33:0096(12)AR - - Air Force Logistics Command, Tinker AFB and AFGE Local 916 - - 1988 FLRAdec AR - - v33 p96
[ v33 p96 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
33 FLRA No. 12
FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
AIR FORCE LOGISTICS COMMAND
TINKER AIR FORCE BASE
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES
October 14, 1988
Before Chairman Calhoun and Member McKee.
I. Statement of the Case
This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to the award of Arbitrator Ed W. Bankston filed by the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 916 (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 Air Force Logistics Command, Tinker Air Force Base (the Activity) did not file an opposition to the Union's exceptions.
The Union excepts to the Arbitrator's finding that a grievance relating to an entry on an Air Force Form 971 (AF 971) regarding a supervisor's counseling of an employee was not arbitrable. The Union contends that the Arbitrator's ruling is contrary to the parties' collective bargaining agreement and Air Force regulations. The Union also asserts that the Arbitrator erred in his findings of fact and evaluation of evidence and testimony. 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
Following an alleged incident involving the grievant, the grievant's supervisor conducted a counseling session with him. The supervisor made a record of the counseling session on an AF 971, which is a form used to note discussions between a supervisor and an employee. The Activity later gave the grievant a 7-day suspension for the same matter which gave rise to the counseling session and the AF 971 entry. A separate grievance was filed regarding the suspension.
The Union grieved the AF 971 entry separately from the suspension and the matter was submitted to expedited arbitration. The Arbitrator considered applicable portions of the parties' agreement. The Arbitrator found that where, as in this case, the AF 971 entry "precedes disciplinary action [and] is intimately connected to such resulting disciplinary action, . . . review of the [AF] '971' entry properly ought to occur upon review of the resulting disciplinary action." Arbitrator's Award at 3-4. Accordingly, the Arbitrator found that the grievance was non-arbitrable, stating that "the merits of [this] grievance must await another forum." Id. at 4.
The Union contends that the Arbitrator's award is contrary to the parties' collective bargaining agreement and Air Force regulations. The Union also asserts that the Arbitrator erred in his findings of fact and evaluation of evidence and testimony.
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, Commander, Griffiss Air Force Base and Local 2612, American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, 31 FLRA 1187 (1988) (exceptions which merely attempt to relitigate the merits of a grievance and constitute nothing more than disagreement with an arbitrator's interpretation of an agreement, credibility findings, and evaluation of the evidence provide no basis for finding an award deficient).
The Union's exceptions are denied.