47:1246(115)AR - - AFGE Local 96 and VA Medical Center, St. Louis, MO - - 1993 FLRAdec AR - - v47 p1246
[ v47 p1246 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
47 FLRA No. 115
FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI
(47 FLRA No. 87 (1993))
ORDER DENYING REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION
July 16, 1993
Before Chairman McKee and Members Talkin and Armendariz.
I. Statement of the Case
This matter is before the Authority on the Union's request for reconsideration of the Authority's decision in 47 FLRA No. 87 (1993). The Agency did not file an opposition to the request. We conclude that the Union has failed to establish that extraordinary circumstances exist which warrant reconsideration of our decision. Accordingly, we will deny the Union's request for reconsideration.
II. Arbitrator's Award and the Decision in 47 FLRA No. 87
As set forth in more detail in 47 FLRA No. 87, the Arbitrator sustained an Agency grievance alleging that the Union violated the parties' collective bargaining agreement when it posted and distributed throughout Agency facilities a newsletter containing an article criticizing a particular supervisor. Among other things, the article referred to a probationary employee who had been recently terminated, and noted that certain of the supervisor's subordinates were "temporary status and on probation[.]" Id., slip op. at 1.
The parties' agreement prohibits the posting or distribution of "libelous or defamatory material" in Agency facilities. Id. at 2 n.2. In resolving the grievance, the Arbitrator concluded that the disputed article was "the precise type of case which the [contract] language was meant to address." Id. at 4. The Arbitrator reached that conclusion after determining, among other things, that the article contained several inaccuracies. As relevant here, the Arbitrator noted that, with respect to the probationary employee discussed in the article, "'there was a great deal of factual basis for the termination[.]'" Id. at 3. The Arbitrator further determined that this employee was actually a "'permanent employee subject to a one-year trial period.'" Id. In this connection, the Arbitrator concluded that "'the article erroneously stated that 'these employees are temporary status and on probation[.]'" Id. As a result of these and other findings, the Arbitrator sustained the grievance and ordered the Union to issue a retraction stating that the article contained "certain factual inaccuracies . . . and that . . . many of the allegations . . . could not be substantiated." Award at 19.
The Union filed exceptions to the Arbitrator's award, alleging that the award was contrary to law and public policy, and was based on nonfacts. For the reasons set forth in 47 FLRA No. 87, we rejected the Union's contentions and denied the exceptions to the award.
III. Request for Reconsideration
The Union argues that the Authority misstated and did not properly resolve the Union's exception that the award is based on nonfacts. In particular, the Union disputes the Arbitrator's findings that: (1) the newsletter statement that certain of the affected supervisor's subordinate employees were temporary and on probation was erroneous; and (2) there was a factual basis for the termination of the probationary employee. With respect to the first alleged n