49:1508(135)AR - - AFGE Local 1592 and Air Force, Ogden Air Logistics Center, Hill AFB, UT - - 1994 FLRAdec AR - - v49 p1508
[ v49 p1508 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
49 FLRA No. 135
FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE
OGDEN AIR LOGISTICS CENTER
HILL AIR FORCE BASE, UTAH
July 1, 1994
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 Norman Brand 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 exceptions.
The Arbitrator denied a grievance contesting the grievant's performance rating. For the following reasons, we conclude that the exceptions provide no basis for finding the award deficient. Accordingly, we will deny the exceptions.
II. Background and Arbitrator's Award
The grievant, a sheet metal worker, grieved his performance appraisal. When the grievance was not resolved, it was submitted to expedited arbitration on the following issue, as framed by the Arbitrator:
Did the Employer apply established elements and standards, in accordance with law, rule, regulation, and the Master Labor Agreement in appraising the performance of [the grievant]?
If not, what remedy, [is] in accordance with applicable law?
Award at 1.
Following is the Arbitrator's opinion, in its entirety:
The Union has failed to show any violation of applicable rule, regulation, law, or the Master Labor Agreement. [The grievant] is an extremely competent, diligent employee. The Union has not shown that he was improperly rated when he was given fully successful ratings in some elements of his performance plan and exceeds in others.
Id. at 1-2. As his award, the Arbitrator denied the grievance.
The Union claims that the award is deficient because it contains "no findings or rationale at all." Exceptions at 1. The Union argues that the Arbitrator must be required to explain why he found that the performance standards were not illegal "so that the Union's right to file exceptions is not drained of all its meaning." Id. at 2.
IV. Analysis and Conclusions
The Authority will find an award deficient when it is incomplete, ambiguous, or contradictory so as to make implementation of the award impossible. For example, U.S. Department of Labor, Mine Safety and Health Administration, Southeastern District and American Federation of Government Employees, Local 2519, 40 FLRA 937, 943 (1991). Although we construe the Union's exception as an assertion that the award is deficient on this ground, we conclude that the Union has not established such deficiency.
As noted, the award denied a grievance contesting the grievant's performance rating. The Union offers no basis upon which to conclude that the award cannot be implemented. Moreover, in cases such as the one before us, an arbitrator's failure to set forth specific findings, or to specify and discuss all allegations in a grievance, does not provide a basis for finding an award deficient. For example, National Association of Government Employees, Local R1-109 and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Newington, Connecticut, 46 FLRA 451, 454 (1992). In this regard, an arbitrator is not required to specify or discuss specific items of evidence on which an award is based or which otherwise were considered by the arbitrator. See U.S. Department of the Navy, Charleston Naval Shipyard, Charleston, South Carolina and Federal Employees Metal Trades Council, 39 FLRA 987, 993 (1991). See also Wissman v. Social Security Administration, 848 F.2d 176, 178 (Fed. Cir. 1988) ("[i]f there is no contractual or statutory obligation, an arbitrator is not required to set forth findings of fact, much less . . . specific findings[.]").
Finally, we note that the issue, as framed by the Arbitrator, encompassed whether the Agency properly applied the grievant's established performance standards. The Union's exception, on the other hand, disputes the Arbitrator's award as it relates to the legality of the standards themselves. It is well-established, in this regard, that, in the absence of a stipulation by the parties, an arbitrator's formulation of the issues to be resolved in arbitration is accorded substantial deference. For example, U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Adminisration, Chicago, Illinois and National Air Traffic Controllers Association, 41 FLRA 1441, 1448 (1991). There is no indication in the record before us that the parties stipulated the issues to be resolved by the Arbitrator. Accordingly, insofar as the Union's exception is intended to dispute the Arbitrator's formulation of the issue as encompassing only the application of the grievant's performance standards, the exception provides no basis for finding the award deficient.