19:0046(5)AR - VA Medial Center, Lincoln, NE And AFGE Local No. 2219 -- 1985 FLRAdec AR
[ v19 p46 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
19 FLRA No. 5 VETERANS ADMINISTRATION MEDICAL CENTER, LINCOLN, NEBRASKA Activity and AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, LOCAL NO. 2219 Union Case No. O-AR-924 DECISION This matter is before the Authority on an exception to the award of Arbitrator Russell C. Neas filed by the Activity under section 7122(a) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute and part 2425 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations. The parties submitted several issues to arbitration, one of which the Arbitrator framed as whether management violated the parties' collective bargaining agreement by refusing to negotiate over changes in the incentive award system. The Arbitrator determined that the criteria governing incentive awards is a mandatory subject of bargaining and that consequently the Activity violated the parties' agreement when it refused to bargain over modifications or substitutions of criteria governing incentive awards. Accordingly, the Arbitrator awarded, in pertinent part, as follows: Management violated the Contract by refusing to negotiate with the Union over changes in the Incentive Awards System. Management is hereby directed, upon request by the Union, to bargain in good faith concerning any proposed changes or changes implemented since March 19, 1984. In one of its exceptions, the Activity contends that the award is contrary to section 7106(a) of the Statute. Specifically, the Agency maintains on the basis of Louis A. Johnson Veterans Administration Medical Center, Clarksburg, West Virginia and American Federation of Government Employees, Local 2384, 15 FLRA No. 74 (1984), that the award is deficient as contrary to section 7106(a)(2)(A) and (B) of the Statute. The Authority agrees. In Louis A. Johnson Veterans Administration Medical Center the Authority found deficient an arbitration award ordering the activity to negotiate with the union concerning the decision of the activity to modify the criteria governing incentive awards. In this respect the Authority explained that an integral aspect of management's exercise of its right to direct employees under section 7106(a)(2)(A) and to assign work under section 7106(a)(2)(B) is to prescribe the standards which an employee must attain in order to be eligible for a reward for superior performance. Id. at 5 (citing National Treasury Employees Union and Internal Revenue Service, 14 FLRA 463 (1984) (proposals 1-2)). Thus, the Authority ruled that the arbitration award was deficient as contrary to section 7106(a) to the extent that it subjected the activity's decision to modify the criteria governing incentive awards to negotiation and the Authority modified the award accordingly. In terms of this case, the award is likewise deficient as contrary to section 7106(a) to the extent it subjects the Activity's decision to modify or substitute criteria governing incentive awards to negotiation. Accordingly, the award as to this issue is modified to provide as follows: /1/ Management is hereby directed, upon request by the Union, to bargain in good faith concerning procedures and appropriate arrangements for employees adversely affected by any proposed changes or changes concerning the modification or substitution of criteria governing incentive awards since March 19, 1984. See id. at 5-6. Issued, Washington, D.C., July 11, 1985 Henry B. Frazier III, Acting Chairman William J. McGinnis, Jr., Member FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY --------------- FOOTNOTES$ --------------- /1/ In view of this decision, it is not necessary to address the other exception to the award.