30:0003(1)AR - VA REGIONAL OFFICE and AFGE,LOCAL 1765 -- 1987 FLRAdec AR


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30:0003(1)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:


30 FLRA NO. 1
30 FLRA 3

10 NOV 1987


VETERANS ADMINISTRATION
REGIONAL OFFICE

                  Activity

AMERICAN FEDERATION OF
GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES,
LOCAL 1765

                  Union

Case No. 0-AR-1272

DECISION

     I. Statement of the Case

     This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to the
award of Arbitrator Lamont E. Stallworth 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.

     For the reasons which follow, we find that the award is
deficient.

     II. Background and Arbitrator's Award

     A grievance was filed and submitted to arbitration on the
issue of whether the Activity acted properly when it changed the
tours of duty of the grievants, two permanent, part-time career
employees. In 1982, each grievant became a permanent, part-time
career employee and each grievant was assigned a tour of duty of
8 hours a day, 3 days a week. On February 13, 1986, the grievants
were notified that as a result of a management decision to reduce
salary costs, effective March 3, their hours of work would be
reduced from 24 to 20 and their tours of duty would be changed to
4 hours a day, 5 days a week. It was this work schedule that
resulted in the grievance.

     The Arbitrator concluded that under civil service laws and
regulations pertaining to part-time career employment, the
Activity was not authorized to reduce unilaterally the grievants'
hours of work. In addition, the Arbitrator concluded [PAGE] that
even if the Activity were authorized to reduce the hours of work
of a part-time career employee, there must be notice to the
employees of this possibility on appointment or conversion to
part-time career employment. In this case, the Arbitrator found
no such notification to the grievants. Accordingly, the
Arbitrator, as his award, determined that the Activity had not
acted fairly and properly. He ordered that the grievants be
restored to their previous schedules and that they not be
required to work the disputed tour of duty without their consent.
He also awarded them backpay for the reduction in their pay as a
result of the change in their tours of duty.

     III. Exceptions

     As one of its exceptions, the Agency contends that the award
is contrary to management's right to assign work under section
7106(a)(2)(B) of the Statute. The Agency argues that the award
essentially mandates that the grievants be assigned 24 hours of
work per week contrary to management's determination to assign
them only 20 hours of work per week.

     IV. Analysis and Conclusions

     A. Do we have jurisdiction to resolve the exceptions?

     The Union has contended that the reduction in hours of work
of the grievants is a reduction-in-pay under 5 U.S.C. 7512 and,
as a matter described in section 7121(f) of the Statute,
exceptions cannot be filed to the award under section 7122(a). We
reject the Union's contention and confirm our jurisdiction to
resolve the Agency's exceptions. We find that for section 7512 to
be applicable there must be a reduction in the basic pay for the
position held by the employee. 5 U.S.C. 7511(a) (4). The
reduction in the hours of work of grievants did not result in a
reduction in the basic pay for their positions because the rate
of pay for their positions remained the same. See, for example,
Burkwist v. Department of Transportation, 27 MSPR 419 (1985).

     B. Is the award deficient?

     We conclude that the award is contrary to section
7106(a)(2)(B). The Authority has specifically held that proposals
which restrict management's determination on the duration of work
assignments conflict with management's right to assign work.
American Federation of Government Employees, AFL - CIO, Local
3804 and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Madison
Region, 21 FLRA  870 (1986) (Proposal 13 and cases cited in the
decision).

     In our view, management's determination as to the number of
hours of work which will be scheduled and assigned to a part-time
career employee is similar to management's determination of the
duration of work assignments and is encompassed by management's
right to assign work. Consequently, we find that