15:0706(138)CA - VA Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ and AFGE Local 2382 -- 1984 FLRAdec CA
[ v15 p706 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
15 FLRA No. 138 VETERANS ADMINISTRATION MEDICAL CENTER PHOENIX, ARIZONA Respondent and AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 2382, AFL-CIO Charging Party Case No. 8-CA-20178 DECISION AND ORDER This matter is before the Authority pursuant to the Regional Director's "Order Transferring Case to the Federal Labor Relations Authority" in accordance with section 2429.1(a) of the Authority's Rules and Regulations. Upon consideration of the entire record in this case, including the parties' stipulation of facts, accompanying exhibits, and the parties' contentions, the Authority finds: The complaint alleges that the Respondent, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Phoenix, Arizona, violated section 7116(a)(1), (5) and (8) of the Statute by failing to fully comply with an arbitration award rendered on August 5, 1981 by Arbitrator August G. Eckhardt pursuant to a grievance filed pursuant to the collective bargaining agreement between the parties herein. The Arbitrator ordered the grievant reinstated to her previous position with backpay. The Respondent complied with this portion of the award. The Arbitrator also ordered that if the award was not implemented by September 1, 1981, the Respondent would be required to pay interest at 10% per year from that date until such time as the award was implemented. The award was not implemented until September 29, 1981. The Respondent refused to pay interest on the award from September 1, 1981 until September 29, 1981, based on its contention that interest payments are precluded by the Back Pay Act and therefore would be unlawful. The Respondent never filed exceptions to the arbitrator's award as provided for in section 7122(a) of the Statute. The relevant issue and supporting arguments raised by the parties are substantially identical to those involved in Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, United States Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina, 15 FLRA No. 137 (1984), wherein the Authority, after denying Respondent's defense that compliance would require an unlawful act, concluded that any failure to comply with a validly obtained arbitrator's award to which no exceptions have been timely filed constitutes a failure to comply with the requirements of section 7122 of the Statute in violation of section 7116(a)(1) and (8) of the Statute. Accordingly, the Authority concludes herein that the Respondent violated section 7116(a)(1) and (8) of the Statute by failing to fully comply with an arbitrator's award as required by section 7122 of the Statute. /1/ ORDER Pursuant to section 2423.29 of the Federal Labor Relations Authority's Rules and Regulations and section 7118 of the Statute, it is hereby ordered that the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Phoenix, Arizona, shall: 1. Cease and desist from: (a) Failing and refusing to fully implement Arbitrator August G. Eckhardt's arbitration award rendered on August 5, 1981. (b) In any like or related manner interfering with, restraining or coercing employees in the exercise of their rights assured by the Statute. 2. Take the following affirmative action in order to effectuate the purposes and policies of the Statute: (a) Fully comply with Arbitrator August G. Eckhardt's August 5, 1981 arbitration award, including the payment of 10% per year interest on the grievant's backpay for the period from September 1, 1981 until September 29, 1981. (b) Post at its Veterans Administration Medical Center, Phoenix, Arizona, copies of the attached Notice on forms to be furnished by the Federal Labor Relations Authority. Upon receipt of such forms, they shall be signed by the Director, or his designee, and shall be posted and maintained for 60 consecutive days thereafter, in conspicuous places, including all bulletin boards and other places where notices to employees are customarily posted. Reasonable steps shall be taken to insure that such Notices are not altered, defaced, or covered by any other material. (c) Pursuant to section 2423.30 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations, notify the Regional Director, Region VIII, Federal Labor Relations Authority, in writing, within 30 days from the date of this Order, as to what steps have been taken to comply herewith: Issued, Washington, D.C., August 28, 1984 Barbara J. Mahone, Chairman Ronald W. Haughton, Member Henry B. Frazier III, Member FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY NOTICE TO ALL EMPLOYEES PURSUANT TO A DECISION AND ORDER OF THE FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY AND IN ORDER TO EFFECTUATE THE POLICIES OF CHAPTER 71 OF TITLE 5 OF THE UNITED STATES CODE FEDERAL SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS WE HEREBY NOTIFY OUR EMPLOYEES THAT: WE WILL NOT fail and refuse to fully implement Arbitrator August G. Eckhardt's arbitration award rendered on August 5, 1981. WE WILL NOT in any like or related manner interfere with, restrain or coerce employees in the exercise of their rights assured by the Statute. WE WILL fully comply with Arbitrator August G. Eckhardt's August 5, 1981 arbitration award, including the payment of 10% per year interest on the grievant's backpay for the period from September 1, 1981 until September 29, 1981. (Agency or Activity) By: (Signature) (Title) Dated: . . . This Notice must remain posted for 60 consecutive days from the date of posting, and must not be altered, defaced, or covered by any other material. If employees have any questions concerning this Notice or compliance with its provisions, they may communicate directly with the Regional Director, Federal Labor Relations Authority, Region VIII, whose address is: 350 South Figueroa Street, 10th Floor, Los Angeles, California 90071, and whose telephone number is: (213) 688-3805. --------------- FOOTNOTES$ --------------- /1/ In view of this conclusion, the Authority finds it unnecessary to determine whether the Respondent's conduct was also in violation of section 7116(a)(5) of the Statute.