29:1322(106)AR - VA, Amarillo, TX and NFFE Local 1138 -- 1987 FLRAdec AR



[ v29 p1322 ]
29:1322(106)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:


 29 FLRA NO. 106

VETERANS ADMINISTRATION
AMARILLO, TEXAS

     Activity

     and

NFFE, LOCAL 1138

     Union

                                      Case No. 0-AR-1433

                      DECISION

I. Statement of the Case

     This matter is before the Authority on an exception to the
award of Arbitrator Robert L. Taylor 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. For the reasons stated below, the Union's
exception is denied.

II. Background and Arbitrator's Award

     The grievant, a medical technician in the hospital
laboratory at the Veterans Administration, Amarillo, Texas,
misspelled a patient's surname on the "CAUTION ALERT" tags
attached to three units of blood and on the Blood Bank Log. The
hospital's procedures require that the medical technician and the
nurse securing the blood from the blood bank check several pieces
of information, including the patient's name, prior to release of
the blood for transfusion. Neither the medical technician nor the
nurse who secured the first unit of blood noticed the
misspelling. The error was discovered by another nurse who was to
start the patient's second transfusion. Because the grievant had
a record of two recent failures to follow hospital procedures,
the Activity gave him a 10-day suspension.

     The suspension was submitted to arbitration. Before the
Arbitrator, the Union argued that the suspension was unwarranted
because the misspelling of the patient's name was merely a
clerical error and not a breach of hospital procedures. The
Arbitrator found that the suspension was justified and denied the
grievance. 

III. Discussion

     As its exception, the Union contends that the Arbitrator was
biased and "did not use the evidence as presented and deviated
from the issue at hand in deciding the award." Union's Exception
at 1. The Agency asserts that the Union's exception fails to meet
any of the grounds for appeal of an arbitrator's 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 those applied by Federal
courts in private sector labor relations cases. See, for example,
Federal Correctional Institution, Petersburg, Virginia and
American Federation of Government Employees, Local 2052,
Petersburg, Virginia, 13 FLRA  108 (1983) (exceptions, which
merely attempt to relitigate the merits of the case before the
Authority and constitute nothing more than disagreement with the
arbitrator's findings of fact, his r