30:0381(48)AR - SSA and AFGE, SSA General Committee -- 1987 FLRAdec AR

[ v30 p381 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

 30 FLRA NO. 48
 30 FLRA 381

 30 NOV 1987






Case No. 0-AR-1427


     I. Statement of the Case

     This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to the
award of Arbitrator Charles Feigenbaum filed by both the Agency
and 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. For the reasons discussed
below, we deny the exceptions.

     II. Background

     A. The Grievance

     A union-filed grievance was submitted to arbitration with
the parties unable to agree on the issues. In absence of
agreement by the parties, the Arbitrator stated the issues as

     1. Did the Union fail to pursue its grievance in a timely
and diligent manner, thus rendering it stale and consequently

     2. Did the Agency violate the contract by implementing OPM
regulations related to medical situations affecting employment?

     B. Facts as Found By the Arbitrator

     The Agency informed the Union in March 1984--during the term
of the parties' 1982 collective bargaining agreement--that it
proposed to implement OPM revisions to 5 C.F.R. part 339 
(Medical Determinations Related to Employability) despite some
differences between the regulations and Article 32 of the
collective bargaining agreement. The Agency stated that where
there were conflicts, the collective bargaining agreement would
prevail. The Union requested the Agency to identify the
regulatory changes which were not in conflict with the collective
bargaining agreement in order that the Union could formulate
bargaining proposals concerning the impact and implementation of
these changes. The Agency responded that it had no such
obligation. In the Agency's view, it was the Union's
responsibility to identify the parts of the regulations which did
not conflict with the agreement and to submit specific proposals
relating to those portions of the regulations. When the Union did
not provide specific proposals, the Agency notified the Union
that the regulations which were consistent with the parties'
agreement had been implemented on August 24, 1984.

     The 1982 collective bargaining agreement would have expired
on June 10, 1985. Prior to the expiration date, the parties
agreed to continue all of its terms with no changes for 3 years.
This agreement was subsequently incorporated into a memorandum of
understanding. Despite this extension, the Agency notified the
Union in May 1985 that the portions of 5 C.F.R. part 339 that
were not implemented in 1984 (because they c