19:0890(105)AR - Air Force HQ Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center, Tinker AFB, OK and AFGE Local 916 -- 1985 FLRAdec AR



[ v19 p890 ]
19:0890(105)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:


 19 FLRA No. 105
 
 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE,
 HEADQUARTERS OKLAHOMA CITY AIR LOGISTICS
 CENTER, TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, OKLAHOMA
 Activity
 
 and
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
 EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 916
 Union
 
                                            Case No. O-AR-716
 
                                 DECISION
 
    This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to the award of
 Arbitrator John P. Owen filed on behalf of the Activity by the
 Department of the Air Force (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 parties submitted to arbitration the issue of whether the
 Activity violated the parties' collective bargaining agreement by
 denying the grievant union official's request for official time to
 prepare a second step grievance.  The record indicates that the grievant
 requested and was granted 5-1/2 hours of official time for processing
 grievances on the day in question, and that when his request for two
 additional hours for preparation of the subject second step grievance
 was denied, he spent his personal time after duty hours to accomplish
 that task.  The Arbitrator determined that the Activity's denial of the
 grievant's request was violative of the parties' agreement, which
 pertinently provided that union officials will be granted a reasonable
 amount of official time for the preparation of grievances, and directed
 that the grievant's payroll account be credited with two hours of
 official time.  Subsequently, in response to the Activity's request for
 a clarification of the remedy, the Arbitrator in effect directed that
 the grievant union official "be granted a future two (2) hours of
 official time at the beginning of a pay period to be used at his
 discretion . . . . "
 
    In one of its exceptions, the Agency essentially contends that the
 award is deficient because the remedy ordered by the Arbitrator is not
 authorized in the circumstances of this case.  The Authority agrees.
 
    Section 7131(d) of the Statute /1/ expressly authorizes the parties
 to negotiate for the granting of official time for the performance of
 the specified representational activities.  Because the Statute does not
 authorize the granting of official time as corrective action and because
 the Statute effectively provides a remedy when official time under
 section 7131(d) of the Statute is wrongfully denied, the Authority finds
 that the award must be modified to substitute the remedy provided by the
 Statute.  As has been noted, the Arbitrator specific