|In the Matter of
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
Case No. 04 FSIP 97
ARBITRATOR'S OPINION AND DECISION
The Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. (Employer) filed a request for assistance with the Federal Service Impasses Panel (Panel) to consider a negotiation impasse under the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (Statute), 5 U.S.C. § 7119, between it and Local 713-S, Washington Federal Printing Worker's Union, Graphic Communications International Union, AFL-CIO (Union).
After an investigation of the request for assistance, which arises from bargaining over overtime provisions in a supplemental collective-bargaining agreement (CBA), the Panel directed the parties to mediation-arbitration with the undersigned. Accordingly, on September 21 and September 30, 2004, a mediation-arbitration proceeding was held in Washington, D.C. with representatives of the parties. During the mediation phase, the parties were able to voluntarily resolve all outstanding issues concerning overtime assignments, including those in the Offset Press Section, with the exception of a single provision. In reaching this decision, I have considered the entire record in this matter, including the parties' final offers and oral statements of position.
The Government Printing Office (GPO) is a Legislative Branch agency whose mission is to print documents for Congress, including the Congressional Record, bills, and committee reports. The GPO also prints documents for Executive Branch agencies and procures printing for Federal agencies. The bargaining unit consists of approximately 500 workers stationed in Washington, D.C. and Laurel, Maryland; these employees are paid under the "KA salary schedule" which the parties negotiate. All employees hold the position of printing plant worker.
The Union is a member of the Joint Council which, together with eleven other labor organizations, has negotiated a master collective-bargaining agreement (MCBA) with the Employer. The MCBA has been in effect since April 1988; it continues until a successor agreement is negotiated. The MCBA permits each labor organization to negotiate a separate supplemental agreement with the Employer. The dispute herein arose during bargaining over a new supplemental agreement.
ISSUE AT IMPASSE
The sole issue in dispute is whether employees should be compensated monetarily or with administrative time for the Employer's failure to assign overtime to the correct individual under the CBA.
POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES
1. The Employer's Position
The Employer contends that the remedy for employees who are not hired for overtime under the contract procedure should be that they are granted 1½ hours of administrative time for each hour (of overtime) lost, if the employee objects to being bypassed for that overtime work. Furthermore, employees have 12 months in which to use the administrative leave.
2. The Union's Position
The Union proposes, as a remedy for employees who are mistakenly bypassed for overtime work, that they have the option of receiving compensation equal to the sum of wages lost due to the Employer's failure to properly assign them to work overtime.
Having carefully considered the arguments and evidence presented in this case, I conclude that the dispute should be resolved on the basis of the Employer's position. In my view, affording employees the alternative of being compensated monetarily for lost overtime, as the Union proposes, would make grievances inevitable and unlikely to be resolved without an arbitrator having to rule on the matter. On the other hand, a remedy involving administrative leave provides employees with an adequate remedy when bypassed for overtime work, and permits employees to use the administrative leave for up to 1 year after it is awarded. In addition, the employee maintains priority at the top of the overtime list and is automatically in line to receive overtime again.
The Union shall withdraw its proposal.
Andrea Fischer Newman