected by an unwarranted
 personnel action, but also a determination that such unwarranted action
 directly resulted in the withdrawal or reduction in the pay, allowances,
 or differentials that the employees would otherwise have earned or
 received.  E.g., Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis,
 Missouri and Nati