47:0106(6)AR - - Air Force, OK City Air Logistics Center, Tinker AFB, OK and AFGE, Local 916 - - 1993 FLRAdec AR - - v47 p106
[ v47 p106 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
47 FLRA No. 6
FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE
OKLAHOMA CITY AIR LOGISTICS CENTER
TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, OKLAHOMA
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES
March 9, 1993
Before Chairman McKee and Members Talkin and Armendariz.
I. Statement of the Case
This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to an award of Arbitrator Andrew L. Springfield filed by the Union under section 7122(a) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute and part 2425 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations. The Agency did not file an opposition to the Union's exceptions.
The Arbitrator denied a grievance challenging the effective date of a certain personnel action because the Arbitrator concluded that the grievance was not timely filed. For the following reasons, we conclude that the Union's exceptions do not demonstrate that the award is deficient. Accordingly, we will deny the exceptions.
II. Background and Arbitrator's Award
In December 1988, the grievant volunteered and was selected for conversion from a Production Scheduling Clerk position to an on-call Aircraft Mechanic Helper position. Although the grievant originally was scheduled for conversion on January 15, 1989, that date was changed to January 22, 1989, pursuant to a request from her supervisor. At that time, the grievant was furnished with a document "which indicated January 22, 1989, as the date the [g]rievant was to begin work in her new position." Award at 2.
In 1990, on-call employees were placed in nonduty/nonpay status and, pursuant to a reduction in force, only employees with effective employment dates of January 15, 1989, or earlier were retained. The employment of others, including the grievant, was terminated. On September 28, 1990, the grievant filed a grievance challenging the change in the date of her conversion from January 15, 1989 to January 22, 1989. When the grievance was not resolved, it was submitted to arbitration.
Noting that the grievance was filed over 20 months after the grievant's conversion to on-call status, the Arbitrator concluded that the grievance was not filed in accordance with the time limits established in Article 6, Section 6.07 of the parties' collective bargaining agreement.(1) Accordingly, the Arbitrator denied the grievance.
The Union argues that the award is contrary to section 7122(a)(1) of the Statute (2) and fails to draw its essence from the parties' agreement. According to the Union, the Arbitrator found that the grievant did not become reasonably aware of the change in her conversion date until September 23, 1990, and, as such, the grievance was timely. The Union also argues that the Agency violated the parties' agreement by failing to hold a timely grievance meeting.
IV. Analysis and Conclusions
Section 7122(a)(1) of the Statute sets forth grounds on which an arbitration award may be found deficient. As the Union has not explained how the award violates this provision or specified any other law with which the award allegedly conflicts, we will deny the Union's exception that the award is contrary to law.
We also will deny the Union's exception that the award fails to draw its essence from the parties' agreement. To demonstrate that an award is deficient on this ground, a party must show that an award: (1) cannot in any rational way be derived from the agreement; (2) is so unfounded in reason and fact, and so unconnected with the wording and purpose of the agreement as to manifest an infidelity to the obligation of the arbitrator; (3) evidences a manifest disregard for the agreement; or (4) does not represent a plausible interpretation of the agreement. For example, American Federation of Government Employees, Local 2109 and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Temple, Texas, 46 FLRA 446, 448 (1992).
The Arbitrator noted that the grievance was filed over 20 months after the date of the grievant's conversion to on-call status. Moreover, contrary to the Union's assertion, the Arbitrator did not find that the grievant became aware of the change in her conversion date only on September 23, 1990. The Arbitrator stated that "[o]n September 23, 1990, . . . the [g]rievant learned, allegedly for the first time, that the date of her appointment . . . had been changed . . . ." Award at 2 (emphasis added). As noted previously, the Arbitrator also stated that, prior to the conversion, the grievant was provided a document containing the changed conversion date.
Consistent with these arbitral findings, we find nothing in the Arbitrator's conclusion that the grievance was not timely filed that evidences an irrational or implausible interpretation of the parties' agreement. Instead, we conclude that the Union's exception constitutes mere disagreement with the Arbitrator's interpretation and application of the parties' agreement. Such disagreement provides no basis for finding the award deficient. For example, U.S. Department of the Army, Aviation Center, Fort Rucker, Alabama and American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1815, 39 FLRA 1113, 1116 (1991).
Finally, there is no indication that the Union's argument that the Agency failed to hold a timely grievance meeting was presented to the Arbitrator. As such, we conclude under section 2429.5 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations, that the argument is not properly before us and we will not consider it further.(3) See U.S. Department of the Army, III Corps and Fort Hood, Fort Hood, Texas and American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1920, 46