22:0012(3)AR - The 438 Air Base Group, McGuire AFB, NJ and AFGE Local 1778 -- 1986 FLRAdec AR



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22:0012(3)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:


 22 FLRA No. 3
 
 THE 438 AIR BASE GROUP, McGUIRE 
 AIR FORCE BASE, NEW JERSEY
 Activity
 
 and
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT 
 EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 1778
 Union
 
                                            Case No. 0-AR-1013
 
                                 DECISION
 
    I.  STATEMENT OF THE CASE
 
    This matter is before the Authority on an exception to the award of
 Arbitrator Robert H. Mount 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 dispute before the Arbitrator arose when management directed
 certain civilian employees to pick up debris from the flight line area.
 The Activity claimed that the task was an important safety measure to
 protect aircraft and lives and, moreover, was provided for in the
 parties' collective bargaining agreement.  The Union claimed that the
 performance of the clean-up task by the employees involved was
 unnecessary and was also contrary to the parties' agreement.  The
 Arbitrator found that there was no specific reference to the task in the
 parties' collective bargaining agreement and that the parties disagreed
 as to the intent of their agreement with respect to the task.  However,
 the Arbitrator further found that management previously had agreed, in
 settlement of an unfair labor practice charge in 1981, to limit
 participation of civilian employees in picking up debris.  The
 Arbitrator essentially concluded that management was still bound by the
 settlement.  The Arbitrator therefore sustained the grievance and
 directed the Activity to limit assignment of the work in question for
 civilian personnel.
 
    III.  EXCEPTION
 
    As its exception, the Agency contends that the award violates
 management's right to assign work under section 7106(a)(2)(B) of the
 Statute.
 
    IV.  ANALYSIS AND CONCLUSION
 
    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.  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 an arbitration award may not interpret or enforce a collective
 bargaining agreement so as to improperly deny an agency the authority to
 exercise its rights under section 7106 or result in the substitution of
 the arbitrator's judgment for that of the agency in the exercise of
 those rights.  U.S. Customs Service, Laredo, Texas and Chapter 145,
 National Treasury Employees Union, 17 FLRA 68 (1985);  American
 Federation of Government Employees, Local 3258 and U.S. Department of
 Housing and Urban Development, 21 FLRA No. 56, slip op. at 4 (1986).
 Section 7106(a)(2)(B) of the Statute, in particular, reserves to
 management officials the authority to assign work.  Encompassed within
 this right is the discretion to determine the particular employees to
 whom work will be assigned.  Department of the Air Force, Carswell Air
 Force Base and American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1364,
 19 FLRA No. 51, slip op. at 2 (1986);  Marine Corps Logistic Base,
 Albany, Georgia and American Federation of Government Employees, Local
 2317, 19 FLRA No. 72, slip op. at 2 (1985).  Furthermore, the Authority
 has held in negotiability disputes that proposals which would prohibit
 management from assigning employees duties not related to their jobs,
 such as grounds maintenance work, are violative of section
 7106(a)(2)(B).  Association of Civilian Technicians and State of Georgia
 National Guard, 2 FLRA 581 (1980).
 
    In this case, the Authority similarly finds that the award conflicts
 with management's right to assign work.  By precluding the assignment of
 debris pick-up duties to civilian employees, the Arbitrator has
 substituted his judgment for that of management as to whom that work
 will be assigned.  Therefore, the Authority