28:0033(9)AR - AFGE, LOCAL 1692 VS AIR FORCE, AIR FORCE BASE, MAT
[ v28 p33 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
28 FLRA NO. 9
MATHER AIR FORCE BASE, CALIFORNIA Activity and AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 1692, AFL-CIO Union Case No. 0-AR-1321
I. Statement of the Case
This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to the award of Arbitrator Charles A. Askin filed by the Union 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 concerned whether employees in the cleaning and plating shop were entitled to 8 percent environmental differential pay because of their exposure to toxic chemicals. The Arbitrator noted that in a prior arbitration award on the same question, another arbitrator had ruled that no environmental differential pay was warranted because the Activity had provided protective devices and safety measures which "practically eliminated the potential for . . . personal injury(.)" Arbitrator's award at 4. The issue in the present case was whether conditions in the cleaning and plating shop had so changed since the earlier award as to warrant the payment of 8 percent environmental differential pay in accordance with Federal Personnel Manual (FPM) Supplement 532-1, Appendix J. The Arbitrator found that conditions had not changed since the earlier award and ruled that payment of 8 percent environmental differential pay was not warranted.
In its exceptions, the Union contends that the Arbitrator's award is deficient because it is contrary to the regulations at issue and because the Arbitrator's findings are arbitrary. Essentially, the Union contends that the Activity has not practically eliminated the potential for serious injury from handling toxic chemicals and therefore environmental differential pay is warranted under FPM Supplement 532-1, Appendix J.
We conclude that the Union has failed to establish that the Arbitrator's award is deficient on any of the grounds set forth in section 7122 (a) of the Statute; that is, that the award is contrary to any law, rule, or regulation or that it is deficient on other grounds similar to those applied by Federal courts in private sector labor-management relations. See Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Virginia and Tidewater Virginia Federal Employees Metal Trades Council, AFL - CIO, 10 FLRA 413 (1982) (the specific work situations for which an environmental differential is payable under FPM Supplement 532-1, Appendix J, are left to local