29:0194(15)AR - HHS, SSA and AFGE -- 1987 FLRAdec AR
[ v29 p194 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
29 FLRA NO. 15
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION Agency and AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO Union Case No. 0-AR-1241 (27 FLRA No. 54)
I. Statement of the Case
This matter is before us on requests filed by the Union and the Agency seeking reconsideration of our decision of June 2, 1987. The Agency also filed requests for a stay and for clarification of our decision. The Union filed an opposition to the Agency's request for reconsideration.
In our decision, after careful consideration of the record, we determined that the Agency had failed to establish that a number of the Arbitrator's bench awards were deficient on any of the grounds set forth in section 7122(a) of the Federal Service Labor - Management Relations Statute (the Statute). Accordingly, we denied the Agency's exceptions to those bench awards. We also set aside two of the Arbitrator's bench awards as contrary to section 7131(d) of the Statute.
Section 2429.17 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations permits a party that can establish "extraordinary circumstances" to request reconsideration of a decision of the Authority. For the reasons discussed below, we conclude that the Union and the Agency have failed to establish the existence of any "extraordinary circumstances" within the meaning of section 2429.17 and, therefore, that their requests must be denied. The Agency's related requests likewise must be denied.
II. The Union's Request
In its request, the Union seeks reconsideration of our decision setting aside the Arbitrator's award of travel and per diem expenses and official time to Stephen Castellina for representing a former employee at an unemployment compensation hearing. The Union contends that our decision was not based on an accurate interpretation of the facts.
We conclude that the Union has not established "extraordinary circumstances" within the meaning of section 2429.17 of our Regulations. The Union's arguments in support of its request for reconsideration constitute nothing more than disagreement with the merits of our decision and an attempt to relitigate the matter. In finding that the Union is merely attempting to relitigate the dispute, we note that in our decision in the case we specifically addressed for the first time the issue of whether representing an employee at an unemployment compensation hearing was an appropriate use of official time. In resolving this issue, we held that such representation was not related to any labor-management relations activities under the Statute and that official time could not be authorized under section 7131(d). 27 FLRA No. 54, slip op. at 2-3. The Union's request for reconsideration disagreeing with that conclusion must be denied.
III. The Agency's Request
In its request, the Agency seeks reconsideration of our decision with respect to two of the bench awards.
The Agency contends that the portion of our decision in which we upheld the Arbitrator's award to Percy Daley of compensation at straight-time rates as a remedy for wrongfully denied official time is based on a nonfact, constitutes an abuse of discretion, is not supported by the record, and is not in accordance with law. The Agency also argues that Mr. Daley's claim is not authorized by the Statute and that he voluntarily performed the representational functions on non-duty time.
The Agency contends that the portion of our decision in which we upheld the Arbitrator's award to William Bain of compensation at straight-time rates as a remedy for wrongfully denied official time violates law, rule and regulation. The Agency argues, based on Authority precedent and 5 U.S.C. 5542, that because the official time requested by Mr. Bain was to be used for travel related to negotiations, he was not entitled to receive compensation for more than he would have received for his normal tour of duty.
The Agency's arguments in