32:0696(99)AR - - Naval Supply Center, Charleston, SC and AFGE Local 2510 - - 1988 FLRAdec AR - - v32 p696
[ v32 p696 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
32 FLRA No. 99
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
NAVAL SUPPLY CENTER
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
EMPLOYEES, LOCAL NO. 2510
Case No. 0-AR-1554
I. Statement of the Case
This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to the award of Arbitrator Robert G. Williams 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. The Activity did not file an opposition.
The Union alleged that the Activity violated the parties' collective bargaining agreement when it placed an employee who had a temporary physical limitation in a leave without pay (LWOP) status instead of assigning the employee to light duty. The Arbitrator determined that the Activity did not violate the parties' agreement and denied the grievance.
For the reasons discussed below, 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. Accordingly, we deny the exceptions.
II. Background and Arbitrator's Award
The grievant was a supply clerk assigned to the Location Survey Section at the Activity. Her major duties included validating the physical location of material stored in warehouses and determining whether records accurately reflect the location of materials in warehouses. In the Fall of 1986, the grievant underwent major abdominal surgery. In January 1987, she returned to work and was assigned to inside office work. Much of this work was outside the scope of the grievant's supply clerk classification.
In June 1987, the grievant was informed that due to a backlog in the Location Survey Section, she would be required to resume performing her supply clerk duties of physically locating materials in warehouses. The grievant sought the advice of her doctor, who stated that she should "avoid heavy lifting, pulling, climbing and pushing for another six months" and also requested that the grievant be confined to "light work." Arbitrator's Award at 3. The Activity concluded that no "light work" was available for the grievant and placed her on LWOP.
The Union grieved management's decision to place the grievant on LWOP. The Arbitrator found that the parties' bargaining agreement provides that management "may" make light duty assignments when an employee is temporarily incapacitated, but that "such assignments are not a requirement." Arbitrator's Award at 5. The Arbitrator determined that the grievant failed to establish that "management exercised its rights to accomplish a prohibited practice." Id. at 6. Accordingly, the Arbitrator denied the grievance.
The Union contends that: (1) there was a past practice to accommodate incapacitated employees with light duty assignments; (2) there was a position available to accommodate the grievant's limitations; and (3) the Arbitrator was "bias[ed] in his award." Union's Exceptions at 1. The Union further asserts that certain documentation supporting the grievant's position was not included in the Arbitrator's opinion and that the Arbitrator "did not hear or did not note some of the most important testimony." Id. at 2. The Union also excepts to the Arbitrator's fee.
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 any other ground similar to those applied by Federal courts in private sector labor-management relations. Rather, the Union's contentions constitute nothing more than disagreement with the Arbitrator's interpretation of the parties' agreement, his findings of fact, and his evaluation of the evidence and testimony. See, for example, Department of the Air Force, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia and American Federation of Government Employees, Local 987, 32 FLRA 193 (1988) (exceptions which constitute nothing more than disagreement with an arbitrator's findings of fact, interpretation and application of a collective bargaining agreement, and credibility determinations provide no basis for finding an award deficient). As to the Union's exception regarding the Arbitrator's fee, the Union has not demonstrated either that the fee is part of the award or that the fee is deficient under section 7122(a)