27:0104(18)AR - HHS, SSA, Jersey City, NJ and AFGE Local 2369 -- 1987 FLRAdec AR
[ v27 p104 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
27 FLRA No. 18 DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION JERSEY CITY, NEW JERSEY Agency and AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, LOCAL 2369 Union Case No. O-AR-1293 DECISION I. Statement of the Case This matter is before the Authority on an exception to the award of Arbitrator Jack Chernick 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. II. Background and Arbitrator's Award The grievance in this case concerned the distribution of a Union bulletin entitled "Testimony of Six Employees Ignored." The Agency alleged that the publication violated Article 12, Sections 1D and 2A of the parties' National Agreement because it maligned Marianne Goodman, a Federal employee. The Union asserted that the publication was protected by Articles 1 and 3, which govern Union rights under the Agreement. The Arbitrator framed the issue before him as whether the Union publication was distributed in violation of Article 12 of the National Agreement. In order to resolve that issue, he concluded that he must decide whether that publication maligned Marianne Goodman within the meaning of that provision. The Arbitrator found that under Article 12 of the National Agreement the Union agreed that it would not distribute or post any materials on Agency facilities which attack individuals or malign the character of any Federal employee. The Arbitrator concluded that "a reasonable reading of (the Union article) leads to the conclusion that Marianne Goodman is being charged with racial prejudice as well as with a preference for the views of a male over those of several females." Arbitrator's Decision at 12. The Arbitrator further concluded that it was not unreasonable to infer that the author or authors of the article intended to convey that a Step 3 grievance was resolved not on the merits, but on the basis of the prejudices of Goodman. Id. The Arbitrator held that such charges may reasonably be described as maligning the character of Goodman and that the Union had exceeded the boundaries of permissible claims and language in official Union publications, as precisely described in Article 12 of the Agreement, when such publications are distributed on the property of the Employer. As a remedy, the Arbitrator ordered the Union to publish an apology to Marianne Goodman in its newsletter and to post the apology on Union bulletin boards. III. Exception The Union contends that the Arbitrator's award fails to draw its essence from the parties' agreement. In support of this contention, the Union argues that the award evidences a manifest disregard of law and public policy incorporated in the parties' agreement. The Union further argues that the award contravenes the express terms of the agreement and is incomplete. IV. Analysis and Conclusions We conclude that the Union has not demonstrated, under any of the established tests, that the Arbitrator's award fails to draw its essence from the parties' agreement. See General Services Administration, Region and American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Council 236, 21 FLRA No. 54 (1986), slip op. at 2. The Union's exception merely constitutes disagreement with the Arbitrator's interpretation of the parties' agreement and his assessment of the facts in this case. The exception does not provide a basis for finding the award deficient. See, for example, Social Security Administration, New York Regional Office and American Federation of Government Employees, Local 3369, AFL-CIO, 27 FLRA No. 6 (1987) (the arabitrator's award enforced the same provision of the parties' National Agreement as is involved in this case and the Union's exception to that award, on the same ground as in this case, was denied). To the extent that the Union contends that the award is contrary to law, we find that the Union has failed to establish how the Arbitrator's finding that the Union violated the parties' agreement as alleged by the Activity's grievance and ordering the Union to apologize for its conduct is deficient. See, for example, San Antonio Air Logistics Center, Kelly Air Force Base, Texas and American Federation of Government Employees (AFL-CIO), Local 1617, San Antonio Texas, 6 FLRA 412, 414-15 (1981). V. Decision Accordingly, the Union's exception is denied. /*/ Issued, Washington, D.C., May 26, 1987. /s/ Jerry L. Calhoun, Chairman /s/ Henry B. Frazier III, Member /s/ Jean McKee, Member FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY --------------- FOOTNOTES$ --------------- (*) The Union also requested a stay of the award when it filed its exception to the award with the Authority on January 13, 1987. Effective December 31, 1986, the Authority's Regulations were revised to revoke those portions pertaining to the filing of requests for stays of arbitration awards (51 Fed. Reg. 45754). Accordingly, no action on the stay request was taken.