20:0583(70)AR - Health Care Financing Administration and AFGE Local 1923 -- 1985 FLRAdec AR



[ v20 p583 ]
20:0583(70)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:


 20 FLRA No. 70
 
 HEALTH CARE FINANCING ADMINISTRATION 
 Activity 
 
 and 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT 
 EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, LOCAL 1923 
 Union 
 
                                            Case No. 0-AR-1001
 
                                 DECISION
 
    This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to the award of
 Arbitrator Seymour Strongin filed by the Activity under section 7122(a)
 of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute and part 2425
 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations.
 
    The dispute before the Arbitrator concerned the grievant's claim for
 23 hours of overtime pay for the time she travelled during non-duty
 hours in connection with visits to three regional offices of the
 Activity.  The grievant, a safety specialist required to make such
 visits, prepared her own travel schedule after having been informed by
 her supervisor that she might have to travel on non-duty time because of
 airline schedules and the necessity that the regional visits be
 conducted during duty hours.  The schedule, which involved "travel
 during non-duty time" was reviewed and approved by the Activity.  The
 Arbitrator rejected the Activity's argument that the grievant's non-duty
 travel time was not compensable under 5 U.S.C. 5542(b)(2).  The
 Arbitrator found that the Activity had failed to make the maximum
 practicable effort to schedule the grievant's travel to occur during
 work hours as required by the parties' collective bargaining agreement.
 The Arbitrator further found that the grievant was required to travel
 during non-duty hours in violation of the parties' agreement and that
 such travel time constituted hours of employment for which the grievant
 was entitled to receive overtime pay.  Accordingly, the Arbitrator
 sustained the grievance and awarded the grievant 23 hours of overtime
 compensation.
 
    In its exceptions, the Activity contends, among other things, that
 the Arbitrator's award is contrary to 5 U.S.C. 5542(b)(2).  The
 Authority agrees.
 
    It is well-established that under 5 U.S.C. 5542(b)(2)(B)(iv), time
 spent in a travel status is not compensable as hours of employment
 unless the event which necessitated the travel is one which could not be
 scheduled or controlled administratively.  E.g., United States
 Department of Labor and National Council of Field Labor Locals, American
 Federation of Government Employees, 10 FLRA 491(1982);  U.S. Department
 of Justice, Federal Correctional Institution, Danbury, Connecticut and
 American Federation of Government Employees, Council of Prison Locals,
 Local 1661, 16 FLRA No. 112 (1984).  In the terms of this case, the
 grievant's travel to and from the thre