34:0234(47)AR - NAVAL PLANT REPRESENTATIVE OFFICE and NAGE, LOCAL R1-143 -- 1986 FLRAdec AR



[ v34 p234 ]
34:0234(47)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:


 34 FLRA NO. 47


               NAVAL PLANT REPRESENTATIVE OFFICE

                              and

          NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES
                          LOCAL R1-143

                           0-AR-1648

			   DECISION

    		        January 11, 1990

     Before Chairman McKee and Members Talkin and Armendariz.

I. Statement of the Case

     This matter is before the Authority on an exception to the
award of Arbitrator Roger I. Abrams. The Arbitrator found that
the grievance over an employee's reassignment was filed untimely
and, therefore, was not arbitrable.

     The National Association of Government Employees, Local
R1-143 (the Union) filed an exception to the award 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 Naval Plant Representative Office (the Agency or
NAVPRO) did not file an opposition to the Union's exception.

     For the reasons discussed below, we conclude that the
Union's exception provides no basis for finding the award
deficient. Accordingly, we deny the exception.

II. Background and Arbitrator's Award

     In 1987, the grievant learned of the possible consolidation
of his position as Quality Assurance Specialist with an
Industrial Specialist position. Award at 6-7. The new position
was to be called Engineering Technician. Id. at 7. The
grievant informed the Agency that he strongly disagreed with the
proposed position change.

     On November 10, 1987, a NAVPRO Commander met with the
grievant and "officially apprised (the grievant) of his new
position as an Engineering Technician." Id. Thereafter, the
grievant went on leave and did not receive a written
"Notification of Personnel Action Form" regarding the position
change until he returned on December 18, 1987. Id. at 8. The
grievant filed a grievance dated January 12, 1988, challenging
the change in the position. Id.

     The Arbitrator found that the grievance was not filed within
the 15-day time limit set forth in the parties' agreement and,
therefore, was not timely. Award at 13. The Arbitrator determined
that the parties clearly provided that "a grievance must be
presented within 15 work days of the date of the act or
occurrence or the date the employee became aware of the act or
occurrence." Id. The Arbitrator found that more than 15 work days
passed between the November 10 meeting and the filing of the
grievance on January 12, 1988. Id. at 15. Also, the Arbitrator
noted that the written notification, which the grievant received
upon his return from leave, merely confirmed the changes
discussed at the November 10 meeting. Id. at 14. The Arbitrator
found, therefore, that the grievance was not procedurally
arbitrable and did not address the other issues in the case. Id.
at 13, 16.

III. Union's Exception

     The Union asserts that the grievant did not receive official
written notification of the position change until he returned
from leave on December 18, 1987. Union's Exception at 4. The
Union argues that written notification is the means by which "all
employees are familiar with and have come to regard as the
'official' means of notification." Id. Therefore, the Union
contends that the November 10 meeting may not be substituted for
written notice and that the grievance filing period should not
begin on that date. Id.

IV. Analysis and Conclusion

     The Statute sets forth the grounds on which an arbitration
award will be found deficient. Under section 7122(a), an award
will be found deficient: (1) because it is contrary to any law,
rule, or regulation, or (2) on other grounds similar to
those applied by Federal courts in private sector labor relations
cases.

     The Union contends that the grievant was not required to
file his grievance within 15 days after the November 10 meeting
because the grievant was not given written notice of his position
change until December 18, 1987. Union's Exception at 3-4. This