19:0167(16)AR - VA Medical Center, Lyons, NJ and AFGE Local No. 1012 -- 1985 FLRAdec AR
[ v19 p167 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
19 FLRA No. 16 VETERANS ADMINISTRATION MEDICAL CENTER, LYONS, NEW JERSEY Activity and AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, LOCAL NO. 1012 Union Case No. O-AR-832 DECISION This matter is before the Authority on exception to the award of Arbitrator Lawrence I. Hammer filed by the Agency under section 7122(a) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Statute and part 2425 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations. The dispute before the Arbitrator concerned the detail of the grievant, a Dental Assistant, GS-4, to the position of a Supervisor Dental Assistant, GS-6, for the period of April 2 through April 30, 1984. The Activity refused to promote the grievant temporarily to GS-6 because the Activity determined that the grievant did not meet the minimum qualification requirements of Civil Service Handbook X-118 (Qualification Standards) for the position of Dental Assistant, GS-6, in that she did not have one year of qualifying experience at Dental Assistant, GS-5, or its equivalent. A grievance was filed claiming an entitlement to a temporary promotion. The Activity responded to the grievance by granting the grievant for the period in dispute a retroactive temporary promotion with backpay to the position of Dental Assistant, GS-5, for which the grievant was qualified. The grievance however remained unresolved as to the entitlement to a promotion to GS-6 and was submitted to arbitration. The Arbitrator as his award ruled that the grievant was entitled to have been temporarily promoted for the period of the detail to Supervisory Dental Assistant, GS-6, and that the Activity had violated the parties' collective bargaining agreement by failing to have done so. Thus, the Arbitrator essentially directed that the grievant be retroactively promoted for the period of the detail to GS-6 with backpay. With respect to the amount of backpay, the Arbitrator directed that it be the amount awarded by the Activity which because of the step placement in grade 5 was an amount greater than the amount for GS-6, step 1. As one of its exceptions, the Agency contends that the award is deficient as contrary to civil service law and regulation because the grievant was not qualified for promotion to GS-6. The Authority agrees. The Authority has uniformly recognized that in order for an employee to be properly promoted consistent with civil service law and regulation, whether temporarily or permanently, the employee must meet at the time of the promotion the minimum qualification requirements for the position to which the employee is to be promoted.