19:0392(53)AR - VA Medical Center, Lebanon, PA and AFGE Local No. 1966 -- 1985 FLRAdec AR



[ v19 p392 ]
19:0392(53)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:


 19 FLRA No. 53
 
 VETERANS ADMINISTRATION MEDICAL
 CENTER, LEBANON, PENNSYLVANIA
 Activity
 
 and
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
 EMPLOYEES, LOCAL NO. 1966
 Union
 
                                            Case No. O-AR-922
 
                                 DECISION
 
    This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to the award of
 Arbitrator John Paul Simpkins 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.
 
    According to the Arbitrator, the grievance in this case challenged
 management's right to reschedule employees working tours of duty from 4
 p.m. to midnight and midnight to 8 a.m. to the day shift for formal
 training.  As a result of the rescheduling, affected employees did not
 receive their normal night differential pay.  The Arbitrator determined
 that the parties' collective bargaining agreement prevented management
 from assigning employees to the day shift for training and that
 consequently the Activity violated the agreement by having done so.
 Accordingly, as his award, the Arbitrator awarded backpay for lost
 earnings to employees who had already received the disputed training
 during the day shift, and he ordered as to such employees who had not
 yet received the training that they receive the training on their
 regular night tour of duty.
 
    As one of its exceptions, the Agency contends that the award is
 contrary to management's right to assign work pursuant to section
 7106(a)(2)(B) of the Statute.  The Authority agrees.
 
    The Authority has repeatedly recognized that the plain language of
 section 7106 provides that "nothing" in the Statute shall "affect the
 authority" of an agency to exercise the rights enumerated in that
 section.  E.g., American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO,
 Local 1968 and Department of Transportation, Saint Lawrence Seaway
 Development Corporation, Massena, New York, 5 FLRA 70, 79 (1981), aff'd
 sub nom. AFGE Local 1968 v. FLRA, 691 F.2d 565 (D.C. Cir. 1982), cert.
 denied 461 U.S. 926 (1983).  Therefore, the Authority has consistently
 held that no arbitration award may interpret or enforce a collective
 bargaining agreement so as to improperly deny an agency the authority to
 exercise its rights under that section or result in the substitution of
 the arbitrator's judgment for that of the agency in the exercise of
 those rights.  Id.; National Treasury Employees Union and U.S. Customs
 Service, 17 FLRA No. 12 (1985);  U.S. Customs Service, Laredo, Texas and
 Chapter 145, National Treasury Employees Union, 17 FLRA No. 17 (1985).
 Section 7106(a)(2)