27:0316(43)AR - VA Medical Center, Kansas City, MO and AFGE Local 2663 -- 1987 FLRAdec AR
[ v27 p316 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
27 FLRA No. 43 VETERANS ADMINISTRATION MEDICAL CENTER, KANSAS CITY MISSOURI Agency and AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, LOCAL NO. 2663 Union Case No. 0-AR-1314 DECISION I. Statement of the Case This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to the award of Russell C. Neas 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. The Agency filed an opposition to the exceptions. /1/ II. Background and Arbitrator's Award The grievant alleged that he was unjustifiably suspended for 5 days for being absent without leave. The grievant claimed that he was absent because of illness and that the suspension was a reprisal for union activities and for filing an unfair labor practice charge and an accident report. The Arbitrator essentially found that the record clearly indicated that the grievant was absent without leave on the occasions noted in the Agency's notice of proposed suspension; the Agency did not violate the parties' collective bargaining agreement; and the disciplinary action was not motivated by union animus. The Arbitrator concluded that the Agency had just cause to discipline the grievant and that the 5-day suspension was an appropriate penalty under the circumstances. The Arbitrator therefore denied the grievance. III. Discussions In its exceptions, the Union essentially alleges that the Arbitrator failed to provide the Union and the grievant a fair hearing, that the Arbitrator exceeded his authority and that the award is not supported by substantial evidence. We conclude that the Union has failed to establish that the Arbitrator's award is deficient on any of the grounds set forth in section 7122(a) of the Statute; that is, that the award is contrary to any law, rule, or regulation, or that the award is deficient on other grounds similar to those applied by Federal courts in private sector labor-management relations. See, for example, Federal Correctional Institution, Petersburg, Virginia and American Federation of Government Employees, Local 2052, Petersburg, Virginia, 13 FLRA 108 (1983) (exceptions attempting to relitigate the merits of a case before the Authority and constituting nothing more than disagreement with an arbitrator's findings of fact and reasoning and conclusions based on the evidence and testimony presented and with the arbitrator's interpretation and application of the parties' agreement provide no basis for finding an award deficient). Accordingly, the Union's exceptions are denied. Issued, Washington, D.C., May 29, 1987. /s/ Jerry L. Calhoun, Chairman /s/ Henry B. Frazier, Member /s/ Jean McKee, Member FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY --------------- FOOTNOTES$ --------------- (1) In its opposition, the Agency argues, among other things, that the Union's exceptions fail to meet requirements of the Authority's Rules and Regulations because they fail to state any ground for review and are vague and general in nature. The Agency requests that the exceptions be dismissed as procedurally deficient. We have determined that the Union's exceptions are sufficiently clear and specific to identify the grounds and arguments for the exceptions presented. The Agency's request is therefore denied.