15:0706(138)CA - VA Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ and AFGE Local 2382 -- 1984 FLRAdec CA



[ v15 p706 ]
15:0706(138)CA
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 t