52:0042(3)AR - - AFGE, Local 916 and DOD, DLA, Defense Distribution Region West, Defense Distribution Depot, Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, OK - - 1996 FLRAdec AR - - v52 p42
[ v52 p42 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
52 FLRA No. 3
FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY
DEFENSE DISTRIBUTION REGION WEST
DEFENSE DISTRIBUTION DEPOT OKLAHOMA
OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA
August 16, 1996
Before the Authority: Phyllis N. Segal, Chair; Tony Armendariz and Donald S. Wasserman, Members.
I. Statement of the Case
This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to an award of Arbitrator David R. Acheson 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 Regulations. The Agency filed an opposition to the Union's exceptions.
The Arbitrator determined that the Union's grievance was not arbitrable because it was not timely filed. For the reasons that follow, we conclude that the Union has failed to establish that the award is deficient under section 7122(a) of the Statute. Accordingly, we deny the Union's exceptions.
II. Background and Arbitrator's Award
The Union filed a grievance contending that the Agency had violated the parties' Master Labor Agreement (MLA) by allegedly conducting a classification survey without officially notifying the Union.(1) The grievants claimed that they became aware of the survey on March 10, 1995, and promptly filed a grievance thereafter. They further argued that the Union should have been notified of the alleged classification survey so as to have had a representative present at its opening, as required by the parties' agreement.
The Agency denied that a classification survey, within the meaning of the parties' agreement, had occurred. The Union then submitted the matter to arbitration, where the Arbitrator framed the issues as follows:
1. Is the matter procedurally arbitrable due to the fact the grievance was initiated more than twenty (20) days after the "opening" of the so-called "classification survey?"(2)
2. Did the Agency violate the agreements between the parties when they conducted "an arguably termed a [sic] 'classification survey'" in September of 1994? If so, what shall the remedy be?
Award at 2.
The Arbitrator found that the grievance was untimely filed and that the Union had been well aware of the "survey" prior to March 10, 1995. Specifically, the Arbitrator noted that, although the Union "was aware of the desk audit late in the year of 1994," it filed the grievance on March 29, 1995, well in excess of the twenty-day limitation set forth in the parties' agreement. Id. at 3. As a result, the Arbitrator found that the grievance was not procedurally arbitrable.