21:0174(27)AR - GSA and AFGE, Council 236 -- 1986 FLRAdec AR



[ v21 p174 ]
21:0174(27)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:


 21 FLRA No. 27
 
 GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION
 Agency
 
 and
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT 
 EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, COUNCIL 236
 Union
 
                                            Case No. 0-AR-583
 
                                 DECISION
 
    I.  STATEMENT OF THE CASE
 
    This case is before the Authority on exceptions to the award of
 Arbitrator Louis Aronin 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 issues submitted to arbitration essentially were whether the
 Agency violated Article 5, Sections 3A and 3B and Article 27, Section 10
 of the parties' collective bargaining agreement and section 7131(a) and
 (d) of the Statute by denying payment of travel and per diem expenses
 for union representatives negotiating term and/or mid-term agreements
 and performing other representational functions.  Article 5, Sections 3A
 and 3B provided that union representatives would be granted official
 time for various labor-management relations activities and Article 27,
 Section 10 provided that travel would be provided in accordance with the
 Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute.  The Arbitrator
 found that by agreeing to the provisions involved, the Agency had agreed
 to pay travel and per diem expenses for employees on official time for
 the labor-management relations activities set forth in the agreement.
 Accordingly, as his award, the Arbitrator sustained the grievance and
 directed the Agency to pay travel and per diem expenses to employees who
 perform the representational functions set forth in the agreement.
 
    III.  EXCEPTIONS
 
    In its exceptions, the Agency contends that the award is contrary to
 law.  In support of its exceptions, the Agency argues, in effect, that
 the Agency is not obligated under section 7131 of the Statute to pay
 travel and per diem expenses for union representatives on official time
 and that the award is not authorized under the Travel Expense Act, 5
 U.S.C. 52 5701, et seq.
 
    IV.  ANALYSIS AND CONCLUSION
 
    The Arbitrator found that by agreeing to Article 27, Section 10, the
 Agency had agreed to pay travel and per diem expenses for employees on
 official time for the covered activities.  Therefore, while the Agency
 is correct in stating that section 7131 of the Statute does not require
 agencies to pay such expenses, the Agency in this case, as determined by
 the Arbitrator, negotiated and agreed to a provision requiring it to
 pay.  Article 27, Section 10 of the parties' agreement, as interpreted
 by the Arbitrator to require the payment of travel and per diem expenses
 for union representatives performing the labo