32:0782(114)AR - - AFGE Local 3954 and Federal Bureau of Prisons, Federal Correctional Institution, Phoenix, AZ - - 1988 FLRAdec AR - - v32 p782
[ v32 p782 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
32 FLRA No. 114
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF
FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS
FEDERAL CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION
Case No. 0-AR-1503
I. Statement of the Case
This matter is before the Authority on an exception to the award of Arbitrator Lester H. Bergeson. The grievant filed a grievance contesting his suspension for 5 days. The Arbitrator found that the 5-day suspension of the grievant was for just and proper cause. The Arbitrator refused to allow the Union to introduce an additional issue concerning a withdrawal of an offer of promotion to the grievant as a result of the suspension. Accordingly, the Arbitrator denied the grievance.
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 conclude that the Union has not established that the award is contrary to the parties' agreement, and we will deny the exception.
II. Background and Arbitrator's Award
The grievant was suspended for 5 days for failing to report physical abuse of a prison inmate. The grievant filed a grievance protesting the suspension. The grievance was submitted to arbitration.
At arbitration, the Union attempted to raise an additional issue concerning an offer of promotion to the grievant that had been withdrawn as a result of the suspension. The Activity objected to consideration of this issue. The Arbitrator ruled that under the parties' collective bargaining agreement, the promotion issue could be considered only in connection with whether the grievant had been treated disparately. In considering the suspension, the Arbitrator found that the grievant had failed to report physical abuse of an inmate and that discipline was warranted. The Arbitrator further found that the penalty assessed was appropriate. Accordingly, the Arbitrator found that the disciplinary action was for just cause, and he denied the grievance.
The Union contends that the award is contrary to the parties' collective bargaining agreement. The Union maintains that the award was based on a provision in the agreement concerning arbitrations which are limited to decisions on whether disciplinary action is for just and sufficient cause. The Union argues that the grievance was filed under a different provision, which permits the grievant to present additional issues. The Union also argues that the Arbitrator improperly viewed the requested remedy to relate only to the disciplinary action rather than to encompass the withdrawn promotion.
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 Federal courts in private sector labor relations cases. Instead, the exception constitutes nothing more than disagreement with the Arbitrator's interpretation and application of the collective bargaining agreement and with his formulation of the issue submitted where the parties did not stipulate the issue for resolution. The Union's exception provides no basis for finding the arbitration award deficient. See, for example, Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma and American Federation of Government Employees, Local 916, AFL-CIO, 30 FLRA 482 (1987) (an exception which constitutes nothing more than disagreement with an arbitrator's interpretation and application of the collective bargaining agreement provides no basis for finding an award deficient); Air Force Space Division, Los Angeles Air Force Station, California and American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 2429, 24 FLRA 516 (1986) (the Authority, like the Federal courts, will accord an arbitrator's formulation of the issue submitted in the absence of a stipulation the same substantial deference accorded an arbitrator's interpretation of the collective bar