American Federation of Government Employees, Local 3511 (Union) and Audie L. Murphy Memorial Veteran Hospital, San Antonio, Texas (Activity) 




[ v06 p286 ]
06:0286(51)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:


 6 FLRA No. 51
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
 EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 3511
 Union
 
 and
 
 AUDIE L. MURPHY MEMORIAL VETERANS
 ADMINISTRATION HOSPITAL,
 SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS
 Activity
 
                                            Case No. O-AR-163
 
                                 DECISION
 
    THIS MATTER IS BEFORE THE AUTHORITY ON AN EXCEPTION TO THE AWARD OF
 ARBITRATOR ALBERT V. CARTER FILED BY THE UNION UNDER SECTION 7122(A) OF
 THE FEDERAL SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS STATUTE (5 U.S.C.
 7122(A)).
 
    ACCORDING TO THE ARBITRATOR'S AWARD, THE DISPUTE IN THIS MATTER AROSE
 WHEN THE GRIEVANT WAS PERMANENTLY REASSIGNED BY THE ACTIVITY FROM A
 POSITION IN THE MAIL ROOM TO A POSITION IN THE HOSPITAL'S MEDICAL
 RECORDS FILE UNIT.  UPON RECEIVING NOTIFICATION OF HIS IMPENDING
 REASSIGNMENT THE GRIEVANT AND HIS UNION REPRESENTATIVES MET WITH THE
 INVOLVED MANAGEMENT OFFICIALS IN AN UNSUCCESSFUL EFFORT TO HAVE THE
 DECISION RESCINDED.  DURING THE COURSE OF THAT MEETING THE GRIEVANT WAS
 INFORMED THAT THE REASSIGNMENT WAS BEING EFFECTED IN ORDER TO ELIMINATE
 "PROBLEMS IN THE MAILROOM."
 
    SUBSEQUENT TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF HIS REASSIGNMENT THE GRIEVANT
 FILED A GRIEVANCE CLAIMING THAT THE ACTION VIOLATED HIS RIGHTS UNDER THE
 PARTIES' NEGOTIATED AGREEMENT.  THE GRIEVANCE PROGRESSED THROUGH THE
 CONTRACTUAL PROCEDURE WITHOUT RESOLUTION AND WAS EVENTUALLY ADVANCED
 TO
 ARBITRATION.
 
    IN HIS AWARD THE ARBITRATOR FIRST DISMISSED THE ACTIVITY'S TIMELINESS
 ARGUMENT AND HELD THE GRIEVANCE TO BE A PROPER SUBJECT FOR ARBITRATION.
 AS TO THE MERITS OF THE GRIEVANCE THE ARBITRATOR DETERMINED THE ISSUE
 BEFORE HIM TO BE:
 
    WHETHER THE REASSIGNMENT OF THE GRIEVANT WAS IN VIOLATION OF
 APPLICABLE LAWS AND/OR THE
 
    CONTRACT.
 
    AFTER DISCUSSING THE ACTIVITY'S STATED REASON FOR THE CHALLENGED
 REASSIGNMENT, I.E., NUMEROUS INTERPERSONAL PROBLEMS AMONG THE MAIL ROOM
 STAFF, AND NOTING WITH REGRET MANAGEMENT'S FAILURE TO FULLY EXPLAIN ITS
 ACTION TO THE GRIEVANT, THE ARBITRATOR REJECTED THE UNION'S CLAIM THAT
 THE GRIEVANT HAD BEEN DENIED "FAIR, IMPARTIAL AND EQUITABLE TREATMENT"
 AS GUARANTEED BY THE AGREEMENT.  IN SO HOLDING THE ARBITRATOR CONCLUDED:
 
    IN THE JUDGMENT OF THIS ARBITRATOR, MANAGEMENT HAS THE UNILATERAL
 RIGHT UNDER THE TERMS OF
 
    THE NEGOTIATED CONTRACT AND THE APPLICABLE LAWS GOVERNING THE
 OPERATION OF THE AGENCY TO
 
    REASSIGN EMPLOYEES WITHIN THE AGENCY AT ITS DISCRETION PROVIDING SUCH
 REASSIGNMENT DOES NOT
 
    CONFLICT WITH ANY PROVISIONS OF THE CONTRACT OR APPLICABLE LAW.  I
 FIND NO SUCH CONFLICT IN
 
    THE INSTANT CASE AND IT IS MY OPINION THAT THE UNION HAS NOT CARRIED
 ITS BURDEN OF PROVING
 
    THAT MANAGEMENT DID NOT TREAT THE GRIEVANT IN A FAIR AND EQUITABLE
 MANNER.
 
