Southeastern Program Service Center, Social Security Administration (Activity) and American Federation of Government Employees, Local 2206 (Union)

 



[ v07 p418 ]
07:0418(61)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:


 7 FLRA No. 61
 
 SOUTHEASTERN PROGRAM SERVICE
 CENTER, SOCIAL SECURITY
 ADMINISTRATION
 Activity
 
 and
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF
 GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES,
 AFL-CIO, LOCAL 2206
 Union
 
                                            Case No.0-AR-110
 
                                 DECISION
 
    THIS MATTER IS BEFORE THE AUTHORITY ON AN EXCEPTION TO THE AWARD OF
 ARBITRATOR JAMES J. ODOM, JR., FILED BY THE UNION UNDER SECTION 7122(A)
 OF THE FEDERAL SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS STATUTE (THE STATUTE)
 /1/ AND PART 2425 OF THE AUTHORITY'S RULES AND REGULATIONS (5 CFR PART
 2425).  THE AGENCY FILED AN OPPOSITION.  /2/
 
    ACCORDING TO THE ARBITRATOR'S AWARD, THE DISPUTE IN THIS MATTER
 CONCERNED THE GRIEVANT'S PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL.  THE PARTIES SUBMITTED
 THE FOLLOWING ISSUE TO THE ARBITRATOR:
 
    DID (THE GRIEVANT'S) APPRAISAL FOR THE PERIOD OCTOBER 10, 1978, TO
 SEPTEMBER 30, 1979,
 
    PROPERLY RATE HIM ON ITEMS 1 THROUGH 3, QUANTITY AND TIMELINESS OF
 WORK PRODUCTS, QUALITY OF
 
    WORK PRODUCTS, AND JOB KNOWLEDGE?
 
    THE ARBITRATOR NOTED THAT THE ISSUE CONTAINED "THE ADDED DIMENSION OF
 WHETHER THE MODULE MANAGER'S ATTITUDE TOWARDS (THE GRIEVANT) PREVENTED A
 FAIR APPRAISAL FROM BEING MADE."
 
    BASED UPON ALL OF THE EVIDENCE AND TESTIMONY BEFORE HIM, THE
 ARBITRATOR CONCLUDED THAT IT HAD NOT BEEN SHOWN THAT THE GRIEVANT'S
 RATING IN THE CATEGORIES OF WORK QUALITY, QUANTITY, AND JOB KNOWLEDGE
 WERE WRONG AND THAT THE RATINGS DID NOT "REPRESENT WITH REASONABLE
 ACCURACY THE QUALITY OF HIS PERFORMANCE DURING THE RATING PERIOD."
 FURTHER, HE FOUND THAT THERE WAS NO EVIDENCE OF DIRECT PRESSURE ON THE
 GRIEVANT'S SUPERVISOR OR INDIRECT BIAS BY THE MODULE MANAGER WHICH
 ADVERSELY AFFECTED THE APPRAISAL.  THEREFORE, THE GRIEVANCE WAS DENIED.
 
    IN ITS EXCEPTION, THE UNION ALLEGES THAT THE ARBITRATOR'S AWARD IS
 DEFICIENT BECAUSE IT IS CONTRARY TO LAW AND REGULATION.  /3/ IN SUPPORT
 OF ITS EXCEPTION, THE UNION CONTENDS THAT MERIT SYSTEM PRINCIPLES
 CONTAINED IN THE VARIOUS LAWS IT CITES WERE VIOLATED WHEN THE GRIEVANT
 WAS NOT RATED OBJECTIVELY BECAUSE OF DISCRIMINATION AND BIAS.  THE UNION
 FURTHER CONTENDS THAT THE ARBITRATOR IGNORED TESTIMONY TO THE EFFECT
 THAT THE GRIEVANT WAS NOT RATED OBJECTIVELY BECAUSE OF DISCRIMINATION
 AND BIAS AND INSTEAD CHOSE TO ACCEPT "SELF-SERVING TESTIMONY" OF THE
 MANAGEMENT WITNESSES.
 
    THE AUTHORITY WILL FIND AN ARBITRATOR'S AWARD DEFICIENT WHEN IT HAS
 BEEN ESTABLISHED THAT IT IS CONTRARY TO LAW AND REGULATION.  IN THIS
 CASE, HOWEVER, IT IS APPARENT FROM THE UNION'S CONTENTIONS IN SUPPORT OF
 ITS EXCEPTION THAT THE UNION IS, IN EFFECT, DISAGREEING WITH THE
 ARBITRATOR'S FINDINGS OF FACT AND WITH HIS REASONING AND CONCLUSIONS IN
 ARRIVING AT HIS AWARD, AND THAT IT IS ATTEMPTING TO RELITIGATE THE
 MERITS OF THE GRIEVANCE BEFORE THE AUTHORITY.  THIS IS NOT A BASIS FOR
 FINDING AN AWARD DEFICIENT.  AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
 EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 1923, AFL-CIO AND SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, 7
 FLRA NO. 15(1981). THEREFORE, THE UNION'S EXCEPTION PROVIDES NO BASIS
 FOR FINDING THE AWARD DEFICIENT UNDER 5 U.S.C. 7122(A) AND SECTION
 2425.3 OF THE AUTHORITY'S RULES AND REGULATIONS.
 
    FOR THE FOREGOING REASONS, THE UNION'S EXCEPTION IS DENIED.
 
    ISSUED, WASHINGTON, D.C., DECEMBER 23, 1981
 
                       RONALD W. HAUGHTON, CHAIRMAN
 
                       HENRY B. FRAZIER III, MEMBER
 
                        LEON B. APPLEWHAITE, MEMBER
 
                     FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 
 
 
 
 
 --------------- FOOTNOTES: ---------------
 
 
    /1/ 5 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.
 
    /2/ IN ADDITION TO OPPOSING THE UNION'S EXCEPTION, THE AGENCY ALSO
 CONTENDS THAT THE EXCEPTION WAS NOT TIMELY FILED WITH THE AUTHORITY AND
 THAT IT FAILED TO CONFORM TO CERTAIN PROCEDURAL REQUIREMENTS.  AS TO THE
 AGENCY'S ALLEGATION OF UNTIMELINESS, THE AUTHORITY HAS DETERMINED THAT
 THE INITIAL EXCEPTIONS FILED BY THE UNION IN THIS CASE WERE TIMELY
 RECEIVED BY THE AUTHORITY.  (EXCEPTIONS ALSO FILED BY THE UNION'S
 NATIONAL OFFICE WERE SUBSEQUENTLY WITHDRAWN.) AS TO THE AGENCY'S
 ALLEGATION THAT CERTAIN PROCEDURAL REQUIREMENTS WERE NOT COMPLIED WITH,
 SPECIFICALLY LACK OF PROPER SERVICE, THAT DEFICIENCY WAS PROMPTLY
 CORRECTED BY THE UNION AND RESULTED IN NO PREJUDICE TO THE AGENCY.
 THEREFORE, THIS MATTER IS PROPERLY BEFORE THE AUTHORITY.
 
    /3/ THE UNION CITES TO VARIOUS PROVISIONS OF 5 U.S.C. 2301 AND 2302,
 AND TO CERTAIN PERSONNEL REGULATIONS.