12:0614(115)AR - GSA Region 8 and AFGE Council 236 -- 1983 FLRAdec AR



[ v12 p614 ]
12:0614(115)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:


 12 FLRA No. 115
 
 GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION
 REGION 8
 (Activity)
 
 and
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
 EMPLOYEES, COUNCIL 236, AFL-CIO
 (Union)
 
                                            Case No. O-AR-547
 
                                 DECISION
 
    This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to the award of
 Arbitrator George E. Bardwell filed by the Union pursuant to section
 7122(a) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute and
 part 2425 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations.
 
    The dispute in this matter concerns the suspension of the grievant
 for three days for the alleged use of intoxicants on Government
 premises.  The Arbitrator described the issue as whether the suspension
 was arbitrable under the parties' current national and local collective
 bargaining agreements.  The Arbitrator found, in pertinent part, that by
 failing to timely respond to the Agency's notice of proposed suspension,
 the Union had forfeited the right to utilize the negotiated grievance
 machinery and grieve the suspension action.  Accordingly, as his award,
 the Arbitrator determined the matter was not arbitrable because of
 procedural untimeliness.
 
    In its exceptions, the Union contends in effect that the Arbitrator
 (1) exceeded his authority by framing the issue the way he did;  (2)
 erred in his pertinent finding that the Union was time barred from
 utilizing the negotiated grievance machinery because the Agency had not
 contested the untimely response to the proposed suspension;  and (3)
 ignored due process principles by drawing his conclusion from "nonfacts"
 to which the Union had not had an opportunity to respond.
 
    Upon careful consideration of the entire record before the Authority,
 including the contentions of the parties, the Authority concludes that
 the Union has failed to establish that the award is deficient.  Thus, as
 to (1), the Union has failed to establish that there was a submission
 agreement or stipulation of the issues which would have precluded the
 Arbitrator's ruling on the procedural aspects of the grievance.  The
 Union's first exception therefore constitutes nothing more than
 disagreement with the Arbitrator's finding and conclusions regarding
 compliance with the procedural requirements of the parties' collective
 bargaining agreements.  It is well-established that disagreement with an
 arbitrator's determination with respect to the procedural arbitrability
 of a grievance does not provide a basis for finding an award deficient.
 E.g., Headquarters, 101st Airborne Division, U.S. Army, Fort Campbell,
 Kentucky and Local 2022, American Federation of Government Employees, 11
 FLRA No. 1 (1983).
 
    With regard to (2) and (3), the Union'