20:0441(48)AR - VA, VA Medical Center, Muskogee, OK And AFGE Local 2250 -- 1985 FLRAdec AR



[ v20 p441 ]
20:0441(48)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:


 20 FLRA No. 48
 
 VETERANS ADMINISTRATION, 
 V.A. MEDICAL CENTER, 
 MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA 
 Activity 
 
 and 
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT 
 EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 2250 
 Union 
 
                                        Case No. 0-AR-937
 
                                 DECISION
 
    This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to the award of
 Arbitrator Francis X. Quinn 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.
 
    The grievance in this case concerned the claim of the grievant, a
 Prosthetic Clerk, GS-5, that she performed the duties of Prosthetic
 Representative, GS-7, and those of Chief, Prosthetic Service, GS-11, for
 the period of November 23, 1983 through April 1, 1984.  The grievant
 filed a grievance claiming that under the parties' collective bargaining
 agreement she was entitled to have been temporarily promoted.  In answer
 to the grievance, the Activity claimed that the grievant was not
 entitled to have been temporarily promoted because she did not meet the
 minimum qualification requirements for either position.  The grievance
 was not resolved and was submitted to arbitration.  The Arbitrator
 without discussing the qualification requirements for either position
 determined that the grievant did the work of a higher-grade position for
 the period of November 23, 1983 through April 1, 1984, and effectively
 ordered her retroactively promoted with backpay for that period by
 directing that she be compensated for the work she performed.
 
    In its exception 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 either Prosthetic Representative,
 GS-672-7, or Chief, Prosthetic Service, GS-11.  In support of the
 exception, the Agency has submitted the qualification standard for
 Prosthetic Representative, GS-672-5/15.  /1/ The standard provides that
 for all positions other than in the Agency's Central Office, a minimum
 qualification requirement is that the employee must meet the following:
 
          1.  Have sustained a major amputation (hand, arm, foot, leg,
       etc.) or other permanent major injury;  (and)
 
          2.  Must habitually use an obvious prosthetic appliance or
       sensory aid(.)
 
 Because the grievant failed to meet this requirement, the Agency argues
 that to the extent the award orders her temporarily promoted with
 backpay to Prosthetic Representative, GS-672-7, the award is deficient.
 With respect to the position of Chief, Prosthetic Service, GS-11, the
 Agency maintains that the grievant as a GS-5 in the competitive service
 was not minimally qualified for promotion to GS-11 because of the
 time-in-grade restrictions of 5 CFR part 300, subpart F, which
 pertinently require for promotion to GS-11 that the grievant have served
 a minimum of one year at GS-9.  Consequently, the Agency argues that to
 the extent the award orders the grievant temporarily promoted with
 backpay to Chief, Prosthetic Service, GS-11, the award is also
 deficient.  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 and for which the
 employee is to be compensated.  See, e.g., Veterans Administration
 Medical Center, Lyons, New Jersey and American Federation of Government
 Employees, Local No. 1012, 19 FLRA No. 16(1985).  In terms of this case,
 the Authority finds that the Agency has established that the grievant
 did not meet the minimum qualification requirements for a temporary
 promotion to either Prosthetic Representative, GS-672-7, of Chief,
 Prosthetic Service, GS-11, for the disputed period.  See Federal
 Correctional Institution