29:1177(85)AR - AFGE, LOCAL 1929 VS JUSTICE, INS

[ v29 p1177 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

29 FLRA NO. 85




AFGE 1929


Case No. O-AR-1417


I. Statement of the Case

This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to the award of Arbitrator Wallace B. Nelson 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. The Agency filed an opposition to the exceptions. For the reasons stated below, the Union's exceptions are denied.

II. Background and Arbitrator's Award

A grievance was filed and submitted to arbitration concerning management's denial of official time to a Union representative. The Arbitrator framed the issue as whether management violated the parties' collective bargaining agreement by refusing to grant the chief steward's request for official time to represent a unit employee in a proposed removal action.

The Arbitrator determined, based on his interpretation of the parties' contract, that the dispute in this case was subject to an Agency regulation concerning discipline and adverse actions. The Arbitrator further determined that under this regulation the chief steward should have been authorized 8 hours of official time to represent the employee in the removal action. The Arbitrator therefore concluded that the Agency violated the parties' agreement by refusing to grant the chief steward's request for official time. As his award, he ordered that the Agency add 8 hours of official time to the appropriate Union office "block time" allotment to replace the "block time" used by the chief steward to represent the unit employee in the proposed removal action.

III. Discussion

The Union contends that the award (1) does not draw its essence from the parties' collective bargaining agreement, in particular the provision concerning the use of official time, (2) is based on a nonfact, and (3) is contrary to law. The Union therefore asserts that the Arbitrator's award is deficient and should be modified to allow the Union 12 hours of official time rather than the 8 awarded by the Arbitrator. The Agency disagrees with the Union's exceptions and contends that they constitute mere disagreement with the Arbitrator's Opinion and Award.

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 thos