    THE UNION FILED AN EXCEPTION TO THE ARBITRATOR'S AWARD UNDER SECTION
 7122(A) OF THE FEDERAL SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS STATUTE /1/
 AND PART 2425 OF THE AUTHORITY'S RULES AND REGULATIONS (5 CFR PART
 2425).
 
    IN ITS EXCEPTION THE UNION ASSERTS THAT THE ARBITRATOR'S AWARD IS
 DEFICIENT BECAUSE IT IS CONTRARY TO LAW.  HOWEVER, AFTER CAREFUL
 EVALUATION OF THAT EXCEPTION AND THE ARGUMENTS SUPPORTING IT, THE
 AUTHORITY FINDS THAT THE UNION HAS FAILED TO DEMONSTRATE IN WHAT MANNER
 THE AWARD VIOLATES LAW.
 
    ALL OF THE CONTENTIONS RAISED IN THE UNION'S EXCEPTION CENTER UPON
 CERTAIN OF THE TESTIMONY BEFORE THE ARBITRATOR AND THE MERITS OF THE
 CONTRACTUAL ISSUES SUBMITTED TO HIM.  NONE OF THOSE CONTENTIONS
 ESTABLISHES THAT THE AWARD VIOLATES LAW.  RATHER, THEY CONSTITUTE
 DISAGREEMENT BY THE UNION WITH THE ARBITRATOR'S FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS
 REGARDING THE MERITS OF THE GRIEVANCE.  SUCH DISAGREEMENT DOES NOT
 PROVIDE A BASIS FOR FINDING AN ARBITRATION AWARD DEFICIENT UNDER 5
 U.S.C. 7122(A) AND SECTION 2425.3 OF THE AUTHORITY'S RULES AND
 REGULATIONS.  FEDERAL AVIATION SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION AND
 FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, ALBUQUERQUE AIRWAY FACILITIES SECTOR,
 SOUTHWEST REGION, 2 FLRA NO. 85(1980);  VETERANS ADMINISTRATION
 HOSPITAL, PERRY POINT, MARYLAND AND LOCAL 331, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF
 GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, 3 FLRA NO. 34(1980).
 
    FOR THE FOREGOING REASONS AND PURSUANT TO SECTION 2425.4 OF THE
 AUTHORITY'S RULES AND REGULATIONS, THE ARBITRATOR'S AWARD IS SUSTAINED.
 
    ISSUED, WASHINGTON, D.C., JULY 16, 1981
 
                       RONALD W. HAUGHTON, CHAIRMAN
 
                       HENRY B. FRAZIER III, MEMBER
 
                        LEON B. APPLEWHAITE, MEMBER
 
                     FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 
 
 
 
 
 --------------- FOOTNOTES: ---------------
 
 
    /1/ U.S.C. 7122(A) PROVIDES:
 
    (A) EITHER PARTY TO ARBITRATION UNDER THIS CHAPTER MAY FILE WITH THE
 AUTHORITY AN EXCEPTION TO ANY ARBITRATOR'S AWARD PURSUANT TO THE
 ARBITRATION (OTHER THAN AN AWARD RELATING TO A MATTER DESCRIBED IN
 SECTION 7121(F) OF THIS TITLE).  IF UPON REVIEW THE AUTHORITY FINDS THAT
 THE AWARD IS DEFICIENT--
 
    (1) BECAUSE IT IS CONTRARY TO ANY LAW, RULE, OR REGULATION;
 
    OR
 
    (2) ON OTHER GROUNDS SIMILAR TO THOSE APPLIED BY FEDERAL COURTS IN
 PRIVATE SECTOR
 
    LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS;
 
    THE AUTHORITY MAY TAKE SUCH ACTION AND MAKE SUCH RECOMMENDATIONS
 CONCERNING THE AWARD AS IT CONSIDERS NECESSARY, CONSISTENT WITH
 APPLICABLE LAWS, RULES, OR REGULATIONS.