17:0278(39)AR - Justice, Federal Prison System, Federal Correctional Facility, Fort Worth, TX and AFGE Local 1298 -- 1985 FLRAdec AR
[ v17 p278 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
17 FLRA No. 39 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, FEDERAL PRISON SYSTEM, FEDERAL CORRECTIONAL FACILITY, FORT WORTH, TEXAS Facility and AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 1298, AFL-CIO Union Case No. O-AR-859 DECISION This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to the award of Arbitrator Joe D. Woodward filed by the Agency under section 7122(a) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute and part 2425 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations. The grievant contested a three-day suspension, alleging that the suspension was motivated solely by anti-union animus. In support of this contention, the Union presented evidence of an alleged pattern of Agency harrassment of other Union officials. The Arbitrator issued the following award: The grievance is sustained and full restitution shall be made to the grievant for the three days lost as a result of the wrongful suspension. All documentation of said suspension should be removed from the grievant's file and the Agency is ordered to cease further harrassment of the Union officials in the discharge of their official Union responsibilities and duties. The Agency excepts only to that portion of the award ordering the Agency " . . . to cease further harrassment of Union officials in the discharge of their official Union responsibilities and duties." Noting that the grievance concerned only the three-day suspension of one Union official, the Agency asserts, inter alia, that the Arbitrator exceeded his authority by issuing an affirmative remedy as to other Union officials. In response to this exception, the Union asserts that the Arbitrator acted within his broad powers to fashion remedies. Moreover, the Union argues that the issue of harrassment of other Union officials was in fact before the Arbitrator. In support of this claim, the Union notes the following excerpts from the actual grievance submission: 1. The grievance included a claim that the contested suspension was issued " . . . to intimidate other union officials at this institution and its members . . . " and 2. The Union requested the following remedy: "Full restitution of three days lost on suspension, removal of all documentation, no further interference or coercion with the threat of disciplinary action in the functions of this Local and its responsibilities." Upon careful review of the arguments and the record, the Authority finds that the award is deficient in that it exceeds the Arbitrator's authority. While it does not appear that the parties stipulated the issue, the Arbitrator stated the issue in the following limited terms: "Did the Agency violate the contract when it suspended the grievant on February 21, 1984, for three days?" While the Arbitrator considered extensive evidence of an alleged pattern of anti-union conduct, this evidence was only relevant to proving that the suspension in question was pretextual. Nor does the above cited grievance submission language bring the issue of other Union officials before the Arbitrator; indeed, the requested remedy is clearly limited to the grievant and does not request harrassment findings as to other Union officials. Under the facts presented, the Authority concludes that the Arbitrator exceeded his authority when he issued an affirmative order as to Union officials other than the grievant. American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, National Immigration and Naturalization Service Council and U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, 15 FLRA No. 76 (1984). To that limited extent, the award is deficient and is modified by striking "Union official" and "their" from the award and substituting, respectively, "the grievant"