34:0154(34)AR - U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY and INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MACHINISTS AND AEROSPACE WORKERS DISTRICT LODGE 110 -- 1990 FLRAdec AR



[ v34 p154 ]
34:0154(34)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:


  34 FLRA NO. 34



                  U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY

                              and

                 INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF
               MACHINISTS AND AEROSPACE WORKERS
                      DISTRICT LODGE 110

                           0-AR-1560

			    DECISION

      			January 9, 1990

     Before Chairman McKee and Members Talkin and Armendariz.

I. Statement of the Case

     This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to the
award of Arbitrator George R. Gray. The Arbitrator found that the
action of the Department of the Navy (the Agency) in suspending
the grievant for 3 days for insubordinate behavior was not
unreasonable. Accordingly, the Arbitrator denied the grievance.

     The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace
Workers, District Lodge 110 (the Union) filed exceptions 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 Agency did not file an opposition to
the exceptions.

     We conclude that the Union has not established that the
Arbitrator's award is contrary to law, rule, regulation, or that
it is deficient on other grounds as set forth in section 7122(a)
of the Statute. Consequently, we deny the Union's exceptions.


II. Background and Arbitrator's Award

     On July 21, 1987, the grievant was advised by the Agency
that he was to be suspended for 3 days because of three instances
of insubordination. The first two instances involved the
grievant's failure to properly return a parking decal to the
Agency's Security Office, as requested by his supervisors on May
26 and June 3. Instead the parking decal was taken from him by a
security guard on June 4. The third instance of insubordinate
behavior involved the grievant's failure to pay two unsettled
travel claims when requested to do so by his supervisor on June
5. The grievant did go to the Agency's travel section to discuss
this problem. However, he stated that he could not pay the claims
and, in fact, he did not pay the travel claims voluntarily.
Instead the money was deducted from his salary pursuant to Naval
Travel Instructions.

     A grievance was filed alleging that the 3-day suspension was
not consistent with the "just cause" provision of the parties'
collective bargaining agreement. The Agency denied the grievance
and the matter was submitted to arbitration. The parties agreed
that the issue before the Arbitrator was "(w)hether the Agency
had just cause to discipline (the grievant) with a three day
suspension based on charges of insubordinate behavior on May
26th, June 3rd and June 5th, 1987." Award at 2.

     During the arbitration hearing, the Union asserted that the
Agency had not met its obligations under 5 U.S.C. 7503(c) to
produce all the material relevant to the action being taken
against the grievant as requested by the Union. 5 U.S.C. 7503(c)
states:

     Copies of the notice of proposed action, the answer of the
employee if written, a summary thereof if made orally, the notice
of decision and reasons therefor, and any order effecting the
suspension, together with any supporting material, shall be
maintained by the agency and shall be furnished to the Merit
Systems Protection Board upon its request and to the employee
affected upon the employee's request.

     The Union alleged that at the meeting regarding the proposed
disciplinary action, the grievant and his representative
requested all material relied on by the Agency in taking the
action against the grievant. The Union stated that the Agency
produced a file which the grievant and his representative were
allowed to read and review. 

     According to the Union, this file did not include a written
recommendation by the grievant's immediate supervisor that the
grievant be given a written reprimand for his insubordinate acts.
The Union stated that it did not know of the existence of this
recommendation until the recommendation was presented at the
arbitration hearing. The Union argued before the Arbitrator that
had it known of the existence of the supervisor's written
recommendation, it would have altered its position in presenting
the case to the Commanding Officer.

     The Arbitrator found that 5 U.S.C. 7503(c) was not relevant
to his decision. The Arbitrator concluded that the fact that the
Union was deprived of the supervisor's written recommendation did
not alter the fact that the Agency took action to suspend the
grievant for 3 days based on the grievant's behavior and "it is
that action which is the issue of this arbitration." Award at
7.

     The Arbitrator found that the supervisors had the right to
direct the grievant to turn in his parking decal and to resolve
unsettled travel claims in a prompt time frame and in a specific
manner. Award at 8. The Arbitrator further found that the
grievant's failure to turn in his parking decal and settle his
travel claims constituted insubordination because the grievant
was given specific directives by his supervisors which he refused
to carry out. The grievant claimed that he attempted to resolve
both the parking decal controversy and the travel claims. The
Arbitrator, however, found that the grievant's efforts seemed to
be aimed primarily at circumventing the directives of his
supervisors. Award at 9. The Arbitrator concluded that the 3-day
suspension given to the grievant was not unreasonable, because
insubordination is a serious matter and the suspension was not
inconsistent with the standards set out in the parties'
collective bargaining agreement. Award at 11, 12.

III. Exceptions

     The Union contends that the Arbitrator's award should be
overturned and that the grievant should be made whole by ordering
the Agency to repay the 3-day suspension and to expunge the
charge from the grievant's personnel records. The Union bases its
exceptions on the fact that neither the Union nor the grievant
was supplied with the recommendation of the grievant's supervisor
that he be given a written reprimand for his insubordinate
behavior before the meeting where the proposed 3-day suspension
against the grievant was discussed. The Union contends that the
Agency's failure to supply this information was a
violation of 5 U.S.C. 7503(c). The Union also contends that due
to this asserted violation, the grievant was denied due process
because the Union was prevented from constructing a more in-depth
defense.

     The Union contends that the Arbitrator should have dismissed
the case because of a violation of law, 5 U.S.C. 7503(c), and due
process.

IV. Analysis and Conclusion

     The Arbitrator addressed the Unio