52:1374(129)AR - - NAGE and VA, Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital, Bedford, MA - - 1997 FLRAdec AR - - v52 p1374



[ v52 p1374 ]
52:1374(129)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:


52 FLRA No. 129

FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY

WASHINGTON, D.C.

_____

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES

(Union)

and

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

EDITH NOURSE ROGERS MEMORIAL VETERANS HOSPITAL

BEDFORD, MASSACHUSETTS

(Agency)

0-AR-2904

_____

DECISION

April 30, 1997

_____

Before the Authority: Phyllis N. Segal, Chair; and Donald S. Wasserman, Member.

I. Statement of the Case

This matter is before the Authority on an exception to an award of Arbitrator John Van N. Dorr, III 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 Regulations. The Agency filed an opposition to the Union's exception.

The Arbitrator denied a grievance contesting a 10-day suspension imposed on the grievant for disclosing confidential information. For the following reasons, we deny the exception.

II. Background and Arbitrator's Award

The grievant is a civilian pay technician in the Agency's fiscal service (payroll) department. One of the grievant's duties was the filing of beneficiary designation forms (Form 1152). When an employee filed a new Form 1152, designating a new beneficiary in place of her former one, who was a friend of the grievant, the grievant told his friend of the change without first obtaining permission to do so. For revealing this confidential information without authorization, the Agency suspended the grievant for 10 days.

The Union contested the suspension. The Union and the Agency were unable to come to a resolution and the grievance was submitted to arbitration on the following agreed-upon issues:

1. Was the suspension of the [g]rievant . . . for just cause?

2. If not, what shall be the remedy?

Award at 1.

Referring to an Agency regulation, the Arbitrator identifi