American Federation of Government Employees, Local 916 (Union) and U.S. Department of the Air Force, 72ND Support Group (AFMC), Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma (Agency)
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56 FLRA No. 140
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 916
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE
72ND SUPPORT GROUP (AFMC)
TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, OKLAHOMA
September 29, 2000
Before the Authority: Donald S. Wasserman, Chairman and Dale Cabaniss, Member.
This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to an award of Arbitrator Russell C. Neas 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.
Under section 7122(a) of the Statute, an award is deficient if it is contrary to any law, rule, or regulation; or it is deficient on other grounds similar to those applied by Federal courts in private sector labor-management relations. Upon careful consideration of the entire record in this case, and Authority precedent, the Authority concludes that the award is not deficient on the grounds raised in the exceptions and set forth in section 7122(a). In particular, the Arbitrator interpreted Article 7 in a manner that permitted the Agency to deem the case withdrawn from arbitration. This determination on procedural arbitrability may be challenged only on grounds separate from the determination itself. See American Federation of Government Employees, Local 2921 and U.S. Department of the Army, Army & Air Force Exchange Service, Dallas, Texas, 50 FLRA 184, 185-86 (1995) (arbitrator's determination of the procedural arbitrability of a grievance is subject to challenge only on grounds other than those that directly challenge the procedural arbitrability determination).
Furthermore, the Authority will uphold an award when one or more alternative arbitral holdings supporting the award exist. See, e.g., U.S. Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service and National Border Patrol Council, American Federation of Government Employees, 43 FLRA 939, 950 (1992) (where the arbitrator found no just cause for the discipline, the Authority need not examine an additional rationale (engaging in protected activity) relied on by the arbitrator to overturn the discipline). See also Federal Trade Commission Headquarters, Washington D.C. and American Federation of Government Employees, Local 2211, 56 FLRA 464, 467 (2000). Because we uphold the Arbitrator's determination that the grievance was not procedurally arbitrable under the terms of the parties' collective bargaining agreement, there is no need to address the exceptions relating to the other, independent grounds on which the Arbitrator found that the grievance was not arbitrable.
Accordingly, the Union's exceptions are denied.