28:0280(39)AR - NTEU VS TREASURY, CUSTOMS, NORTHEAST REGION
[ v28 p280 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
28 FLRA NO. 39
NATIONAL TREASURY EMPLOYEES UNION Union and U.S. CUSTOMS SERVICE NORTHEAST REGION Activity Case No. O-AR-1357
I. Statement of the Case
This matter is before the Authority on an exception to the award of Arbitrator Edward C. Pinkus filed by the Activity under section 7122(a) of the Federal Service Labor - Management Relations Statute and part 2425 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations.
II. Background and Arbitrator's Award
The grievant was suspended for 5 days for fighting with another employee while on duty. The parties stipulated the issue for resolution as whether the suspension of the grievant "promotes the efficiency of the Service."
The Arbitrator credited the grievant's testimony and found that the record established that the grievant was acting in self-defense. Accordingly, as his award, he ruled that the suspension of the grievant did not promote the efficiency of the Service.
The Activity contends that the award is deficient on two grounds. First, the Activity argues that the award is contrary to applicable decisions of the Merit Systems Protection Board and the courts because, under the principles enunciated in those decisions, the Arbitrator could only reduce the discipline imposed if he found that in imposing the discipline the Activity had acted in an arbitrary or capricious manner. Second, the Activity argues that the Arbitrator failed to properly credit the testimony of management's witnesses at the arbitration hearing.
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