28:0613(77) - AFGE, LOCAL 3258 VS HUD
[ v28 p613]
The decision of the Authority follows:
28 FLRA NO. 77
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT Agency and AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES LOCAL 3258 Union Case No. 0-AR-1356
I. Statement of the Case
This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to the award of Arbitrator Michael W. Stutz filed by the Agency under section 7122(a) of the Federal Service Labor - Management Relations Statute (the Statute) and part 2425 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations. 1
II. Background and Arbitrator's Award
The Agency issued a letter of reprimand to the grievant because he was absent from work for about 1 1/2 hours beyond his lunch break. The Agency determined that the reprimand should remain in the grievant's personnel file for 3 years. The Union did not dispute the appropriateness of the reprimand, but filed a grievance contesting the period of time that the reprimand should remain in the grievant's personnel file. The matter was submitted to arbitration.
The parties submitted the following issue to the Arbitrator: "Whether or not the Employer violated the collective bargaining agreement and/or the HUD Handbook 752.2 when it placed the July 3, 1986 official letter of reprimand in the grievant's personnel file for a period of three (3) years?" The Arbitrator determined that the 3-year reprimand (1) had been imposed with improper reliance on a prior disciplinary letter which should have been removed from the grievant's personnel file; and (2) constituted unequal treatment of the grievant. As his award, the Arbitrator concluded that the Agency had violated the parties' agreement when it placed the letter of reprimand in the grievant's personnel file for a period of 3 years, and he reduced to 1 year the length of time the letter of reprimand should remain in the grievant's personnel file.
The Agency contends that the Arbitrator's award is contrary to the parties' agreement and, by requiring the Agency to remove the reprimand from the grievant's official personnel file after 1 year, violates management's right to discipline employees under section 7106(a)(2)(A) of the Statute. According to the Agency, the Arbitrator incorrectly determined that the penalty was not just the letter of reprimand but also included the length of time it was to remain in the employee's file.
We conclude that the Agency 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 that constitute nothing more than disagreement with an arbitrator's reasoning and conclusions and interpretation of a