22:0012(3)AR - The 438 Air Base Group, McGuire AFB, NJ and AFGE Local 1778 -- 1986 FLRAdec AR



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22:0012(3)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:


 22 FLRA No. 3
 
 THE 438 AIR BASE GROUP, McGUIRE 
 AIR FORCE BASE, NEW JERSEY
 Activity
 
 and
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT 
 EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 1778
 Union
 
                                            Case No. 0-AR-1013
 
                                 DECISION
 
    I.  STATEMENT OF THE CASE
 
    This matter is before the Authority on an exception to the award of
 Arbitrator Robert H. Mount 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.
 
    II.  BACKGROUND AND ARBITRATOR'S AWARD
 
    The dispute before the Arbitrator arose when management directed
 certain civilian employees to pick up debris from the flight line area.
 The Activity claimed that the task was an important safety measure to
 protect aircraft and lives and, moreover, was provided for in the
 parties' collective bargaining agreement.  The Union claimed that the
 performance of the clean-up task by the employees involved was
 unnecessary and was also contrary to the parties' agreement.  The
 Arbitrator found that there was no specific reference to the task in the
 parties' collective bargaining agreement and that the parties disagreed
 as to the intent of their agreement with respect to the task.  However,
 the Arbitrator further found that management previously had agreed, in
 settlement of an unfair labor practice charge in 1981, to limit
 participation of civilian employees in picking up debris.  The
 Arbitrator essentially concluded that management was still bound by the
 settlement.  The Arbitrator therefore sustained the grievance and
 directed the Activity to limit assignment of the work in question for
 civilian personnel.
 
    III.  EXCEPTION
 
    As its exception, the Agency contends that the award violates
 management's right to assign work under section 7106(a)(2)(B) of the
 Statute.
 
    IV.  ANALYSIS AND CONCLUSION
 
    The Authority has repeatedly recognized that the plain language of
 section 7106 provides that "nothing" in the Statute shall "affect the
 authority" of an agency to exercise the rights enumerated in that
 section.  American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local
 1968 and Department of Transportation, Saint Lawrence Seaway Development
 Corporation, Massena, New York, 5 FLRA 70, 79 (1981), aff'd sub nom.
 AFGE Local 1968 v. FLRA, 691 F. 2d 565 (D.C. Cir. 1982), cert. denied,
 461 U.S. 926 (1983).  Therefore, the Authority has consistently held
 that an arbitration award may not interpret or enforce a collective
 bargaining agreement so as to improperly deny an agency the authority to
 exerc