48:0740(76)AR - - Air Force, McGuire AFB, NJ and AFGE, Local 1778 - - 1993 FLRAdec AR - - v48 p740
[ v48 p740 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
48 FLRA No. 76
FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE
MCGUIRE AIR FORCE BASE, NEW JERSEY
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES
October 25, 1993
Before Chairman McKee and Members Talkin and Armendariz.
I. Statement of the Case
This matter is before the Authority on an exception to an award of Arbitrator Diana S. Mulligan filed by the Union 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 Agency did not file an opposition to the Union's exception.
A grievance was filed disputing the Agency's ban on table games during lunch time. The Arbitrator first found that the grievance was timely and that, although the grievance was procedurally defective, she would not dismiss it because the Agency's actions caused the breach of procedure. On the merits, the Arbitrator ordered the Agency to cease and desist from banning table games during lunch time until it chooses to enact such a ban in the proper form and manner. The Arbitrator also determined that, under the terms of the parties' collective bargaining agreement, her fees and expenses should be split equally between the parties.
In its exception, the Union disputes the Arbitrator's allocation of fees and expenses. We conclude that the Union fails to establish that the Arbitrator's allocation is deficient. Accordingly, we will deny the Union's exception.
II. Background and Arbitrator's Award
When the grievant was told by management to stop playing dominoes during lunch on August 1, 1992, he filed a grievance disputing the ban on table games during lunch time. The Agency claimed that the grievance was both untimely and failed to cite the basis for the grievance, as required by the parties' collective bargaining agreement. The grievance was not resolved and was submitted to arbitration.
The Arbitrator found that the grievance was timely filed because the Agency had not adequately communicated its earlier policy banning table games during lunch time. The Arbitrator agreed with the Agency that the grievance was procedurally defective in failing to cite the agreement provision on which the grievance was based until February 1993. However, the Arbitrator excused the deficiency. She found that it was the Agency's own actions in failing to notify the Union of the ban on games that caused the Union's breach of procedure. On the merits, the Arbitrator ordered the Agency to cease and desist from banning table games during lunch time until it chooses to enact such a ban in the proper form and manner.
In allocating her fees and expenses, the Arbitrator cited Article 34, Section 6(B) of the parties' collective bargaining agreement, which provides: "In those cases in which the respondent's action is modified, the fee and expense of the arbitrator shall be borne equally by the respondent and the complainant." In accordance with this provision, the Arbitrator determined "that this Award has modified the respondent's actions . . . ." Letter Accompanying Award. Accordingly, the Arbitrator split her fees and expenses equally between the Union and the Agency.
III. Union's Exception
The Union disputes only the Arbitrator's allocation of her fees and expenses. The Union cites Article 34, Secti