30:1153(126)AR - AFGE Local 2610 and VA Medical and Regional Office Center, Togus, ME -- 1988 FLRAdec AR



[ v30 p1153 ]
30:1153(126)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:


 30 FLRA NO. 126
 30 FLRA 1153

  28 JAN 1988

AMERICAN FEDERATION OF
GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES,
LOCAL 2610

                    Union

      and

VETERANS ADMINISTRATION
MEDICAL AND REGIONAL
OFFICE CENTER,
TOGUS, MAINE

                   Activity

Case No. O-AR-1458

DECISION

I. Statement of the Case

     This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to the
award of Arbitrator John Van N. Dorr III. The Arbitrator found
that the 7-day suspension of the grievant for threats of bodily
injury against his immediate supervisor and the supervisor's
family was for just and sufficient cause and promoted the
efficiency of the service. The Union filed exceptions 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 Arbitrator denied the grievant a fair
hearing; that the award is based on nonfacts; or that the
Arbitrator applied the wrong standard of proof. Accordingly, we
deny the exceptions.

II. Background and Arbitrator's Award

     The grievant was suspended for 7 days for threats of bodily
harm against his immediate supervisor and the supervisor's
family. A grievance was filed over the suspension disputing that
the grievant made the threats. The grievance was submitted to
arbitration on the issue of whether there was just and sufficient
cause for the suspension and, if not, what should be the
remedy.

     The Arbitrator framed the central question to be whether the
grievant made the threats against his supervisor with which he
was charged. On the basis of the evidence presented, the
Arbitrator found that the grievant made the threats. Having found
that the threats were made, the Arbitrator found that the 7-day
suspension was for just and sufficient cause and promoted the
efficiency of the service. Accordingly, the Arbitrator denied the
grievance.

III. Discussion

     The Union contends that the award is deficient because (1)
the Arbitrator made numerous errors in stating the facts; (2) the
Arbitrator applied the wrong standard of proof; and (3) the
Arbitrator denied the grievant a fair hearing. In particular, the
Union argues that the Arbitrator failed to conduct a fair hearing
by not properly considering the evidence of the Union; by
admitting and considering certain evidence and testimony
presented by management; by accepting post-hearing evidence over
the objection of the Union; and by permitting the supervisor to
whom the threats were allegedly made to remain in the hearing
room throughout the hearing over the objection of the Union.

     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 the award is deficient on other grounds
similar to those applied by the Federal courts in private sector
labor relations cases.

     The Union is disagreeing with the Arbitrator's findings of
fact and his evaluation of the evidence and testimony and with
the manner in which he conducted the hearing., The record
reflects, contrary to the contention of the Union, that the Union
consented to the consideration of the post-hearing submission.
See, for example Norfolk Naval Shipyard and Tidewater Virginia
Federal Employees Metal Trades Council, 30  FLRA  No. 62 (1987)
(unless a specific standard or burden of proof is required, an
arbitrator may establish and apply whatever standard or burden
the arbitrator considers appropriate); Oklahoma Air Logistics
Center, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma and American Federation
of Government Employees, Local 916, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 30 
FLRA  20 (1987) (exceptions which merely disagree with the
Arbitrator's findings of fact and evaluation of the evidence and
testimony provide no basis for finding an award deficient; merely
because the arbitrator conducted the hearing in a manner that a
party finds objectionable provide