53:1743(155)AR - - VA Medical Center, Northhampton, MA and NAGE Local R1-107 - - 1998 FLRAdec AR - - v53 p1743



[ v53 p1743 ]
53:1743(155)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:


53 FLRA No. 155

FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY

WASHINGTON, D.C.

_____

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

MEDICAL CENTER

NORTHAMPTON, MASSACHUSETTS

(Agency)

and

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES

LOCAL R1-107

(Union)

0-AR-3016

_____

DECISION

March 31, 1998

_____

Before the Authority: Phyllis N. Segal, Chair; Donald S. Wasserman and Dale Cabaniss, Members.

I. Statement of the Case

This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to an award of Arbitrator Samuel J. Nicholas, Jr. 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 Regulations. The Union filed an opposition to the Agency's exceptions.

The Arbitrator sustained a grievance challenging the grievant's performance rating and ordered the Agency to raise the grievant's rating. For the reasons that follow, we hold that the award is deficient because it is contrary to management's rights set out in section 7106(a)(2) of the Statute.

II. Background and Arbitrator's Award

Under the Agency's rating system, employees such as the grievant are rated on six job elements. The grievant was rated "exceptional" in four categories and "fully successful" in two categories, resulting in a summary rating of "fully successful." He grieved this appraisal.

The Arbitrator concluded that the grievant "demonstrated performance beyond the standards" in the two categories where he was rated "fully successful" and that he should have received an "exceptional" rating in those two areas. Award at 12. The Arbitrator also concluded that the Agency committed two procedural "defects" in the rating process, but that these defects were not "sufficient for being recognized as 'prohibited personnel practice[s].'" Id.

The Arbitrator directed that the grievant's rating be changed to "exceptio