32:0252(40)AR - - Air Force Logistics Command, Tinker AFB, Oklahoma City, OK and AFGE Local 916 - - 1988 FLRAdec AR - - v32 p252
[ v32 p252 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
32 FLRA No. 40
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
U.S. AIR FORCE LOGISTICS COMMAND
TINKER AIR FORCE BASE
OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 916
Case No. O-AR-1460
I. Statement of the Case
This matter is before the Authority on an exception to the expedited arbitration award of Arbitrator John P. Owen. The Arbitrator denied the grievance over the reprimand of the grievant for failing to comply with a lawful order from a security police officer.
The Union filed an 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. The Activity did not file an opposition.
We are unable to determine whether the Arbitrator sustained disciplinary action for conduct which is protected by the Statute. Therefore, we must remand the Arbitrator's award to the parties to have them obtain a clarification and interpretation of the award from the Arbitrator.
II. Background and Arbitrator's Award
The grievant, a Union official, was issued the letter of reprimand for failing "to comply with a lawful order from a security policeman" on April 16, 1987. The specific reasons stated for the reprimand concerned the grievant's attempts to personally serve copies of unfair labor practice charges filed by the Union on Activity supervisors who were named in the charges. The grievant's actions took place in a work area after completion of the grievant's workday. According to the decision to reprimand the grievant, when the grievant refused to leave the work area, security police were called to remove the grievant from the area. The grievant refused the instruction of the security police officer, who had responded, to leave the area. After another security police officer arrived, the grievant agreed to depart the area.
In response to the proposed reprimand, the grievant maintained that the reprimand was not warranted because, among other things, he: (1) was engaged in activities as a Union official, (2) was not in a restricted area, and (3) was not interfering with the work of bargaining unit employees.
After the grievant was issued the letter of reprimand, a grievance was filed over the reprimand. Subsequently, the parties submitted the issue of whether the reprimand was just and proper to expedited arbitration. Under the expedited arbitration procedures of the parties' collective bargaining agreement, the arbitrator must render a written award postmarked not later than 3 workdays after the conclusion of the arbitration hearing.
In this case, the entire award is as follows: "The Grievance is denied." The award is not accompanied by any opinion or discussion of the award.
The Union contends that the award is contrary to law and the parties' collective bargaining agreement. The Union argues that contrary to the charge against the grievant, the grievant was never lawfully ordered to leave the area. The Union also argues that the award is deficient because the Arbitrator apparently found that the grievant's activities we