40:0084(10)AR - - Army Transportation Center, Fort Eustis, Virginia and NAGE Local R4-6 - - 1991 FLRAdec AR - - v40 p84
[ v40 p84 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
40 FLRA No. 10
Before Chairman McKee and Members Talkin and Armendariz.
I. Statement of the Case
This matter is before the Authority on a request filed by the Union for clarification of our decision in 38 FLRA 186 (1990). The Agency filed a response to the Union's request for clarification.
We conclude that our decision in 38 FLRA 186 needs no clarification, and we will deny the request.
A. Arbitrator's Award
The Arbitrator found that management violated the parties' collective bargaining agreement by failing to impose discipline on the grievant within the time limit prescribed by the agreement. The Arbitrator sustained the grievance and directed management to revoke the 5-day suspension of the grievant and to expunge all references to the discipline from the grievant's personnel file. The Arbitrator also directed management to provide the grievant with backpay for the days she was improperly suspended and to "pay the legal fees and costs incurred by the Grievant in the prosecution of this grievance[.]" Arbitrator's Award at 11.
B. The Decision in 38 FLRA 186
The Agency filed exceptions to the award. We concluded that the Agency failed to establish that the award was contrary to management's right to discipline under section 7106(a)(2)(A) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute). We also concluded that the award of attorney fees was contrary to the Back Pay Act.
With respect to the award of attorney fees, we first rejected the Union's contention that the Arbitrator had not awarded attorney fees, but had merely indicated an eligibility for an award that would not be made until after receiving a motion for attorney fees, absent settlement. We found that the Arbitrator had specifically awarded attorney fees. Therefore, we also rejected the Union's contention that the exception to the award of fees was premature. Noting that the Authority had repeatedly held that an award of attorney fees under the Back Pay Act requires a fully articulated, reasoned decision setting forth the specific findings supporting the determination on each pertinent statutory requirement, we concluded that the Arbitrator had awarded attorney fees without the proper support and that, consequently, the award of fees was contrary to the Back Pay Act. We also noted that in National Association of Air Traffic Specialists and Federal Aviation Administration, Washington Flight Service Station, 21 FLRA 169, 173 (1986), the Authority explicitly stated that in future cases, an award granting attorney fees without the required support will be found deficient and will be set aside or modified as appropriate. Accordingly, we modified the award to strike the provision for attorney fees.