30:0344(42)AR - NAGE Local R4-2 and Navy, Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair, Newport News, Virginia -- 1987 FLRAdec AR



[ v30 p344 ]
30:0344(42)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:


30 FLRA NO. 42
30 FLRA 344

30 NOV 1987

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GOVERNMENT
EMPLOYEES, LOCAL R4-2

                   Union

         and

DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY
SUPERVISOR OF SHIPBUILDING,
CONVERSION AND REPAIR
NEWPORT NEWS, VIRGINIA

                   Activity

Case No. 0-AR-1384

DECISION

     I. Statement of the Case

     This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to the
award of Arbitrator Leroy S. Merrifield, 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 discussed below, we deny
the exceptions.

     II. Background and Arbitrator's Award

     The issue before the Arbitrator was whether the Activity
violated the parties' collective bargaining agreement by having a
representative of the Civilian Personnel Office present with the
grievant's immediate supervisor at a meeting at the first step of
a grievance. The Union contended that under the parties'
negotiated grievance procedures the only persons who are
permitted to be present at first-step meetings are the immediate
supervisor, the employee and the employee's Union representative.
The union maintained that the supervisor's insistence that the
personnel specialist be present at the meeting in question was
violative of the agreement. The Union also argued that until the
Activity's violation of the agreement, the prevailing practice
was that the only management representative present at first-step
proceedings was the immediate supervisor. The Activity disagreed
with the Union's position. The Arbitrator determined that neither
the parties' agreement nor past practice precluded a supervisor
from having someone  from the personnel office present at a
first-step meeting. The Arbitrator concluded that the Activity
did not violate the parties' agreement and denied the
grievance.

     III. Discussion

     In its exceptions, the Union contends that the Arbitrator
erred in concluding that the Activity did not violate the
parties' agreement. The Union also argues that an established
past practice limits management's representation at the first
step of the grievance procedure to the immediate supervisor, and
that the Arbitrator erred in ignoring testimony supporting this
argument.

     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, the Union has
failed to establish that the award is contrary to any law, rule
or regulation; or that the award is deficient on any ot