50:0132(27)AR - - Antilles Consolidated Education Association and Defense, Antilles Consolidated School System, Fort Buchanan, PR - - 1995 FLRAdec AR - - v50 p132
[ v50 p132 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
50 FLRA No. 27
FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
ANTILLES CONSOLIDATED EDUCATION ASSOCIATION
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
ANTILLES CONSOLIDATED SCHOOL SYSTEM
FORT BUCHANAN, PUERTO RICO
February 22, 1995
Before the Authority: Phyllis N. Segal, Chair; Tony Armendariz and Pamela Talkin, Members.
I. Statement of the Case
This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to an award of Arbitrator Robert W. Kilroy filed by the Union 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 Agency filed an opposition to the Union's exceptions.
The Arbitrator denied a grievance challenging the involuntary reassignment of certain unit employees.
For the reasons that follow, we conclude that the Union's exceptions fail to establish that the Arbitrator's award is deficient under section 7122(a) of the Statute. Accordingly, we deny the exceptions.
II. Background and Arbitrator's Award
The Agency made involuntary reassignments of certain unit employees from their respective schools to other schools in the same commuting area, effective at the beginning of the new school year. The employees were not afforded extra time to prepare for or effectuate their moves and, therefore, made the transition to their respective newly assigned schools on their own time. The Union grieved the reassignments and the grievance was submitted to arbitration.
As relevant here, the Arbitrator framed the issue presented by the grievance as whether the Agency violated Article 19, section h(4) of the parties' agreement by involuntarily reassigning the employees.(*)
The Arbitrator found that Article 19, section h(4) did not clearly define what, if any, compensated time would be allowed for employees to make the transition to their new positions and schools and concluded that this section vested the Agency with the sole discretion to make these determinations. The Arbitrator determined that the provision required only that the Agency explain to employees the reasons for their involuntary reassignment and give them instructions as to where are they are reassigned. The Arbitrator found that the Agency complied with those requirements. Consequently, the Arbitrator denied the grievance.
A. Union's Contentions
The Union contends that it is unlikely that the Arbitrator considered its post-hearing brief because he issued his award on the same day that he received the brief and because he stated in his award that certain facts, which the Union disputed in its brief, were uncontradicted. The Union also contends that the award is based on nonfacts because the Arbitrator erroneously found that many of the Agency's factual claims were uncontradicted. Finally, the Union contends that the Arbitrator erred in concluding that Article 19, section h(4) vested the Agency with sole discretion to decide whether to grant the grievants a reasonable amount of time to accomplish the transition to their new positions and schools.
B. Agency's Opposit