32:0053(5)AR - - AFGE Local 85 and VA Medical Center, Leavenworth, KS - - 1988 FLRAdec AR - - v32 p53
[ v32 p53 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
32 FLRA No. 5
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 85
VETERANS ADMINISTRATION MEDICAL
CENTER, LEAVENWORTH, KANSAS
Case No. 0-AR-1486
I. Statement of the Case
This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to the award of Arbitrator John M. Gradwohl. The Arbitrator denied the grievance over the reprimand of the grievant. The Arbitrator found that the grievant had misrepresented his inability to work when he requested sick leave and that a reprimand was an appropriate penalty.
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. The Activity did not file an opposition.
We conclude that the Union has not established that the award is (1) based on facts not in evidence, or (2) contrary to the parties' collective bargaining agreement. Accordingly, we deny the exceptions.
II. Background and Arbitrator's Award
On February 3, 1987, the grievant called his supervisor and represented that he was unable to work. The grievant requested 3 hours of sick leave, which his supervisor granted. On February 4, 1987, the Activity charged the grievant with misrepresenting that he was unable to work on February 3. On the basis of this charge, the grievant was denied sick leave, was charged with being absent without leave, and was reprimanded. A grievance was filed claiming that the reprimand was not warranted and was submitted to arbitration.
The Arbitrator determined that the grievant had misrepresented the reasons for his absence on February 3, 1987, and that a reprimand was an appropriate penalty. Although the Arbitrator noted "possible procedural deficiencies" in management's handling of the reprimand, he determined that "these possible procedural deficiencies were, at most, harmless errors." Award at 10. Accordingly, the Arbitrator denied the grievance.
The Union contends that the award is (1) based on facts not in evidence, and (2) contrary to the parties' collective bargaining agreement. The Union argues that the Arbitrator did not properly consider the testimony of the grievant and the grievant's medical statement. The Union also argues that the award is contrary to the agreement because it is based on an "unfounded" statement and because a reprimand was not warranted under the agreement's requirement of progressive discipline.
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. 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's exceptions constitute nothing more than an attempt to relitigate the merits of the grievance and disagreement with the Arbitrator's findings of fact, evaluation of the evidence and testimony, reasoning and conclusions, and interpretation and application of the collective bargaining agreement. They provide no basis for finding the award deficient. See, for example, 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 attempt to relitigate the merits of a grievance and which constitute nothing more than disagreement with an arbitrator's findings, conclusions, and interpretation and application of the collective bargaining agreement provide no basis for finding an award deficient).