16:0866(120)AR - AFGE Local 3369 and SSA, New York Region -- 1984 FLRAdec AR

[ v16 p866 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

 16 FLRA No. 120
                                            Case No. O-AR-681
                        ORDER DISMISSING EXCEPTIONS
    This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to the award of
 Arbitrator Daniel G. Collins 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.  For the reasons that follow,
 the Authority is without jurisdiction to review the Agency's exceptions,
 and therefore they must be dismissed.
    The dispute in this matter concerns the grievant's reduction-in-grade
 from GS-4 to GS-3.  The grievant's position of mail and supply clerk,
 GS-4, had been downgraded as a result of position reclassification to
 GS-3.  The incumbents of the mail and supply clerk position, including
 the grievant, were offered training for a new GS-4 position.  The
 grievant however signed a statement stating that he did not wish to
 assume the duties of the new position and he understood that he would be
 placed in the GS-3 position with a resulting loss of pay.  Thereafter,
 the grievant was "change(d) to (a) lower grade" with the personnel
 action stating that it was at the grievant's request.  A grievance was
 filed and submitted to arbitration claiming that the grievant was not
 demoted at his own request and that therefore he was entitled to have
 received grade and pay retention benefits under 5 U.S.C. chap. 53,
 subchap. VI /1/ as a result of the reclassification action.  The
 Arbitrator determined that the grievant's demotion was not at his own
 request within the meaning of section 5362(d) and 5 CFR 536.207(a) /2/
 and ordered that the grievant be accorded retroactively those rights for
 a demotion not at his own request.
    The Authority has held that a reduction-in-grade is a matter covered
 under 5 U.S.C. 7512 /3/ and that therefore an award relating to a
 reduction-in-grade is a matter described in section 7121(f) of the
 Statute /4/ as to which no exceptions can be filed with the Authority
 under section 7122(a).  E.g., Veterans Administration, Medical Center,
 Chillicothe, Ohio and American Federation of Government Employees, Local
 1631, AFL-CIO, 15 FLRA No. 92 (1984).  At the same time the Authority
 and the courts have recognized that under 5 U.S.C. 5366(b)(1) the
 reduction-in-grade action which is the basis of an employee's
 entitlement to grade and pay retention benefits is not grievable under a
 grievance procedure negotiated under the Statute or appealable under
 statutory appeal pr