File 2: Opinion of Member Pope

[ v59 p618 ]


Dissenting Opinion of Member Carol Waller Pope:

      The majority declines to follow controlling precedent, based on a wholly unsupported finding that the Arbitrator lacked authority not only to interpret the parties' agreement but also to clarify the meaning of his own words. Accordingly, I dissent.

      In my view, Corps of Eng'rs, United States Army Eng'r Dist., New Orleans, La., 17 FLRA 315, 315-16 (1985) (Corps of Eng'rs), directly controls here and demonstrates that the Arbitrator clarified, rather than modified, the original award. In Corps of Eng'rs, the Authority found that it was appropriate for an arbitrator to clarify that a letter of warning was intended to be letter of reprimand. The Authority stated that there was no limitation in Corps of Eng'rs on the arbitrator's authority "to clarify the intent of his award after it was issued." Id. at 316. Here, the Arbitrator did the same thing as the arbitrator in Corps of Eng'rs: he clarified that the written warning was intended to be an official reprimand.

      In finding that Corps of Eng'rs does not govern this case, the majority effectively finds that SSA, Lansing, Mich., 58 FLRA 93 (2002) (SSA Lansing) -- a decision in which I dissented -- established that a "warning" can never constitute a "reprimand" under the parties' agreement, even if an arbitr