23:0114(12)AR - Military Department of Arkansas, Office of the Adjutant General, Arkansas NG and Local 1671, NFFE -- 1986 FLRAdec AR



[ v23 p114 ]
23:0114(12)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:


 23 FLRA No. 12
 
 MILITARY DEPARTMENT OF ARKANSAS 
 OFFICE OF THE ADJUTANT GENERAL
 ARKANSAS NATIONAL GUARD
 Activity
 
 and
 
 LOCAL 1671, NATIONAL FEDERATION OF 
 FEDERAL EMPLOYEES
 Union
 
                                            Case No. 0-AR-1102
 
                                 DECISION
 
                           I.  STATEMENT OF CASE
 
    This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to the award of
 Arbitrator Ralph C. Barnhard filed by the Agency under section 7122(a)
 of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute)
 and part 2425 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations.
 
                  II.  BACKGROUND AND ARBITRATOR's AWARD
 
    The grievance in this case involved the request of three union
 members for an excused absence without charge to leave (commonly known
 as administrative leave) to attend a training seminar for union
 officers.  Each individual had requested 40 hours of administrative
 leave, but was granted only 24 hours.  A grievance was filed and
 submitted to arbitration protesting the Activity's refusal to grant the
 full amount of the requests.  Before the Arbitrator the Activity
 maintained that certain sessions of the training seminar involved
 matters of internal union business and that such training was not
 training for which administrative leave can be granted.  Specifically,
 the Activity argued that under the provisions of section 7131(b) of the
 Statute, such training must be performed during the time the employee is
 in a nonduty status.  The Arbitrator rejected the Activity's argument.
 He concluded instead that section 7131(b) does not require that training
 of union members or officers in the proper conduct of the internal
 business of the union must be performed when the employees are in a
 nonduty status.  On this basis he sustained the grievance, ruling that
 the requested leave should have been granted.  Since no remedy was
 requested in the grievance, the Arbitrator stated that the only remedy
 available was "the bearing" his ruling may have on future requests for
 similar administrative leave.
 
                              III.  EXCEPTION
 
    The Agency contends that the award is deficient as contrary to
 section 7131(b) of the Statute.
 
                       IV.  ANALYSIS AND CONCLUSIONS
 
    The Authority agrees with the Agency.  The Statute requires that "any
 activities" by an employee relating to internal union business must be
 on nonduty time.  Service Employees International Union, Local 556,
 AFL-CIO, 17 FLRA 862 (1985).  Thus, contrary to the conclusion of the
 Arbitrator, we find that "any activities" must encompass training in the
 proper conduct of the internal business of a union.  Consequently, under
 the express terms of the Statute, such training must be performed when
 an employee is in a nonduty status.  Since administrative leave
 constitutes an excused absence without charge to leave, an employee is
 not in a "nonduty status" within the meaning of section 7131(b) when the
 employee is on administrative leave.  See generally Long Beach Naval
 Shipyard, Long Beach, California and International Federation of
 Professional and Technical Engineers, Local 174, AFL-CIO, 7 FLRA 362
 (1981).  In sustaining the grievance, the Arbitrator misinterpreted and
 misapplied section 7131(b) of the Statute, and therefore the award is
 deficient and must be modified to assure that it is consistent with the
 Statute.
 
    The Arbitrator did not address the extent to which the training
 actually related to internal union business within the meaning of
 section 7131(b).  Accordingly, we do not reach that issue and our
 modification of the award is intended to recognize that the grievance
 may be sustained only insofar as the training did not relate to internal
 union business.
 
                               V.  DECISION
 
    For the reasons stated above, the award is modified to provide as
 follows:
 
          The grievance is sustained only insofar as the training for
       which leave was requested and denied did not pertain to the proper
       conduct of the internal affairs of the Union.
 
    Issued, Washington, D.C., August 14,