28:0299(42)AR - AFGE, LOCAL 85 VS VA MEDICAL CENTER



[ v28 p299 ]
28:0299(42)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:


28 FLRA NO. 42

VETERANS ADMINISTRATION
LEAVENWORTH, KANSAS MEDICAL CENTER

              Agency

         and

AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT

Union

Case No. 0-AR-1373

DECISION

I. Statement of the Case

This matter is before the Authority on an exception to the award of Arbitrator Henry M. Grether 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 grievant was charged with being absent without leave (AWOL) from August 3 through 18, 1986 and was given a written admonishment for failure to properly notify his supervisor of his incapacity to work. A grievance was filed contesting the disciplinary action. At the third step of the grievance procedure, the AWOL charge was withdrawn and the admonishment was sustained. The matter was then submitted to arbitration on the issue of whether there was just and sufficient cause for the admonishment.

The Arbitrator found that the parties' agreement requires an employee who expects to be absent more than 1 day to inform the supervisor of the expected date of return to duty and to notify the supervisor of any change. He found that the grievant failed to comply with the agreement and with his supervisor's instruction to report his "work status capability" and failed to make any such report for an unreasonably long period of time. The Arbitrator found that the grievant's  failure to carry out the supervisor's instruction can justify discipline and an admonishment is the least severe of any possible disciplinary action. Accordingly, the Arbitrator found no basis or authority to direct management to withdraw the letter of admonishment and he denied the grievance.

III. Discussion

The Union contends that the Arbitrator exceeded his authority by ruling on matters not covered by the parties' agreement and by failing to apply the Federal Employees Compensation Act.

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. The Union's arguments constitute nothing more than disagreement with the Arbitrator's interpretation and application of the parties' agreement. We have consistently held that such disagreement provides no basis for finding an award deficient. See U.S. Army Corps of