34:0161(36)AR - ARMY, ARMOR CENTER FORT KNOX, KENTUCKY and AFGE, LOCAL 2302 -- 1990 FLRAdec AR



[ v34 p161 ]
34:0161(36)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:


 34 FLRA NO. 36



                  U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
                         ARMOR CENTER
                      FORT KNOX, KENTUCKY

                              and

          AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES
                           LOCAL 2302

                           0-AR-1608

			   DECISION

     			January 9, 1990

     Before Chairman McKee and Members Talkin and Armendariz.

I. Statement of the Case

     This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to the
award of Arbitrator W. Thomas Mulhall filed by the Department of
the Army (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 American
Federation of Government Employees, Local Union No. 2302 (the
Union) filed an opposition to the Agency's exceptions.

     The Arbitrator found that the Agency violated the parties'
collective bargaining agreement by detailing the grievant, a
WG-10 employee, to perform the work of a WG-11 employee who was
on annual leave. The Arbitrator sustained the Union's grievance,
but limited his findings to the facts of the grievance. The
Arbitrator awarded no remedy. The Agency excepts to the
Arbitrator's award, contending that it violates management's
rights under the Statute to assign employees and to assign
work.

     For the reasons that follow, we conclude that the Agency has
failed to establish that the award is deficient on any of the
grounds set forth in section 7122(a) of the Statute. Accordingly,
we deny the exceptions.

II. Background and Arbitrator's Award

     A WG-11 employee of the Agency's Utilities Maintenance
Section, Fort Knox, was scheduled to be on annual leave on
September 23 and 24, 1987. The Agency's foreman detailed the
grievant, a WG-10 employee, to perform the WG-11's work on
September 23 and 24. The detail was later changed, and the
grievant performed the WG-11's work only on September 24. Award
at 3-4.

     The Union filed a grievance, alleging that the detailing of
the grievant violated the procedures set forth in the parties'
negotiated agreement for assignments in those circumstances.
Award at 1. The Agency responded that the action it took was an
exercise of management's right to detail or assign employees and
that the detailing of the grievant was consistent with the
requirements of the parties' negotiated agreement, the Federal
Personnel Manual (FPM), and Army Regulations. Award at 1-3.

     The Arbitrator stated the issue to be:

     Did the Agency violate the LMA (the parties' negotiated
agreement) by its assignment of the grievant to the work of
September 23 and (2)4, 1987? If so, what is the proper remedy?

     Award at Title Page. The Arbitrator stated that the
following questions were raised: (1) what is the proper
contractual procedure to have an employee of one skill group
(WG-10) cover the work and vacancy of another skill group
(WG-11)?; (2) may management use either the detail provisions
(Article 24) or the tour change provisions (Article 9) to cover a
vacancy in one skill group (WG-11), by the use of another skill
group (WG-10), when the vacancy would result in overtime work in
the skill group in which it occurs (WG-11)?; and (3) may a detail
be used for the same purpose as a tour change? Award at 14-15.

     The Arbitrator noted that Article 24 of the parties'
agreement is taken from FPM chapter 300, subchapter 8. The
Arbitrator found that subchapter 8 provides that "a detail is an
assignment of an employee for very specific purposes" and that
details "are 'appropriate under circumstances' to meet
emergencies occasioned by abnormal work load, special projects or
studies, change in mission or organization, or unanticipated
absences." Award at 15. He found that subchapter 8 also allows
details "pending an official assignment, pending
description and classification of new positions, pending security
clearance, and for training purposes." The Arbitrator found that
none of these factors was present in this case. Id.

     The Arbitrator found that, from the "overall concept of
Subchapter 8" and "based upon a reading of the clear language" of
Article 24 of the parties' agreement, it was inappropriate to use
a detail for temporary assignments of very short duration except
where justified by unanticipated absences. Award at 16. He then
found that "once finding that the vacancy was w(e)ll known and
anticipated, it was improper for management to use the provision
of a detail to cover the anticipated vacancy which occurred in
the WG-11 group, due to scheduled leave." Id.

     Based on that finding, the Arbitrator determined that: (1)
the vacancies should have been covered in accordance with Article
9, Section 4 of the parties' agreement as a short term change in
tours of duty; (2) it was inappropriate to change the tour of
duty of a WG-10 skill group employee in order to cover a vacancy
in the WG-11 skill group; (3) if a vacancy occurs in the WG-11
skill group, it may be covered by management's exercise of its
right to temporarily change the tour of duty, under Sections 4
and 6 of Article 9, or it must be covered in accordance with the
overtime provisions of the agreement; and (4) overtime is to be
distributed according to skill groups and a vacancy may not
deprive the WG-11 skill group of overtime opportunities by
temporary transfer or change in tours of duty among the WG-10
skill group. Award at 17. The Arbitrator rejected the Agency's
argument that Article 9, Section 6(j) of the parties' agreement
allowed the Agency's action. Award at 17-18.

     The Arbitrator concluded that the grievance must be
sustained, but found that "much of the remedy sought by the
Union" was beyond his authority. Award at 18. The Arbitrator
found that he had no authority to order the Agency to comply with
the parties' agreement in the future. The Arbitrator found also
that he was without authority to grant a monetary award. The
Arbitrator stated that he could "only sustain the Union's
argument(s) insofar as they relate to the facts of this
grievance." Id.

     As his award, the Arbitrator stated: "I can only rule that
the agency violated the contracts and regulations when it used
the detail provisions for these particular vacancies." Award at
18. 

III. Positions of the Parties

     The Agency contends that the Arbitrator's award must be set
aside because it violates management's rights under section
7106(a)(2)(A) and (B) of the Statute to assign employees and to
assign work. The Agency argues that the Arbitrator's award
amounts to a finding that management is precluded from assigning
WG-10 employees to fill temporary WG-11 vacancies, and is
prohibited from detailing a WG-10 employee to fill a temporary
WG-11 vacancy. Exceptions at 2. The Agency argues further that
because the award prescribes the method for filling all temporary
WG-11 vacancies, the Agency is unable to fill positions by the
method it deems most appropriate and to select the employee who
best meets the qualifications necessary to perform a certain
function or assignment. Id.

     The Union argues that the Agency's exceptions do not
properly reflect the issues before the Arbitrator, and have
incorrectly interpreted the Arbitrator's limited award. The Union
further argues that the award does not, as alleged by the Agency,
prohibit management from filling vacancies but deals only with
the procedures negotiated by the parties. Finally, the Union
contends that the exceptions are only an attempt to reargue the
issues decided by the Arbitrator.

IV. Discussion

     We find that the Arbitrator's award does not interfere with
management's rights under section 7106(a)(2) and, therefore, is
not deficient under the Statute.

     The Arbitrator's award provided no remedy for the
contractual violations found in this case and will not determine
the outcome of any future grievances. The award neither precludes
management from assigning or detailing WG-10 employees to fill
temporary WG-11 vacancies, as alleged by the Agency, nor
prescribes a method for filling WG-11 vacancies. The award does
not order the Agency to take any action or to refrain from
exercising any of its rights under the Statute. The Arbitrator
found that he had no authority to o