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U.S. Federal Labor Relations Authority

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24:0913(87)AR - AFGE Council 236 and GSA -- 1986 FLRAdec AR

[ v24 p913 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

 24 FLRA No. 87
                                            Case Nos. 0-AR-711 
                                                  and 0-AR-772
                         I.  STATEMENT OF THE CASE
    These cases are before the Authority at this time on a motion filed
 by the Agency on April 30, 1985, seeking reconsideration of the
 establish in its exceptions that the Arbitrator's award was deficient on
 any of the grounds set forth in section 7122(a) of the Federal Service
 Labor-Management Relations Statute.  The Authority therefore denied the
 Agency's exceptions.
                         II.  AGENCY'S CONTENTIONS
    In its motion for reconsideration, the Agency essentially contends
 that the Authority's decisions are inconsistent with the March 26, 1985
 decision of the Authority in National Federation of Federal Employees,
 Local 615 and National Park Service, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National
 Parks, U.S. Department of Interior, 17 FLRA 318 (1985), aff'd sub nom.
 NFFE Local 615 v. FLRA, 801 F.2d 477 (D.C. Cir. Sept. 12, 1986).  The
 Agency argues that because of this inconsistency, circumstances exist
 which compel reconsideration by the Authority of the disputed decisions.
    It also appears that the Agency is seeking a waiver of the expired
 time limit for filing its motion.  /2/ The Agency's motion was filed
 nearly eight months after the Authority denied the Agency's first motion
 for reconsideration in Case No. 0-AR-711 and denied the Agency's
 exceptions in Case No. 0-AR-772.
                       III.  ANALYSIS AND CONCLUSION
    Section 2429.17 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations provides, in
 pertinent part:
       Section 2429.17 Reconsideration. After a final decision or order
       of the Authority has been issued, a party to the proceeding before
       the Authority who can establish in its moving papers extraordinary
       circumstances for so doing, may move for reconsideration of such
       final decision or order.  The motion shall be filed within 10 days
       after the service of the Authority's decision or order.
    We conclude that the Agency has failed to establish any extraordinary
 circumstance which would warrant waiving the expired time limit for
 filing its motion for reconsideration and compel or warrant reopening
 and reconsidering Case Nos. 0-AR-711 or 0-AR-772.  The Agency has failed
 to establish that the decisions in these cases were inconsistent with
 existing precedent when they were issued.  Moreover, even assuming that
 the decisions are inconsistent with Sequoia and Kings Canyon, such
 circumstance does not by itself warrant reopening and reconsidering the
 closed cases.
    The Authority, like other administrative agencies and the courts, may
 enunciate a new rule of law without reopening previously decided cases
 and retroactively applying the new law.  To do so would have chaotic
 results.  The determination as to whether the new law will be applied
 retroactively to closed cases is based upon evaluation of the
 circumstances involved in each situation and consideration of a number
 of factors, including the effects of allowing relitigation.  See Chevron
 Oil Co. v. Huson, 404 U.S. 97, 106-09 (1971);  Linkletter v. Walker, 381
 U.S. 618 (1965);  Warring v. Colpoys, 122 F.2d 642 (D.C. Cir.), cert.
 denied, 314 U.S. 678 (1941);  Department of the Treasury v. FLRA, 707
 F.2d 574 (D.C. Cir. 1983), remanding National Treasury Employees Union
 and Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, 8 FLRA 136
    As to Case Nos. 0-AR-711 and 0-AR-772, we find that the Agency has
 not established any extraordinary circumstances in its motion for
 reconsideration which would warrant disturbing the finality of the
 awards of the Arbitrators and the decisions of the Authority resolving
 the disputes involved.  This is particularly true in view of the fact
 that the statutory grievance arbitration system mandates a high degree
 of deference to arbitration awards and to finality of arbitration in
 dispute resolution.  See General Services Administration and American
 (1985).  The fact that the Authority's decisions in Case Nos. 0-AR-711
 and 0-AR-772 may be inconsistent with the subsequent decision in Sequoia
 and Kings Canyon is not such an extraordinary circumstance as to warrant
 either waiving the expired time limit for filing a motion for
 reconsideration or reopening these closed cases.  /3/
                               IV.  DECISION
    For the above reasons, the Agency's motion for reconsideration is
    Issued, Washington, D.C., December 19, 1986.
                                       /s/ Jerry L. Calhoun, Chairman
                                       /s/ Henry B. Frazier III, Member
                                       /s/ Jean McKee, Member
                ---------------  FOOTNOTES$ ---------------
    (1) This is the second motion for reconsideration filed by the Agency
 in Case No. 0-AR-711.  The first was denied by the Authority by Order of
 August 18, 1984.
    (2) Section 2429.23(b) of the Rules and Regulations provides, in
 pertinent part:
       (T)he Authority . . . may waive any expired time limit in this
       subchapter in extraordinary circumstances.
    (3) This case is distinguished from Office of Personnel Management
 and American Federation of Government Employees, Local 32, AFL-CIO, 17
 FLRA 21 (1985).  In that case, the Authority declined to find that the
 agency had committed an unfair labor practice when it failed to comply
 with an arbitration award concerning the termination of a probationary
 employee.  The Authority had previously denied the agency's exceptions
 to the award.  However, based on a subsequent court decision, the
 Authority essentially determined that the grievance was not grievable or
 arbitrable as a matter of law and, therefore, that the arbitrator lacked
 jurisdiction to even consider the matter.