21:0120(23)AR - HHS, SSA and Local 3369, AFGE -- 1986 FLRAdec AR



[ v21 p120 ]
21:0120(23)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:


 21 FLRA No. 23
 
 DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN 
 SERVICES, SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
 Agency
 
 and
 
 LOCAL 3369, AMERICAN FEDERATION 
 OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES
 Union
 
                                            Case No. 0-AR-454
 
                                DECISION
 
    I.  STATEMENT OF THE CASE
 
    This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to the award of
 Arbitrator Jesse Simons 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.
 
    II.  BACKGROUND AND ARBITRATOR'S AWARD
 
    The parties submitted to arbitration the issue of whether management
 was justified under the parties' collective bargaining agreement or
 under applicable law or regulation in refusing to pay travel and per
 diem expenses of the local union president in the amount of $118.00 for
 a one-day trip to Washington, D.C., to visit officials of the National
 Union and Congress.  The Arbitrator sustained the grievance finding that
 the Activity's refusal to pay travel and per diem was wholly untenable
 under the provisions of the parties' agreement and was not supportable
 under any cited law or regulation.  Accordingly, as his award, the
 Arbitrator ruled that the refusal of management to pay the disputed
 expenses was violative of the parties' agreement and that the refusal
 was not mandated by any law or regulation, and he therefore directed
 management to pay the local union president the sum of $116.00.
 
    III.  FIRST, SECOND, AND THIRD EXCEPTIONS
 
    A. Contentions
 
    In its initial exceptions, the Agency contends that the award is
 based on a nonfact and fails to draw its essence from the collective
 bargaining agreement and that the Arbitrator exceeded his authority.
 The Agency's arguments in support of these exceptions are essentially
 the same.  The Agency essentially argues that the award is deficient in
 these respects because the Arbitrator erroneously interpreted the
 parties' collective bargaining agreement as providing a basis on which
 to award the payment of travel and per diem.  The Agency's position is
 that the Arbitrator could not properly have interpreted the provisions
 of the parties' agreement to find that the Agency violated the agreement
 in refusing to pay the disputed travel and per diem expenses.
 
    B. Analysis and Conclusions
 
    The Authority concludes that these exceptions constitute nothing more
 than disagreement with the Arbitrator's interpretation and application
 of the parties' collective bargaining agreement.  The Arbitrator clearly
 interpreted the parties' agreement to encompass travel and per diem
 payments.  Thus, the Agency in these exceptions is clearly seek