50:0105(20)AR - - VA Medical Center, Marion, IN and AFGE, Local 1020 - - 1995 FLRAdec AR - - v50 p105

[ v50 p105 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

50 FLRA No. 20










LOCAL 1020





January 25, 1995


Before the Authority: Phyllis N. Segal, Chair; Tony Armendariz and Pamela Talkin, Members.

I. Statement of the Case

This case is before the Authority on exceptions to an award of Arbitrator William Belshaw filed by the Agency 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 Union's opposition was filed untimely and will not be considered in this decision.(1)

The Arbitrator determined that certain proposals, which the Union submitted during local supplemental negotiations, did not conflict with the parties' master collective bargaining agreement.

For the following reasons, we find that the Agency's exceptions provide no basis for finding the award deficient under section 7122(a) of the Statute. Accordingly, we deny the exceptions.

II. Background and Arbitrator's Award

During local negotiations, the Agency asserted that 3 Union proposals, consisting of 83 subparts (hereinafter the subparts are referred to as proposals), were inconsistent with the parties' master agreement and, therefore, were "non[]negotiable" under Article 5, Section 2B of that agreement.(2) Attachment to Award at 1. The parties submitted the dispute to arbitration, where they agreed to the Arbitrator's formulation of the issue as whether the disputed proposals were "negotiable" under the agreement. Award at 4.

The Arbitrator stated that his role was to determine whether the disputed proposals "probably would or presumably would" conflict with the master agreement and, in a chart attached to the award, the Arbitrator indicated whether each proposal was negotiable or nonnegotiable. Id. at 7 (emphasis omitted). The Arbitrator found 65 of the 83 proposals negotiable.

III. Exceptions

The Agency argues that, with respect to the proposals found by the Arbitrator to be negotiable under the terms of the parties' agreement, the award fails to draw its essence from the parties' agreement because the proposals conflict with the agreement. The Agency also argues that the award conflicts with law and regulation based on alleged conflicts between 5 of the proposals and various management rights under the Statute as well as other laws and regulations.

IV. Analysis and Conclusions

A. The Award Draws Its Essence from the Parties' Agreement

To demonstrate that an award fails to draw its essence from a collective bargaining agreement, a party must show that the 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 the 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, National Fe