29:1357(113)AR - FEMTC VS NAVY, NAVAL SHIPYARD, MARE ISLAND
[ v29 p1357 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
29 FLRA No. 113 MARE ISLAND NAVAL SHIPYARD Activity and FEDERAL EMPLOYEES METAL TRADES COUNCIL Union Case No. 0-AR-1428
I. Statement of the Case
This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to the award of Arbitrator William W. Ward 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
The grievant was removed from his position for being absent without leave. He filed a grievance which was submitted to arbitration on the issue of whether the removal was for just cause. Before the Arbitrator, the grievant contended that his absence was the result of an on-the-job injury and was therefore authorized.
The Arbitrator determined that while the record established that the grievant was absent without leave, there was not just cause for removing him. Rather, he found that, based on the length of the grievant's employment and his lack of prior discipline, a suspension would have been a more appropriate penalty. As his award, the Arbitrator ordered the Activity to reinstate the grievant in his former position, but with no backpay or benefits from the time he last worked until the time of reinstatement.
In its exceptions, the Union alleges essentially that the Arbitrator failed to follow applicable decisions of the Merit Systems Protection Board concerning unauthorized leave by employees with injuries compensable under workmen's compensation, and that he failed to apply the requirements for discipline and suspensions contained in the negotiated agreement and the Federal Personnel Manual.
We find that we are without jurisdiction to review the Union's exceptions. Section 7122(a) of the Statute provides:
Either party to arbitration under this chapter may file with the Authority an exception to any arbitrator's award pursuant to the arbitration (other than an award relating to a matter described in section 7121 (f) of this title).
The matters described in section 7121(f) of the Statute include adverse actions under 5 U.S.C. 7512, such as removals and suspensions for more than 14 days.
The Arbitrator's award relates to a matter covered by section 7512, namely, the removal of the grievant which was reduced by the Arbitrator to a suspension for more than 14 days. Under section 7122(a) of the Statute, exceptions to this award may not be filed with the Authority because the award rel