27:0974(108)AR AFGE, LOCAL UNION 85 VS VA MEDICAL CENTER -- 1987 FLRAdec AR
[ v27 p974 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
27 FLRA NO. 108
VETERANS ADMINISTRATION MEDICAL CENTER, LEAVENWORTH, KANSAS Activity and AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, LOCAL UNION 85 Union Case No. O-AR-1342
I. Statement of the Case
This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to the award of Arbitrator Andrew L. Springfield 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
A grievance was filed and submitted to arbitration claiming that management violated the parties' Master Agreement by responding untimely to the grievance, and by improperly appraising the grievant's performance for the year as "Highly Satisfactory" rather than the "Outstanding". The Arbitrator determined that the Agency's response was not untimely and, therefore, denied that aspect of the grievance. He further determined that the Activity violated the agreement by using the grievant's evaluation for the previous year as the basis for the disputed appraisal. However, the Arbitrator concluded that this did not mean that the 'Highly Satisfactory' rating was wrong. As his award, he ordered the Activity to reappraise the grievant's performance in compliance with the agreement and regulations.
The Union contends that the award violates the Master Agreement, law and agency regulations pertaining to performance appraisals.
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 cases. See, for example, Department of the Air Force, McGuire Air Force Base and American Federation of Government Employees, Local No. 1778, 6 FLRA 283 (1981) (a contention that the award was contrary to an agency regulation constituted nothing more than an attempt to relitigate the merits of the grievance before the Authority and provided no basis for finding the award deficient under the Statute); U.S. Marine Corps, Logistics Base, Barstow and American Federation of Government Employees, AFL - CIO, Local 1482, 10 FLRA 55 (1982) (a contention that the award was contrary to the collective bargaining agreement constituted disagreement with the arbitrator's interpretation of the agreement and his reasoning and conclusions, an attempt to relitigate the merits of the gr