27:0104(18)AR - HHS, SSA, Jersey City, NJ and AFGE Local 2369 -- 1987 FLRAdec AR



[ v27 p104 ]
27:0104(18)AR
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