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U.S. Federal Labor Relations Authority

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27:0101(17)AR - Maxwell AFB and AFGE Interdepartmental Local No. 997 -- 1987 FLRAdec AR

[ v27 p101 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

 27 FLRA No. 17
 LOCAL NO. 997
                                            Case No. O-AR-1332
                         I.  Statement of the Case
    This matter is before the Authority on an exception to the award of
 Arbitrator Roger C. Williams filed by the Union under section 7122(a) of
 the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute)
 andK part 2425 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations.
                  II.  Background and Arbitrator's Award
    Grievances were filed by three Computer Operators assigned to the
 computer room of the 1973rd Information Systems Group, Maxwell Air Force
 Base, challenging their assignments to rotating shifts.  The employees
 alleged that the assignments were in violation of Article XV, Section 1,
 6b and 7 of the parties' agreement and requested that they be
 permanently assigned to the day shift as long as they remained in their
 current positions.  The Agency denied the grievances, asserting that
 management retained the right to assign personnel to shifts.  The
 grievances were consolidated and referred to arbitration.
    The Arbitrator found that Article XV clearly contemplated the
 assignment of employees to rotating shifts and that the grievants'
 position descriptions specifically state that they may be assigned to
 rotating shifts.  He also found that even though management had assigned
 the grievants to the day shift for an extended period, the extended
 assignments did not constitute a binding past practice which gave the
 grievants the right to remain on the day shift.  The Arbitrator
 concluded that the parties' agreement authorized the Agency to assign
 the grievants to work rotating shifts and that there was no contractual
 basis for the assertion that the grievants were entitled to remain on
 the day shift.  The Arbitrator noted that Article XV, Section 7 of the
 agreement, which the Union cited as a bar to the assignments, was
 inapplicable to the changes in the grievants' schedules and did not
 obligate the Agency to negotiate with the Union over the change.  He
 held that Section 7 applied to changes in the operating hours of the
 Agency, not to changes in individual employee work schedules.
 Consequently, the Arbitrator denied the grievances.
                             III.  Discussion
    The Union contends that the Arbitrator rewrote the parties' agreement
 when he held that (1) Article XV, Section 7 did not apply to individual
 shifts and (2) the Agency had no obligation to negotiate with the Union
 concerning the shift assignments.  The Union also argues that the
 Arbitrator ignored the parties' past practice and ruled contrary to law
 when he found that there ws no past practice.
    We conclude that the Union's exception fails to establish that the
 Arbitrator's award is deficient.  The exception constitutes nothing more
 than disagreement with the Arabitrator's interpretation and application
 of the collective bargaining agreement and such disagreement provides no
 basis for finding the award deficient.  See, for example, U.S. Army
 Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District and National Federation of
 Federal Employees, Local 29, 22 FLRA No. 15 (1986) (interpretation and
 application of the collective bargaining agreement is a question solely
 for the arbitrator in that it is the arbitrator's construction of the
 agreement for which the parties have bargained).
    Accordingly, the Union's exception is denied.
    Issued, Washington, D.C., May 22, 1987.
                                       /s/ Jerry L. Calhoun, Chairman
                                       /s/ Henry B. Frazier III, Member
                                       /s/ Jean McKee, Member
                                       FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY