29:0889(64)CA - AFGE, LOCAL 2663 VS VA MEDICAL CENTER



[ v29 p889]
29:0889(64)CA
The decision of the Authority follows:


29 FLRA NO. 64



VETERANS ADMINISTRATION MEDICAL
CENTER, KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI

                    Activity

      and

AMERICAN FEDERATION OF
GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES,
LOCAL 2663

                    Union

Case No. 0-AR-1400

DECISION

I. Statement of the Case

This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to the award of Arbitrator Russell C. Neas filed by the Union under section 7122(a) of the Federal Service Labor - Management Relations Statute and part 2425 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations.

For the reasons stated below, we deny the exceptions.

II. Background and Arbitrator's Award

The grievant was suspended for 5 days for being insolent, abusive, and using obscene language to a management official. A grievance was filed and submitted to arbitration where the Arbitrator stated the issue to be whether the Activity had just and sufficient cause to suspend the grievant. The Arbitrator found that there was just and sufficient cause to discipline the grievant and that the 5-day suspension was an appropriate penalty. Accordingly, he denied the grievance.

III. Discussion

In its exceptions the Union contends that the award is deficient because the Activity failed to sustain its disciplinary action. The Union argues that the Activity failed to present a prima facie case and that the Arbitrator erred by sustaining the suspension on the basis of the  credibility of the management official involved in the incident. The Union also argues that the Arbitrator erred by allowing management witnesses other than the management official involved to testify.

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): specifically, that the award is contrary to any law, rule, or regulation or that it is deficient on other grounds similar to those applied by Federal courts in private sector labor relations cases. See, for example, Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair. United States Navy and Local 4-2, National Association of Government Employees (NAGE), 5 FLRA 235 (1981) (exceptions which constitute disagreement with an arbitrator's evaluation of evidence and testimony presented, especially the credibility of witnesses and the weight to be given their testimony, provide no basis for finding an award deficient); National Border Patrol Council and National Immigration and Naturalization Service Council and United States Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service, 3 FLRA 400 (1980) (an exception contending that the arbitrator should have excluded certain evidence provided no basis for finding the award deficient because liberal admission of testimony and evidence is the usual practice in arbitration).

Accordingly, the Union's exceptions are denied.

Issued, Washing