23:0556(77)CO - AFGE Local 3511 and VA, Audie L. Murphy Memorial Veterans Hospital, San Antonio, TX -- 1986 FLRAdec CO

[ v23 p556 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

 23 FLRA No. 77
 Charging Party
                                            Case No. 6-CO-50043
                            DECISION AND ORDER
                         I.  Statement of the Case
    This unfair labor practice case is before the Authority in accordance
 with section 2429.1(a) of the Authority's Rules and Regulations, based
 on a stipulation of facts by the parties, who have agreed that no
 material issue of fact exists.  The General Counsel filed a brief for
 the Authority's consideration.
    The complaint alleges that the Respondent Union violated section
 7116(b)(1), (5) and (8) of the Statute by failing and refusing to comply
 with the provisions of section 7122 of the Statute by refusing to fully
 comply with an arbitrator's award to which exceptions were filed and
 which had been subsequently denied by the Authority.
                              II.  The Facts
    The Veterans Administration and the American Federation of Government
 Employees, AFL-CIO have been parties to a master agreement covering a
 nationwide consolidated unit, including employees of the Audie L. Murphy
 Memorial Veterans Hospital, San Antonio, Texas (Activity).  The Activity
 has recognized the Respondent Union as the local representative of AFGE
 for the purposes of collective bargaining and representation of a unit
 of Activity employees.
    On October 5, 1983, the Activity filed a grievance alleging that the
 Respondent Union had violated Articles 6 and 24 of the master agreement
 by, among other things, issuing a news release which made libelous and
 defamatory attacks upon management and employees of the facility
 concerning the disposal of certain material.  On June 25, 1984,
 Arbitrator Harry L. Johnson issued an award finding that the Union had
 violated the agreement as alleged and sustaining the Activity's
 grievance.  As a remedy, the Arbitrator directed the Union to take the
 following actions:
          1.  Purchase a one-half page ad in all San Antonio daily
       newspapers stating clearly and without ambiguity, a) that what was
       found in the autopsy room did not contain any human tissue;  b)
       that the action taken by the officials of AFGE was in violation of
       the VA/AFGE Master Agreement;  and c) that in the future, the
       terms/conditions of the contract will be followed.
          2.  Write a letter addressed to all employees retracting all
       allegations in this case and post the letter with a copy of the
       advertisement on both bulletin boards used by AFGE for a period of
       sixty (60) days.
          3.  Write a letter to Management committing President Garcia
       and Vice President Fenstermacher and Local 3511 to the provisions
       of the VA/AFGE Master Agreement with the assurance that, in the
       future, all matters that concern the Local will be brought to the
       attention of Management in accordance with the Master Agreement.
          4.  Forward a copy of the letters in 2 & 3 along with a copy of
       the paid advertisement to Television Stations Channels 4, 5, and
       12, requesting them to announce that Union's charges which they
       broadcast were erroneous.
          5.  Complete the above tasks on or before July 16, 1984, at
       4:30 p.m. with copies to Management.
    The Respondent Union filed timely exceptions to the Arbitrator's
 award with the Authority alleging that the award was contrary to law,
 including the Constitution of the United States, and the master
 agreement.  The Activity filed an opposition, contending that the
 Union's arguments constituted nothing more than disagreement with the
 Arbitrator's findings of fact and his interpretation and application of
 the agreement.  The Authority found, after careful consideration of the
 record, including the submissions of the parties, that the Union had
 failed to establish that the arbitrator's award was deficient on any of
 the grounds set forth in section 7122(a) of the Statute.  Accordingly,
 the Authority denied the Union's exceptions.  Audie L. Murphy Memorial
 Veterans Hospital, Veterans Administration, San Antonio, Texas and
 American Federation of Government Employees, Local 3511, San Antonio,
 Texas, Case No. 0-AR-812, issued April 23, 1985.
    On June 17, 1985, the Activity requested the Respondent Union to
 comply with the arbitrator's award by July 19, 1985.  The Union's
 President and Vice President advised the Activity that the Union would
 not comply with that portion of the award which required the Union to
 purchase ads in the daily papers and to contact the local television
 news media.  The Union asserted that the arbitrator's award violated its
 constitutional rights.  The Union has failed and refused and continues
 to fail and refuse to comply with the arbitrator's award.
                      III.  Positions of the Parties
    The General Counsel's position is that the Respondent Union's refusal
 to implement the arbitration award is violative of section 7116(b)(1),
 (5) and (8) of the Statute.  The General Counsel asserts that the
 Respondent Union presented the same arguments regarding the
 unconstitutionality of the arbitration award to the Authority in its
 exceptions to the award.  The Authority considered the Union's
 exceptions and rejected them.  Since the Union's exceptions to the
 arbitration award were dnied by the Authority, the award is final and
 binding and the Union is required to implement the award pursuant to
 section 7122 of the Statute.  Thus, the Union's refusal to do so is
 violative of the Statute.
    Neither the Union nor the Activity filed briefs or arguments in the
                               IV.  Analysis
    In this case, there is no question as to whether the Respondent Union
 has complied with the arbitrator's award.  The Respondent Union admits
 that it has not done so.  The Union defends its failure and refusal to
 comply with the award by reiterating an argument previously made in an
 exception that was considered and denied by the Authority.
    It is well established that a party to an arbitrator's award must
 implement such an award, when timely filed exceptions to the award have
 been denied by the Authority, and that the failure or refusal by a party
 to implement such an award constitutes a violation of section 7116(a)(1)
 and (8) of the Statute.  See Department of the Treasury, United States
 Customs Service, New York Region, New York, New York, 21 FLRA No. 119
 (1986);  U.S. Department of Justice and Department of Justice, Bureau of
 Prisons, (Washington, D.C.) and Federal Correctional Institution
 (Danbury, Connecticut), 20 FLRA No. 5 (1985), enforced sub nom. U.S.
 Department of Justice and Department of Justice, Bureau of Prisons v.
 FLRA, 792 F.2d 25 (2d Cir. 1986);  General Services Administration,
 Washington, D.C., 18 FLRA No. 52 (1985);  United States Marshals
 Service, 13