Panama Area Maritime/Metal Trades Council, AFL-CIO and Panama Canal Commission

[ v55 p1199 ]

55 FLRA No. 193

PANAMA AREA MARITIME/METAL TRADES COUNCIL, AFL-CIO (M/MTC)
(Union)

and

PANAMA CANAL COMMISSION
(Agency)

0-AR-3179

_____

DECISION

_____

Before the Authority: Phyllis N. Segal, Chair; Donald S. Wasserman and Dale Cabaniss, Members.

Decision by Member Wasserman for the Authority.

I.     Statement of the Case

      This matter is before the Authority on an exception to an interest arbitration award of Arbitrator Donald A. Anderson filed by the Union under section 7122(a) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (Statute) and part 2425 of the Authority's regulations. The Agency filed an opposition to the Union's exception.

      The Arbitrator resolved the parties' negotiation impasse over pay rates for apprentices by ordering adoption of the Agency's proposal. We conclude that the Union's exception is not properly before the Authority. Accordingly, we dismiss the Union's exception.

II.     Background and Arbitrator's Award

      The Agency proposed a change in the wage rates paid to apprentices. The parties were unable to reach agreement, and the issue was submitted to interest arbitration pursuant to the parties' negotiated impasse resolution procedure (NIRP). The Arbitrator resolved the impasse by ordering adoption of the Agency's "last best offer."

III.     Positions of the Parties

A.     Union's Exception

      The Union contends that the award is contrary to regulation. The Union maintains that under 29 C.F.R. § 29.5, apprentice programs must provide a progressively increasing schedule of wages. The Union argues that this requirement applies to the Agency and that the Agency's "last best offer" did not provide for such an increase. Exceptions at 3. The Union asserts that consequently, the Arbitrator's award ordering adoption of the Agency's proposed schedule of wages is unlawful.

B.      Agency's Opposition

      The Agency first contends that the Authority has no jurisdiction under section 7122(a) of the Statute to resolve the Union's exceptio