33:0834(100)AR - - SSA Field Operations, New York Region and AFGE Local 3369 - - 1988 FLRAdec AR - - v33 p834
[ v33 p834 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
33 FLRA No. 100
FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
FIELD OPERATIONS, NEW YORK REGION
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES
On October 27, 1988, the Union filed exceptions to the award of Arbitrator David M. Kaplan pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 7122(a) and 5 C.F.R § 2425.1(a). The Union's exceptions must be dismissed as interlocutory.
On September 27, 1988, the Arbitrator issued an "Interim Award on Issue of Arbitrability" on certain threshold issues: (1) whether the grievance was nonarbitrable on the basis of res judicata, collateral estoppel or other legal preclusion principles because the matter at issue had been allegedly adjudicated by Arbitrator Justin Smith; and (2) whether Arbitrator Smith had properly exercised jurisdiction over this grievance. The Arbitrator ruled that the grievance was arbitrable and added that pursuant to a prior agreement of the parties, the grievance would now proceed to a hearing on the merits.
The Union's exceptions to the Arbitrator's award of September 27, 1988, are interlocutory. An interlocutory appeal concerns a ruling which is preliminary to final disposition of a matter. The Authority "ordinarily will not consider interlocutory appeals." 5 C.F.R. § 2429.11. In an arbitration case, this means that the Authority ordinarily will not consider an appeal of an arbitrator's ruling until the arbitrator has issued a final decision. U.S. Small Business Administration and American Federation of Government Employees, Council 228, Local 2532, AFL-CIO, 32 FLRA 699 (1988).
In this case, it is clear that the Arbitrator has not yet rendered a final award on this dispute. The record shows that the Arbitrator made a determination on the arbitrability of the grievance, while postponing a hearing on the merits until after he issued the interim award. No final disposition or remedy in the dispute has been made. Thus, the Union's exceptions are interlocutory and the facts a