U.S. Dept. of Commerce v. FLRA, No. 11-1019 (D.C. Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
PTO sought review of a decision of the FLRA upholding an arbitrator's award in favor of the Union. The arbitrator concluded that PTO committed an unfair labor practice in violation of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute, 5 U.S.C. 7116(a)(1) and (5), when it repudiated a provision in an agreement requiring that it make an annual request of the OPM to increase PTO's special schedule pay rates and, if OPM refused, to discuss "substantially equivalent alternatives" with POPA. PTO challenged the FLRA's determination that the provision constituted an "appropriate arrangement" under 5 U.S.C. 7106(b)(3). The court granted PTO's petition on the ground that, under the collateral estoppel doctrine, the FLRA was bound by its earlier decision concluding the provision did not constitute an appropriate arrangement.