30:1003(109)AR - SSA and AFGE Council 220; HHS, SSA and AFGE; HHS, SSA and AFGE Local 3231; HHS, SSA and AFGE Council 220 -- 1988 FLRAdec AR



[ v30 p1003 ]
30:1003(109)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:



30 FLRA NO. 109
30 FLRA 1003

 22 JAN 1988


SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION

              Agency

      and

AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
EMPLOYEES, COUNCIL 220, AFL-CIO

              Union

Case No. 0-AR-1415

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION

              Agency

       and

AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
EMPLOYEES

              Union

Case No. 0-AR-1421

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION

              Agency

       and

AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, LOCAL 3231

              Union

Case No. 0-AR-1437

[PAGE]

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION

              Agency

       and

AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, COUNCIL 220

              Union

Case No. 0-AR-1439

ORDER REMANDING CASES

     These cases are before us on exceptions to the awards of
Arbitrators J. Reese Johnston, Jr. (Case No. 0-AR-1415), Preston
J. Moore (Case No. 0-AR-1421), Patrick J. Basial (Case No.
0-AR-1437), and John A. Griffin (Case No. 0-AR-1439). The
exceptions were 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.
The cases are part of a protracted dispute between the parties
concerning the interpretation and application of the official
time provisions of the parties' collective bargaining agreement
and other related issues.

     In each of these cases, the grievances which were submitted
to arbitration were filed by the Agency and assertedly involved
issues which had been previously submitted to, and resolved by,
Arbitrator Justin C. Smith in the course of the national level
official time dispute. Each Arbitrator declined jurisdiction over
the grievance or grievances submitted to him on the grounds that
Arbitrator Smith had already decided the matter at issue in an
earlier proceeding. In each case, the Agency raised the issue of
the extent of Arbitrator Smith's authority in the overall
dispute.

     On November 6, 1987, the Authority issued a decision in
another case in this dispute. American Federation of Government
Employees and Social Security Administration, 29 FLRA  1568
(1987) (Member McKee dissenting), request for reconsideration
denied, 30  FLRA  No. 45 (1987). In that decision, the Authority
set aside an order issued by Arbitrator Smith 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. 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.

     29 FLRA  1580. In the event that the parties were unable or
unwilling to reach agreement on those matters, the Authority
directed the parties to submit the dispute concerning the nature
and extent of Arbitrator Smith's authority to another neutral
arbitrator. Id. In response to the Authority's order, the parties
have advised us that they have selected an arbitrator to resolve
the dispute.

     The resolution of the exceptions to the Arbitrators' awards
in the above-captioned cases requires a determination as to the
nature and extent of Arbitrator Smith's authority. While other
issues might be present, an underlying issue in each case is the
nature and extent of Arbitrator Smith's authority.

     Accordingly, based upon the Authority's decision in 29 FLRA 
1568, these cases are remanded to the parties for proceedings
consistent with that decision. 1

     This remand is without prejudice. The parties may resubmit
to the Authority any dispute that they are unable to 
resolve, after completion of the proces