30:0389(50)AR - AFGE and SSA -- 1987 FLRAdec AR



[ v30 p389 ]
30:0389(50)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:


 30 FLRA NO. 50
  30 FLRA 389

30 NOV 1987



AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
EMPLOYEES

                     Union

          and

SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION

                     Agency

Case Nos. 0-AR-1347
          0-AR-1348
          0-AR-1352
          0-AR-1366
          0-AR-1369
          0-AR-1387
          0-AR-1405
          0-AR-1407
          0-AR-1416
          0-AR-1440

ORDER REMANDING CASES

     These cases are before us on exceptions to awards of
Arbitrator Justin C. Smith filed by the Agency under section
7122(a) of the Federal Service Labor - Management Relations
Statute and part 2425 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations.
They are part of a protracted dispute between the parties over
the interpretation and application of the official time
provisions of their collective bargaining agreement and other
related issues.

     On November 6, 1987, the Authority issued a decision in
another case in this dispute, Case No. 0-AR-1336. American
Federation of Government Employees and Social Security
Administration, 29 FLRA  No. 125 (1987), request for
reconsideration denied, 30  FLRA  No. 45 (1987). In that
decision, the Authority (Member McKee dissenting) set aside an
order issued by the Arbitrator related to the nature and extent
of his authority in the overall dispute. The Authority urged the
parties to expend all available efforts to resolve the dispute
bilaterally. The Authority directed that:

     (a)t a minimum, the parties should attempt agreement on the
processing of this and related cases. [PAGE]

     It is our hope that these discussions would resolve not only
the issue of how these cases are to be processed, but also the
underlying issue of how official time matters may be resolved
without resort to arbitration.

     Id., slip op. at 13. In the event that the parties might be
unable or unwilling to reach agreement on those matters, the
Authority directed the parties to submit the dispute concerning
the nature and extent of the Arbitrator's authority to another
neutral arbitrator. Slip op. at 13.

     The resolution of the exceptions to the Arbitrator's awards
in all of these cases requires a determination as to the nature
and extent of the Arbitrator's authority. While other issues may
be present, an underlying issue in each case is the nature and
extent of the Arbitrator's authority.

     Accordingly, based on the Authority's decision in 29 FLRA 
No. 125, these cases are remanded to the parties for proceedings
consistent with that decision. 1

     This remand is without prejudice to the parties to resubmit
to the Authority any dispute that they are unable to resolve
after completion of the process described in 29 FLRA  No. 125.

     Issued, Washington, D.C., November 30,  1987.

     Jerry L. Calhoun, Chairman