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U.S. Federal Labor Relations Authority

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14:0782(106)AR - Naval Air Development Center, Navy and AFGE Local 1928 -- 1984 FLRAdec AR

[ v14 p782 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

 14 FLRA No. 106
                                            Case No. O-AR-417
    This matter is before the Authority on an exception to the award of
 Arbitrator Peter Florey filed by the Agency under section 7122(a) of the
 Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute and part 2425 of the
 Authority's Rules and Regulations.  The Union filed an opposition.
    The parties submitted to arbitration a claim for environmental
 differential pay.  The Arbitrator as his award remanded the case to the
 parties, essentially to negotiate the exact amount of backpay, and ruled
 that payment of attorney fees will be "triggered" by retroactive
 payments made under the award.  In a supplemental award the Arbitrator
 directed payment of backpay and directed that the amount of attorney
 fees be adjusted to account for the supplemental proceedings.  The
 Agency has filed an exception to the award of attorney fees.  /1/
    In its exception the Agency contends that the award of attorney fees
 is contrary to the Back Pay Act, 5 U.S.C. 5596.  Specifically, the
 Agency argues that the award of attorney fees is not in accordance with
 the standards established under 5 U.S.C. 7701(g) which govern an award
 of attorney fees under the Back Pay Act.
    In International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and United States
 Army Support Command, Hawaii, 14 FLRA No. 90 (1984), the Authority for
 the first time addressed in detail the statutory requirements regarding
 awards of attorney fees by arbitrators.  The Authority held that under
 the applicable standards of the Back Pay Act, an arbitrator must provide
 a fully articulated, reasoned decision setting forth the specific
 findings supporting the determination on each pertinent statutory
 requirement, including the basis upon which the reasonableness of the
 amount was determined when fees are awarded.  In this case the
 Arbitrator's award of fees is not in accordance with these standards.
 However, the Arbitrator's determination was made without the benefit of
 the instruction and guidance provided by United States Army Support
 Command, Hawaii.  Consequently, the Authority shall remand the award to
 the parties to have them obtain a clarification and interpretation of
 the award of attorney fees by the Arbitrator.
    Accordingly, pursuant to section 2425.4 of the Authority's Rules and
 Regulations, the award is remanded to the parties with the direction
 that they request, jointly or separately, that the Arbitrator clarify
 the award.  The submission to the Arbitrator is for the limited purpose
 of having the Arbitrator clarify and interpret his award of attorney
 fees to articulate fully specific findings on all pertinent statutory
 Issued, Washington, D.C., May 31, 1984
                                       Barbara J. Mahone, Chairman
                                       Ronald W. Haughton, Member
                                       Henry B. Frazier III, Member
                                       FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 --------------- FOOTNOTES$ ---------------
    /1/ The Union has opposed the Agency's exception on various
 procedural grounds.  On review of the exception and the opposition, the
 Authority concludes that the exception is not procedurally deficient as
 alleged by the Union.