U.S. Federal Labor Relations Authority

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15:0358(77)AR - Overseas Education Association and DOD Dependents Schools -- 1984 FLRAdec AR

[ v15 p358 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

 15 FLRA No. 77
                                            Case No. O-AR-398
    This matter is before the Authority on an exception to the award of
 Arbitrator Donald P. Goodman 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.
    According to the Arbitrator, the grievant, who was appointed to a
 Class I position and had never been a Class II, filed a grievance
 stating:  "Since my duties as a Class I Counselor are equivalent of
 those of a Class II Counselor, my salary should also be equivalent of a
 Class II Counselor." In response to the claim that this grievance was
 precluded by section 7121(c)(5) of the Statute, /1/ the Arbitrator ruled
 that section 7121(c)(5) did not apply and that the grievance was
 arbitrable.  In this respect the Arbitrator explained "that the real
 grievance is one of proper pay and not necessarily one having to do with
 position classification although there is an interconnection." On the
 merits of the grievance, the Arbitrator determined that the grievant is
 not receiving the proper rate of pay and ruled that she has been and is
 entitled to receive the pay rate for Class II Counselors.  As to his
 award the Arbitrator stated that he "is not reclassifying the Grievant,"
 but at the same time in denying attorney fees he stated that "(t)he
 effect of this award is to reclassify the Grievant for pay purposes as a
 Class II Guidance Counselor."
    In its exception the Agency contends that the award is contrary to
 section 7121(c)(5) of the Statute.  In support the Agency essentially
 argues that the grievance directly concerned the classification of the
 grievant's position and was not the result of her reduction-in-grade or
    The Authority finds that the award is contrary to section 7121(c)(5)
 of the Statute.  It is clear that the substance of the grievance before
 the Arbitrator was whether the duties performed by the grievant should
 be compensated at the pay rate for the higher-grade position and that,
 in the Arbitrator's own words, the effect of his award is to reclassify
 the grievant for pay purposes at the higher-grade level.  Therefore,
 because of this direct "interconnection" between the grievance and the
 reclassification "effect" of the award (to use the Arbitrator's own
 words), it must be found, despite the Arbitrator's assertion that he
 only awarded equal pay for equal work, that the grievance and the award
 concern the classification of a position within the meaning of section
 7121(c)(5) precluding such matters from grievance and arbitration.  See
 Federal Aviation Administration, Department of Transportation, Tampa,
 Florida and Federal Aviation Science and Technological Association,
 National Association of Government Employees, Tampa, Florida, 8 FLRA 532
 (1982).  Accordingly, the award by finding the grievance arbitrable and
 by resolving the grievance on the merits is deficient and is set aside.
    Issued, Washington, D.C., July 24, 1984
                                       Barbara J. Mahone, Chairman
                                       Ronald W. Haughton, Member
                                       Henry B. Frazier III, Member
                                       FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 --------------- FOOTNOTES$ ---------------
    /1/ Section 7121(c)(5) provides:
          (c) The preceding subsections of this section shall not apply
       with respect to any grievance concerning--
                                .  .  .  .
          (5) the classification of any position which does not result in
       the reduction in grade or pay of an employee.