28:0817(107)AR - AFGE, LOCAL 2532 VS SBA
[ v28 p817 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
28 FLRA NO. 107
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, LOCAL NO. 2532 Union and U.S. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION Agency Case No. 0-AR-1377
I. Statement of the Case
This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to the award of Arbitrator James M. Harkless 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 on August 7, 1985, protesting a reprimand. The award in this case results from an invocation of arbitration dated October 17, 1986. A preliminary issue presented was whether arbitration of the grievance was timely invoked. The Arbitrator determined that under Article 41 of the parties' master agreement, the grievance was not timely referred to arbitration. He noted that under Article 41, Section 1 the Union must notify the Agency that a grievance is being referred to arbitration. He concluded that the grievant's letter of October 7, 1985, invoking arbitration and identifying himself as having been designated by the union membership as an official representative with the authority to invoke arbitration, was not a proper communication to the Agency of a decision to arbitrate a grievance under the terms of Article 41, Section 1. Consequently, finding on this basis alone that the attempt to invoke arbitration on October 7, 1985, was defective and that the 1986 referral to arbitration was untimely, the Arbitrator as his award dismissed the grievance. 1
In its exceptions the Union contends that the Arbitrator's finding that the 1985 invocation of arbitration was defective because it was not made by the Union, is not supported by law, the master agreement, or the evidence. The Union further contends that the Arbitrator should have waived the time requirement and found that the 1986 invocation to be timely. The Union also contends that the Arbitrator erred by finding that the grievant's unfair labor practice charge precluded arbitration of the grievance over his reprimand.
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; specifically, 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 relations cases. See, for example, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Department of Justice, U.S. Government and American Federation of Government Employees, Local No. 1656, 7 FLRA 549 (1982) (An exception, contending that the arbitrator's finding that arbitration had not been invoked in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement violated the Statute by interfering with the union's right to designate its own agents, was denied. The exception challenged the arbitrator's interpretation of the agreement and his ruling that the procedural requirements for submitting grievances to arbitration had not been met which are matters solely for resolution by the arbitrator.) Since we conclude that the Arbitrator's award dismissing the grievance, because it was not timely referred to arbitration, is not deficient, we do not address the Arbitrator's discussion of the effect of the unfair labor practice charge filed by the grievant. See Nation