American Federation of Government Employees, Local 15 (Union) and United States Department of the Army, Headquarters, Army Sustainment Command, Rock Island, Illinois (Agency)
[ v63 p88 ]
63 FLRA No. 34
OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
HEADQUARTERS, ARMY SUSTAINMENT
ROCK ISLAND, ILLINOIS
January 30, 2009
Before the Authority: Thomas M. Beck, Chairman and
Carol Waller Pope, Member
This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to an award of Arbitrator James E. Slavens filed by the Union under § 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 exceptions.
Under § 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 § 7122(a). [n*] See United States Dep't of the Navy, Naval Base, Norfolk, Va., 51 FLRA 305, 307-08 (1995) (award not deficient on ground that arbitrator exceeded his authority where excepting party does not establish that arbitrator failed to resolve an issue submitted to arbitration, disregarded specific limitations on his authority, or awarded relief to persons who were not encompassed within the grievance); AFGE, Local 1869, 50 FLRA 172, 174 (1995) (award not deficient as being incomplete, ambiguous, or contradictory where excepting party fails to establish that implementation of the award is impossible); United States Dep't of Labor (OSHA), 34 FLRA 573, 575 (1990) (award not deficient as failing to draw its essence from the parties' collective bargaining agreement where excepting party fails to establish that the award cannot in any rational way be derived from the agreement; is so unfounded in reason and fact and so unconnected to the wording and purpose of the agreement as to manifest an infidelity to the obligation of the arbitrator; does not represent a plausible interpretation of the agreement; or evidences a manifest disregard of the agreement).
Accordingly, the Union's exceptions are denied.
Footnote * for 63 FLRA No. 34 - Authority's Decision
Chairman Beck notes that the brevity and conclusory nature of the award here stretches to its outer limits the highly deferential standard that the Authority applies in reviewing the sufficiency of arbitration awards pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 7122(a)(2). See, e.g., SSA, Baltimore, Md., 57 FLRA 690, 693 (2002); United States Dep't of Labor (OSHA), 34 FLRA 573, 575 (1990). The Award fails to cite to any provisions of the parties' agreement, law, or regulation that were violated; offers no assessment of the evidence; and cites no facts that were found to support the Arbitrator's conclusion. Instead, the Arbitrator merely states that the remedy he directs is a "fair settlement." Award at 1. This phrasing, combined with an absence of factual analysis and no reference to contractual or legal standards, might lead a skeptical litigant to conclude that the Award is based on the Arbitrator's own idiosyncratic notions of "fairness" rather than the application of contract provisions to proven facts. Such awards disadvantage the parties in fashioning appropriate exceptions that satisfy the limited bases of review provided by 5 U.S.C § 7122(a)(1) and (2), and 5 C.F.R § 2425.3.