[ v30 p389 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
30 FLRA NO. 50 30 FLRA 389 30 NOV 1987 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES Union and SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION Agency Case Nos. 0-AR-1347 0-AR-1348 0-AR-1352 0-AR-1366 0-AR-1369 0-AR-1387 0-AR-1405 0-AR-1407 0-AR-1416 0-AR-1440 ORDER REMANDING CASES These cases are before us on exceptions to awards of Arbitrator Justin C. Smith 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. They are part of a protracted dispute between the parties over the interpretation and application of the official time provisions of their collective bargaining agreement and other related issues. On November 6, 1987, the Authority issued a decision in another case in this dispute, Case No. 0-AR-1336. American Federation of Government Employees and Social Security Administration, 29 FLRA No. 125 (1987), request for reconsideration denied, 30 FLRA No. 45 (1987). In that decision, the Authority (Member McKee dissenting) set aside an order issued by the Arbitrator related to the nature and extent of his authority in the overall dispute. The Authority urged the parties to expend all available efforts to resolve the dispute bilaterally. The Authority directed that: (a)t a minimum, the parties should attempt agreement on the processing of this and related cases. [PAGE] It is our hope that these discussions would resolve not only the issue of how these cases are to be processed, but also the underlying issue of how official time matters may be resolved without resort to arbitration. Id., slip op. at 13. In the event that the parties might be unable or unwilling to reach agreement on those matters, the Authority directed the parties to submit the dispute concerning the nature and extent of the Arbitrator's authority to another neutral arbitrator. Slip op. at 13. The resolution of the exceptions to the Arbitrator's awards in all of these cases requires a determination as to the nature and extent of the Arbitrator's authority. While other issues may be present, an underlying issue in each case is the nature and extent of the Arbitrator's authority. Accordingly, based on the Authority's decision in 29 FLRA No. 125, these cases are remanded to the parties for proceedings consistent with that decision. 1 This remand is without prejudice to the parties to resubmit to the Authority any dispute that they are unable to resolve after completion of the process described in 29 FLRA No. 125. Issued, Washington, D.C., November 30, 1987. Jerry L. Calhoun, Chairman Jean McKee, Member FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY FOOTNOTES Footnote 1 Member McKee notes her dissent in 29 FLRA No. 125. However, the Authority's decision in that case now requires that these cases be remanded for proceedings consistent with the Authority's decision in 29 FLRA No. 125.