U.S. Federal Labor Relations Authority

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File 2: Opinion of Member Armendariz

[ v59 p89 ]

Dissenting Opinion of Member Armendariz:

      I respectfully dissent from the decision reached today, which finds that the Agency "has precluded its ability to sustain its burden of persuasion" solely as a result of its failure to include in its exceptions the full text of disputed contract provisions. See Majority Opinion, slip op. at 6. In my view, the Agency's exceptions comport with the regulatory filing requirements and, as such, denial of the exceptions on the stated basis is improper.

      Under § 2425.2 of the Authority's Regulations, exceptions that are filed with the Authority must be self-contained documents. In particular, § 2425.2(b) requires that an exception set forth "[e]vidence or rulings bearing on the issues before the Authority[.]" Further, § 2425.2(c) requires the excepting party to present "[a]rguments in support of the stated grounds, together with specific references to the pertinent documents and citations of authorities[.]"

      In its exceptions, the Agency argues that the award is deficient as contrary to law because it enforces specific provisions of the parties' agreement in a manner that is inconsistent with various management rights. The exceptions point to the portions of the award in which the Arbitrator cited extensively from Clauses IV and V of the parties' Regional Hydropower Trainee Program Agreement. In addition, the exceptions quote parts of those clauses. [*]  See Exceptions at 2. Under these circumstances, I would find that the exceptions provide a sufficient basis on which to address the arguments contained therein. As a result, I believe that it is improper to find that the Agency had impaired its ability to argue -- and potentially establish -- that the award is deficient under § 7122 of the Statute on the basis stated in the majority opinion.

File 1: Authority's Decision in 59 FLRA No. 16
File 2: Opinion of Member Armendariz

Footnote * for 59 FLRA No. 16 - Opinion of Member Armendariz

   The portions of Clauses IV and V quoted from and discussed by the Arbitrator delineate the eight work responsibilities assigned to the Regional Educational Director and the five work responsibilities assigned to the Individual Training Officer and address the filling of those positions. See Award at 3-4, 10, 12.