27:0648(74)AR - NTEU and Customs Service, Pacific Region -- 1987 FLRAdec AR



[ v27 p648 ]
27:0648(74)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:


 27 FLRA No. 74
 
 NATIONAL TREASURY EMPLOYEES UNION
 Union
 
 and
 
 UNITED STATES CUSTOMS SERVICE, 
 PACIFIC REGION
 Activity
 
                                            Case No. 0-AR-1326
 
                                 DECISION
 
                         I.  Statement of the Case
 
    This matter is before the Authority on an exception to the award of
 Arbitrator Sara Adler filed by the Activity 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 grievant was suspended for 14 days based on three separate
 incidents:  (1) sleeping on duty;  (2) refusing to accept a 3-month
 detail because of personal hardship;  and, (3) giving improper advice to
 his supervisor's secretary.  A grievance was filed contesting the
 suspension and the matter was submitted to arbitration.
 
    The Arbitrator found as to the first incident that because the
 alleged sleeping on duty occurred 5 months before the discipline was
 imposed and there was no recurrence, it was clearly an isolated incident
 and the facts, "considered in their totality," were too weak to support
 a suspension.  The Arbitrator found as to the second incident that
 although the Activity had a right not to take personal hardship into
 account in details, the Agency had allowed another officer to be excused
 from a similar detail because of personal hardship.  The Arbitrator
 determined that the Activity had not considered the claims in an
 evenhanded manner or used a clearly articulated standard.  The
 Arbitrator concluded that the grievant's refusal of the detail did not
 constitute misconduct and did not provide a basis for discipline.  The
 Arbitrator found as to the third incident that based on the evidence
 before her, the advice given by the grievant to the supervisor's
 secretary was not improper or prohibited.  The Arbitrator concluded that
 the single incident of sleeping on duty was insufficient to support a
 14-day suspension and as her award, reduced the penalty to an oral
 counselling, confirmed in writing.
 
                             III.  Discussion
 
    The Activity contends that the Arbitrator's award reducing the
 discipline imposed is contrary to law because it is an improper
 mitigation of the penalty.
 
    We conclude that the Activity 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 cou