30:1151(125)AR - Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center, Tinker AFB, OK and AFGE Local 916 -- 1988 FLRAdec AR



[ v30 p1151 ]
30:1151(125)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:


 30 FLRA NO. 125
 30 FLRA 1151

 28 JAN 1988

OKLAHOMA CITY AIR
LOGISTICS CENTER,
TINKER AIR FORCE BASE,
OKLAHOMA

                     Activity

      and

AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
EMPLOYEES, LOCAL NO. 916

                    Union

Case No. O-AR-1454

DECISION

I. Statement of the Case

     This matter is before the Authority on an exception to the
award of Arbitrator I.B. Helburn. The Arbitrator found that the
grievance was not arbitrable because the Union failed to properly
request an extension of time and thereafter failed to timely file
the grievance at two steps of the grievance procedure. The Union
filed the exception under section 7122(a) of the Federal Service
Labor - Management Relations Statute (the Statute) and part 2425
of the Authority's Rules and Regulations. We conclude that the
Union has not established that the award is deficient because the
Arbitrator neglected to rule on the merits of the case.
Accordingly, we deny the exception.

II. Background and Arbitrator's Award

     The Union filed a grievance claiming that the grievant's
performance appraisal violated the parties' collective bargaining
agreement and applicable rules and regulations. The grievance was
ultimately submitted to arbitration where a threshold issue was
raised over whether the grievance was arbitrable. The Arbitrator
determined that the Union's processing of the grievance failed to
comply with the procedural requirements of the parties'
agreement, specifically the filing period requirements at both
steps 2 and 3 of the negotiated grievance procedure.
Consequently, the Arbitrator ruled that the grievance was not
arbitrable. 

III. Discussion

     The union contends that the award is deficient because the
Arbitrator neglected to rule on the merits of the case. The Union
argues that the Arbitrator should have found the grievance
arbitrable because the agreement requirements are flexible and
honest attempts were made by the Union to present the grievance
in a timely manner.

     We conclude that the Union has not established 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 it is deficient on other grounds similar to
those applied by Federal courts in private sector labor relations
cases. The Union is simply disagreeing with the Arbitrator's
ruling on procedural arbitrability. See, for example,
Headquarters, Fort Sam Houston, Department of the Army and Local
2154, American Federation of Government Employees, AFL - CIO, 15
FLRA  974 (1984) (exception which simply disagre