34:0237(48)AR - PANAMA CANAL COMMISSION and PANAMA AREA METAL TRADES COUNCIL -- 1990 FLRAdec AR
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The decision of the Authority follows:
34 FLRA NO. 48 PANAMA CANAL COMMISSION and PANAMA AREA METAL TRADES COUNCIL 0-AR-1579 DECISION January 12, 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 Jack Clarke. The Arbitrator denied the grievance, which contested management's refusal to pay the grievant overtime compensation. The Panama Area Metal Trades Council (the Union) filed an exception to the Arbitrator's 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 Panama Canal Commission (the Agency) filed an opposition to the exception. For the reasons discussed below, the Union's exception is denied. II. Background The grievant is a time and leave clerk at the Agency. In 1987, July 4, was a Saturday and the Federal holiday was observed on Friday, July 3. Prior to the holiday, the grievant submitted a routing slip to her supervisor questioning whether she was to be scheduled to work on Friday, July 3. If the grievant was scheduled to work on the Federal holiday (July 3), she would receive holiday additional compensation (HAC). An "Overtime Request" form was prepared and approved for the grievant. The work to be performed was described on the form as follows: "To close out time cards for pay period #13. July 3--Friday--is a holiday." Arbitrator's Award at 5. The preprinted word "Overtime" on the form was changed to "Holiday Addt. Comp." which referred to holiday additional compensation. The following was entered in the space provided for the date: "7/4/87". Id. After the form had been signed approving the request, the grievant made a copy of the form for herself. A week before the holiday, the grievant's supervisor returned the grievant's routing slip to her with the following note: "Your HAC has been approved . . . & you have seen it." Id. at 6. On Thursday, July 2, the grievant's supervisor was informed that the "Overtime Request" form for the grievant identified the date to be worked by the grievant as July 4 instead of July 3. Consequently, the grievant's supervisor "asked the Grievant if she was not coming to work on July 3. The Grievant replied that that was what had been approved and that she was going to do so." Id. After this conversation, the grievant's supervisor "overwrote the 4 in '7/4/87' with a 3 thereby changing the information in the date block to '7/3/83.'" Id. at 7. The grievant's supervisor did not notify the grievant of the change. The grievant worked 8 hours on Friday, July 3. On Saturday, July 4, the grievant reported to work and called her supervisor. The grievant explained that she reported to work because July 4 was the date on the "Overtime Request" form. The grievant's supervisor summarized the conversation she had with the grievant on July 2 and stated that she had corrected the date and that the grievant should go home. Id. The grievant requested payment of 2 hours of overtime compensation for having reported to work as directed. When the request was denied, the grievant filed a grievance that was submitted to arbitration. III. Arbitrator's Award The Arbitrator concluded that the evidence failed to establish that the grievant was ordered to work on Saturday, July 4. The Arbitrator noted that the only communications from management to the grievant which could constitute instructions or orders to work were (1) the grievant's routing slip which was returned to her with her supervisor's notation, (2) the "Overtime Request," and (3) the statement of the grievant's supervisor to the grievant on July 2. The Arbitrator concluded that the grievant's supervisor said nothing that could be reasonably construed as a direction to the grievant to work on July 4. The Arbitrator also concluded that the routing slip did not constitute an order to work on July 4 because the notation of the grievant's supervisor specifically referred to holiday additional compensation, which could only be worked on Friday, July 3. The Arbitrator also found that the "Overtime Request" form did not constitute an order for or an approval of the grievant's working on Saturday, July 4. The Arbitrator concluded that the "Overtime Request" clearly related to holiday additional compensation, which could only be worked on Friday, July 3. Consequently, the Arbitrator determined that the grievant's interpretation of the uncorrected request--as directing her to work on Saturday, July 4 and not on Friday, July 3--was "simply untenable." Arbitrator's Award at 18. The Arbitrator acknowledged that the grievant's supervisor could have told ethe grievant of the error in the date of the "Overtime Request" and that the request had been corrected. However, the Arbitrator determined that in view of the grievant's understanding expressed to her supervisor on July 2, there was no reason to inform the grievant of the change. The Arbitrator found that management agreed with the grievant's understanding of the "Overtime Request" and amended it to conform to the grievant's understanding. For these reasons, the Arbitrator ruled that the Agency correctly refused to compensate the grievant for Saturday, July 4. Accordingly, the Arbitrator denied the grievance. IV. Exception The Union contends that the Arbitrator's "award is unjust." Union's Exception at 1. The Union argues that the award is unjust by not finding that the grievant was ordered to work on July 4 when the date on the approved "Overtime Request" was July 4 and the grievant was never notified of the change in the date to July 3. The Union also argues that there are numerous instances where the evidence and testimony presented at the arbitration hearing do not support the findings and the award of the Arbitrator. The Union further claims that the grievance should be resolved in favor of the grievant because the grievant's second-level supervisor gave false testimony under oath at the arbitration hearing. V. Opposition The Agency contends that the exception should be dismissed because the exception was signed by the grievant and she did not participate in the arbitration as a party. The Agency also contends the exception provides no basis for finding the award deficient. VI. Discussion A. The Exception Was Filed By the Union The Union submitted a statement which authorized the grievant to sign the exception on its behalf. Therefore, the exception was filed by the Union and not by the grievant. Accordingly, the exception is properly before the Authority. American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1738, AFL - CIO, 29 FLRA 178, 188 (1987). B. The Exception Provides No Basis For Finding the Award Deficient The Union has failed to establish 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 any other ground similar to those applied by the Federal courts in private sector labor relations cases. The Union is attempting to relitigate the merits of the grievance. The exception constitutes nothing more than disagreement with the Arbitrator's findings of fact, evaluation of the evidence and testimony, reasoning and conclusions, and interpretation and application of the collective bargaining agreement. The exception provides no basis for finding the award deficient. See, for example, Social Security Administration, Data Operations Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico and American Federation of Government Employees, Local 3512, 33 FLRA 134 (1988) (exceptions which attempt to relitigate the merits of a grievance and which constitute nothing more than disagreement with an arbitrator's findings of fact, evaluation of the evidence and testimony, reasoning and conclusions, and interpretation and application of the [PAGE 4] collective bargaining agreement provide no basis for finding an award deficient). VII. Decision The Union's exception is denied.