17:0278(39)AR - Justice, Federal Prison System, Federal Correctional Facility, Fort Worth, TX and AFGE Local 1298 -- 1985 FLRAdec AR



[ v17 p278 ]
17:0278(39)AR
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"