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16:0582(83)AR - Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration, Alaska Railroad and United Transportation Union -- 1984 FLRAdec AR

[ v16 p582 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

 16 FLRA No. 83
                                            Case No. O-AR-504
    This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to the award of
 Arbitrator Charles P. Flynn filed by the Activity under section 7122(a)
 of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute and part 2425
 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations.
    The dispute in this matter arose when the trainmaster, a management
 official on a particular train, disassembled and stored a passenger's
 rifle for safekeeping.  The train crew filed a grievance alleging that
 the trainmaster violated the parties' collective bargaining agreement by
 performing work assertedly reserved to bargaining-unit employees, i.e.,
 by storing an item that was supposed to be handled as checked baggage by
 a unit employee.  The Arbitrator sustained the grievance and awarded
 compensation to the unit employee who otherwise would have performed the
    As one of its exceptions, the Activity contends that the award is
 contrary to section 7106(a)(2)(B) of the Statute.  The Authority agrees.
    In American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, National
 Joint Council of Food Inspection Locals and Department of Agriculture,
 Food Safety and Quality Service, Washington, D.C., 9 FLRA 663 (1982),
 the Authority considered a proposal (proposal 1), which provided, in
 part, that management could not assign duties normally performed by
 employees in the bargaining unit to supervisors, except in specific
 circumstances.  The Authority found that the proposal would improperly
 limit and thereby directly interfere with the discretion, inherent in
 management's right to assign work, to determine which employees would
 receive particular work assignments.  The Authority therefore held that
 the disputed portion of the proposal conflicted with management's right
 to assign work to employees pursuant to section 7106(a)(2)(B) of the
 Statute.  In that regard, it is well-established that an arbitrator's
 award may not interpret or enforce a provision of a collective
 bargaining agreement so as to deny the authority of an agency to
 exercise its rights under section 7106(a) of the Statute, e.g., American
 Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 1968 and Department
 of Transportation, Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation,
 Massena, New York, 5 FLRA 70, 79 (1981), aff'd sub nom.  American
 Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 1968 v. Federal Labor
 Relations Authority, 691 F.2d 565 (D.C. Cir. 1982), cert. denied, 103
 S.Ct. 2085 (1983);  or result in the substitution of the arbitrator's
 judgment for that of the agency in the exercise of those rights, e.g.,
 Veterans Administration Hospital, Lebanon, Pennsylvania and American
 Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 1966, 11 FLRA No. 43
 (1983).  In terms of this case, the Arbitrator sustained the grievance
 and awarded compensation on the basis of his determination that the
 trainmaster was precluded from performing bargaining-unit work.  The
 Arbitrator's award therefore improperly limits and directly interferes
 with management's discretion to determine which employee would perform
 the particular work assignment in the circumstances described.
 Consequently, the award is contrary to section 7106(a)(2)(B) of the
    Accordingly, the award is set aside.  /1/ Issued, Washington, D.C.,
 November 27, 1984
                                       Henry B. Frazier III, Acting
                                       Ronald W. Haughton, Member
                                       FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 --------------- FOOTNOTES$ ---------------
    /1/ In view of this decision, it is not necessary to address the
 Agency's other exceptions to the award.