American Federation of Government Employees, Local 2501 (Union) and U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Logistics Agency, Defense Distribution Center, New Cumberland, Pennsylvania (Agency)

[ v57 p278 ]

57 FLRA No. 59

AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 2501
(Union)

and

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY
DEFENSE DISTRIBUTION CENTER
NEW CUMBERLAND, PENNSYLVANIA
(Agency)

0-AR-3352-REC
(56 FLRA 1052 (2001))

_____

ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR
RECONSIDERATION

June 21, 2001

_____

Before the Authority: Dale Cabaniss, Chairman; Donald S. Wasserman and Carol Waller Pope, Members.

I.     Statement of the Case

      This case is before the Authority on the Union's motion for reconsideration of the Authority's decision in 56 FLRA 1052 (2001). The Agency did not file an opposition to the motion.

      Section 2429.17 of the Authority's Regulations permits a party who can establish extraordinary circumstances to request reconsideration of an Authority decision. We conclude that the Union fails to establish extraordinary circumstances warranting reconsideration. Accordingly, we deny the Union's motion.

II.     Decision in 56 FLRA 1052

      In 56 FLRA 1052, Arbitrator Alexander Cocalis determined that the Union had breached a settlement agreement. We concluded that the Union failed to establish that the award was deficient. Accordingly, we denied the Union's exceptions.

      The background to this matter is set forth in 56 FLRA 1052. Briefly restated, in 1997, Arbitrator Ed Bankston sustained a union grievance, which had alleged a failure to bargain by the Agency. As a remedy, Arbitrator Bankston ordered the Agency to bargain with the Union, and he retained jurisdiction for purposes of interpretation and implementation of his award. In 1999, the Union claimed that an action by the Agency [ v57 p279 ] violated Arbitrator Bankston's award and requested a clarification by Arbitrator Bankston of his award. On February 20, 2000, Arbitrator Bankston ordered the Agency to cease any action until he had conducted a full review.

      On April 6, 2000, while the request for clarification was pending before Arbitrator Bankston, Arbitrator Cocalis conducted a hearing on a union grievance over competitive areas. With the assistance of Arbitrator Cocalis, the parties' entered into a settlement agreement that was made part of the arbitration record. The settlement agreement provided that in consideration of the Union dropping all grievances and third party proceedings pending as of April 6, 2000, except for a grievance concerning official time and office equipment, the Agency agreed to delay all pending reductions-in-force until June 30, 2001. Arbitrator Cocalis retained jurisdiction over implementation of the settlement agreement.

      Subsequent to the settlement agreement, Arbitrator Bankston clarified his 1997 arbitration award and determined that the Agency's disputed actions violated his award. The Agency requested the assistance of Arbitrator Cocalis, and he issued an award on the terms of the settlement agreement, to which the Union filed the exceptions in 56 FLRA 1052. In that award, Arbitrator Cocalis determined that the Union had breached the settlement agreement by not dropping the matter before Arbitrator Bankston. He stated that there was no doubt that the matter decided by Arbitrator Bankston was encompassed by the agreement. Award at 1. As a remedy, Arbitrator Cocalis declare[d] the Bankston award null and void. Id.

      In its exceptions, the Union contended that Arbitrator Cocalis' determination that the matter decided by Arbitrator Bankston was encompassed by the settlement agreement was based on a nonfact and failed to draw its essence from the settlement agreement and the parties' collective bargaining agreement. The Union also contended that the remedy was contrary to law and exceeded Arbitrator Cocalis' authority.

      We denied the Union's exceptions. We concluded that the Union failed to establish that the award was based on a nonfact or failed to draw its essence from the settlement agreement or the parties' collective bargaining agreement. We also concluded that the Union failed to establish that the remedy was contrary to law. We noted that a union may contractually waive its rights under the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute and that an arbitrator may enforce that waiver. Finally, we concluded that Arbitrator Cocalis did not exceed his authority.

III.     Motion for Reconsideration

      In its motion for reconsideration, the Union disputes our conclusions that it had not established that the award was based on a nonfact, that the award was contrary to law, or that Arbitrator Cocalis exceeded his authority. The Union claims that contrary to our conclusion, the central fact underlying the Cocalis award was the Arbitrator's erroneous determination that the clarification request before Arbitrator Bankston was a pending third party proceeding within the meaning of the April 6 settlement agreement. The Union further claims that contrary to our conclusion, the award is contrary to law because it never agreed to give up the benefits of the Bankston award. Finally, the Union claims that contrary to our conclusion, Arbitrator Cocalis exceeded his authority because the parties never submitted the Bankston matter to him.

IV.     Analysis and Conclusions

      The Authority has repeatedly recognized that a party seeking reconsideration of an Authority decision under § 2429.17 bears the heavy burden of establishing that extraordinary circumstances exist to justify this unusual action. See, e.g., United States Dep't of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Serv., Washington, D.C., 56 FLRA 935 (2000) (IRS). The Authority has identified a limited number of situations in which extraordinary circumst