34:0293(54)AR - ARMY, PINE BLUFF ARSENAL PINE BLUFF, ARKANSAS and AFGE, LOCAL 953 -- 1990 FLRAdec AR
[ v34 p293 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
34 FLRA NO. 54 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY PINE BLUFF ARSENAL PINE BLUFF, ARKANSAS and AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES LOCAL 953 0-AR-1592 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 James B. Giles. A grievance was filed by the Union over the Activity's decision to change the administrative workweek of its Production Readiness Division. The Arbitrator found that under the parties' collective bargaining agreement, the Union did not have a "veto right" over management's change of workweeks. Arbitrator's Award at 5. Accordingly, 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 on the asserted ground that the arbitration hearing had been "unfair and disorderly" and that the award was not "properly documented." The Pine Bluff Arsenal (the Activity) did not file an opposition to the exception. We conclude that the Union has not established that the Arbitrator's award is deficient. Accordingly, we will deny the Union's exception. II. Background and the Arbitrator's Award In October 1987, the Activity split the Production Readiness Division into two crews. One crew was assigned a workweek of Monday through Thursday and the other crew was assigned a workweek of Wednesday through Saturday. The Union filed a grievance opposing the change. The grievance was submitted to arbitration on the stipulated issues of (1) whether the grievance was arbitrable, and (2) whether management had the right to change administrative workweeks in order to improve efficiency and decrease overtime costs. Arbitrator's Award at 2. The Arbitrator found that the grievance was arbitrable. On the merits of the grievance, he found that under the management rights provision of the parties' collective bargaining agreement, the Union had "no veto right" over management's change of administrative workweeks which were designed to improve efficiency and decrease overtime costs. Accordingly, the Arbitrator denied the grievance. Arbitrator's Award at 5. III. The Union's Exception The Union contends that the Arbitrator did not conduct a fair and orderly hearing. The Union maintains that its case was not properly heard or "documented" by the Arbitrator. The Union requests a new hearing before another arbitrator. IV. Discussion 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. The Union has failed to established 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. The Union asserts that the Arbitrator denied the Union a fair hearing. To support this contention the Union provided examples of what it believed was the Arbitrator's inattention during the hearing. However, an arbitrator has considerable latitude in the conduct of a hearing. The fact that an arbitrator conducted the hearing in a manner which one party finds objectionable does not, in and of itself, provide a basis for finding an award deficient unless it can be established that the arbitrator failed to conduct a fair hearing by refusing to hear pertinent or material evidence or improperly prejudiced a party in some other way. See, for example, Library of Congress and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Local 2910, 32 FLRA 330 (1988). Therefore, the Union's contentions regarding the manner in which the Arbitrator conducted the hearing do not provide a basis for finding the award deficient. We also reject the Union's contention that the award was not "properly documented." The Arbitrator was not obligated in the instant case to set forth findings or rationale more extensive than he did to support the award denying the grievance. See American Federation of Government Employees, Local 171 and Federal Correctional Institution, 32 FLRA 965 (1988) (discussing Wissman v. Social Security Administration, 848 F.2d 176 (Fed. cir. 1988), in which the court stated that there is no general statutory obligation that an arbitrator set forth specific findings). V. Decision The Union's exception is denied.