13:0066(14)AR - Air Force, San Antonio Air Logistics Center, Kelly AFB, TX and AFGE Local 1617 -- 1983 FLRAdec AR



[ v13 p66 ]
13:0066(14)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:


 13 FLRA No. 14
 
 DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE,
 SAN ANTONIO AIR LOGISTICS CENTER,
 KELLY AIR FORCE BASE, TEXAS
 Activity
 
 and
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
 EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 1617, AFL-CIO
 Union
 
                                            Case No. O-AR-235
 
                                 DECISION
 
    This matter is before the Authority on an exception to the award of
 Arbitrator Joe D. Woodward filed by the Union under section 7122(a) of
 the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute) and
 part 2425 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations.  The Agency filed an
 opposition.
 
    The dispute in this matter concerns the suspension of the grievant
 for one day primarily as a result of her conduct during a counseling
 session with her supervisors.  During the session the grievant refused
 to remain and left the session despite being ordered by her supervisor
 to remain and being advised that her refusal to remain would result in
 disciplinary action.  Ultimately, the grievant was suspended and she
 filed a grievance which was submitted to arbitration on the issue of
 whether the discipline was for just cause and, if so, whether the
 suspension was reasonable.
 
    The Arbitrator determined that the grievant had a duty to attend the
 counseling session and remain until the session was completed.  He
 explained that if she found the session disagreeable, she had the right
 under the parties' collective bargaining agreement to resort to the
 grievance procedure to challenge the propriety of the counseling
 session.  He therefore ruled that the grievant inappropriately resorted
 to the self-help of abruptly leaving and refusing to be counseled.
 Consequently, he found that there was just cause for discipline and that
 the one-day suspension imposed was a reasonable penalty.  In so finding,
 the Arbitrator rejected the Union's allegation that the grievant was
 discriminated against because her husband was the business agent of the
 Union.  The Arbitrator held that the Union had not sustained by evidence
 to even the slightest degree that consideration of the position of the
 grievant's husband had motivated the disciplinary action against her.
 Accordingly, as the award, the Arbitrator denied the grievance.
 
    In its exception the Union contends that the award is contrary to
 law.  Specifically, the Union maintains that the award is
 constitutionally deficient primarily because the discipline was partly
 based on the grievant's protected expression of her views of her
 supervisor.  The Union also maintains that the award is contrary to the
 Statute because the discipline of the grievant was based on
 consideration of the union activities of her husband.
 
    The Authority concludes that the Union fails to establish that the
 award is contrary to law.  As noted, the Arbitrator expressly determined
 that the one-day suspension of the grievant was warranted solely on the
 basis of the grievant's misconduct in refusing to be counseled.
 Consequently, the Arbitrator did not find it necessary to consider the
 Agency's additional allegations of misconduct and the Union's arguments
 with respect to them.  Thus, the Union's argument that the other
 allegations of misconduct involved constitutionally protected expression
 by the grievant provides no basis for finding the Arbitrator's award
 deficient.  Similarly, the Arbitrator expressly rejected the argument
 that the grievant's suspension was improperly motivated by a
 consideration of union activities, and the Union by repeating this
 argument in its exception without substantiation fails to establish
 otherwise.  Accordingly, the Union's exception is denied.  Issued,
 Washington, D.C., September 22, 1983
                                       Barbara J. Mahone, Chairman
                                       Ronald W. Haughton, Member
                                       Henry B. Frazier III, Member
                                       FEDERAL LABOR RELAT