32:0965(137)AR - - AFGE Local 171 and Federal Correctional Institution - - 1988 FLRAdec AR - - v32 p965
[ v32 p965 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
32 FLRA No. 137
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF
Case No. 0-AR-1513
I. Statement of the Case
This matter is before the Authority on an exception to the award of Arbitrator Walter E. Boles, Jr. The grievant was disciplined for failing to follow a reporting policy. The Arbitrator found that the "penalty imposed was reasonable." Consequently, he 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 fails to establish that the Arbitrator's award is deficient because the award (1) is not signed by the Arbitrator; (2) does not constitute a written decision; and (3) does not set forth any specific findings or rationale. Therefore, we will deny the exception.
II. Background and Arbitrator's Award
The grievant was disciplined for failing "to follow a reporting policy." Union's Exception at 1. A grievance was filed and submitted to arbitration.
In this case, the entire award is as follows: "The grievance must be denied. The penalty imposed was reasonable." The award is not accompanied by any opinion or discussion of the award. The award contains a signature of the Arbitrator's name followed by the initials of the person who typed the award.
The Union contends that the award is deficient because it is not signed by the Arbitrator. The Union maintains that the award was signed by the person who typed the award. The Union also contends that the award is deficient because the award does not constitute a written decision as required by the parties' collective bargaining agreement and does not set forth any specific findings or any rationale to support the award.
We conclude that the Union has not established that the Arbitrator's award is deficient on any 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.
In Wissman v. Social Security Administration, 848 F.2d 176 (Fed. Cir. 1988), the court discussed requirements as to the form of an arbitration award. The court held that the only requirements an arbitrator must follow are those specified in the collective bargaining agreement, in the submission of the parties to the arbitrator, or by law. Id. at 178. In particular, the court indicated that there is no general statutory obligation that the arbitrator set forth specific findings. See id.
There is no obligation under the Statute that an arbitration award must be signed by the arbitrator. Moreover, the Union fails to establish that the award issued to the parties was not the award of the Arbitrator resolving the grievance submitted. The Union also fails to establish that the typed award denying the grievance because the penalty imposed was reasonable does not constitute a written decision as assertedly required by the parties' collective bargaining agreement.
Finally, we reject the Union's contention that in the circumstances of this case, the Arbitrator was obligated to set forth any specific findings or any rationale to support the award denying the grievance. See Wissman, 848 F.2d 176; compare International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and United States Army Support Command, Hawaii, 14 FLRA 680 (1984) (the standards established under 5 U.S.C. § 7701(g) require a fully articulated, reasoned decision resolving a request for an award of attorney fees which sets forth specific findings supporting the determination on each pertinent statutory requirement); U.S. Air Force Logistics Command, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and