[ v30 p1003 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
30 FLRA NO. 109 30 FLRA 1003 22 JAN 1988 SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION Agency and AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, COUNCIL 220, AFL-CIO Union Case No. 0-AR-1415 DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION Agency and AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES Union Case No. 0-AR-1421 DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION Agency and AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, LOCAL 3231 Union Case No. 0-AR-1437 [PAGE] DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION Agency and AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, COUNCIL 220 Union Case No. 0-AR-1439 ORDER REMANDING CASES These cases are before us on exceptions to the awards of Arbitrators J. Reese Johnston, Jr. (Case No. 0-AR-1415), Preston J. Moore (Case No. 0-AR-1421), Patrick J. Basial (Case No. 0-AR-1437), and John A. Griffin (Case No. 0-AR-1439). The exceptions were filed by the Agency under section 7122(a) of the Federal Service Labor - Management Relations Statute (the Statute) and part 2425 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations. The cases are part of a protracted dispute between the parties concerning the interpretation and application of the official time provisions of the parties' collective bargaining agreement and other related issues. In each of these cases, the grievances which were submitted to arbitration were filed by the Agency and assertedly involved issues which had been previously submitted to, and resolved by, Arbitrator Justin C. Smith in the course of the national level official time dispute. Each Arbitrator declined jurisdiction over the grievance or grievances submitted to him on the grounds that Arbitrator Smith had already decided the matter at issue in an earlier proceeding. In each case, the Agency raised the issue of the extent of Arbitrator Smith's authority in the overall dispute. On November 6, 1987, the Authority issued a decision in another case in this dispute. American Federation of Government Employees and Social Security Administration, 29 FLRA 1568 (1987) (Member McKee dissenting), request for reconsideration denied, 30 FLRA No. 45 (1987). In that decision, the Authority set aside an order issued by Arbitrator Smith 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. 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. 29 FLRA 1580. In the event that the parties were unable or unwilling to reach agreement on those matters, the Authority directed the parties to submit the dispute concerning the nature and extent of Arbitrator Smith's authority to another neutral arbitrator. Id. In response to the Authority's order, the parties have advised us that they have selected an arbitrator to resolve the dispute. The resolution of the exceptions to the Arbitrators' awards in the above-captioned cases requires a determination as to the nature and extent of Arbitrator Smith's authority. While other issues might be present, an underlying issue in each case is the nature and extent of Arbitrator Smith's authority. Accordingly, based upon the Authority's decision in 29 FLRA 1568, these cases are remanded to the parties for proceedings consistent with that decision. 1 This remand is without prejudice. The parties may resubmit to the Authority any dispute that they are unable to resolve, after completion of the process described in 29 FLRA 1568. See also American Federation of Government Employees and Social Security Administration, 30 FLRA No. (1987). Issued, Washington, D.C., January 22, 1988. Jerry L. Calhoun, Chairman Jean McKee, Member FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY FOOTNOTES Footnote 1 Member McKee notes her dissent in 29 FLRA 1568. However, the Authority's decision in that case now requires that these cases be remanded for proceedings consistent with that decision.