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U.S. Federal Labor Relations Authority

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27:0104(18)AR - HHS, SSA, Jersey City, NJ and AFGE Local 2369 -- 1987 FLRAdec AR

[ v27 p104 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

 27 FLRA No. 18
                                            Case No. O-AR-1293
                         I.  Statement of the Case
    This matter is before the Authority on an exception to the award of
 Arbitrator Jack Chernick 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 Rules and Regulations.
                  II.  Background and Arbitrator's Award
    The grievance in this case concerned the distribution of a Union
 bulletin entitled "Testimony of Six Employees Ignored." The Agency
 alleged that the publication violated Article 12, Sections 1D and 2A of
 the parties' National Agreement because it maligned Marianne Goodman, a
 Federal employee.  The Union asserted that the publication was protected
 by Articles 1 and 3, which govern Union rights under the Agreement.  The
 Arbitrator framed the issue before him as whether the Union publication
 was distributed in violation of Article 12 of the National Agreement.
 In order to resolve that issue, he concluded that he must decide whether
 that publication maligned Marianne Goodman within the meaning of that
    The Arbitrator found that under Article 12 of the National Agreement
 the Union agreed that it would not distribute or post any materials on
 Agency facilities which attack individuals or malign the character of
 any Federal employee.  The Arbitrator concluded that "a reasonable
 reading of (the Union article) leads to the conclusion that Marianne
 Goodman is being charged with racial prejudice as well as with a
 preference for the views of a male over those of several females."
 Arbitrator's Decision at 12.  The Arbitrator further concluded that it
 was not unreasonable to infer that the author or authors of the article
 intended to convey that a Step 3 grievance was resolved not on the
 merits, but on the basis of the prejudices of Goodman.  Id.  The
 Arbitrator held that such charges may reasonably be described as
 maligning the character of Goodman and that the Union had exceeded the
 boundaries of permissible claims and language in official Union
 publications, as precisely described in Article 12 of the Agreement,
 when such publications are distributed on the property of the Employer.
 As a remedy, the Arbitrator ordered the Union to publish an apology to
 Marianne Goodman in its newsletter and to post the apology on Union
 bulletin boards.
                              III.  Exception
    The Union contends that the Arbitrator's award fails to draw its
 essence from the parties' agreement.  In support of this contention, the
 Union argues that the award evidences a manifest disregard of law and
 public policy incorporated in the parties' agreement.  The Union further
 argues that the award contravenes the express terms of the agreement and
 is incomplete.
                       IV.  Analysis and Conclusions
    We conclude that the Union has not demonstrated, under any of the
 established tests, that the Arbitrator's award fails to draw its essence
 from the parties' agreement.  See General Services Administration,
 Region and American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Council
 236, 21 FLRA No. 54 (1986), slip op. at 2.  The Union's exception merely
 constitutes disagreement with the Arbitrator's interpretation of the
 parties' agreement and his assessment of the facts in this case.  The
 exception does not provide a basis for finding the award deficient.
 See, for example, Social Security Administration, New York Regional
 Office and American Federation of Government Employees, Local 3369,
 AFL-CIO, 27 FLRA No. 6 (1987) (the arabitrator's award enforced the same
 provision of the parties' National Agreement as is involved in this case
 and the Union's exception to that award, on the same ground as in this
 case, was denied).  To the extent that the Union contends that the award
 is contrary to law, we find that the Union has failed to establish how
 the Arbitrator's finding that the Union violated the parties' agreement
 as alleged by the Activity's grievance and ordering the Union to
 apologize for its conduct is deficient.  See, for example, San Antonio
 Air Logistics Center, Kelly Air Force Base, Texas and American
 Federation of Government Employees (AFL-CIO), Local 1617, San Antonio
 Texas, 6 FLRA 412, 414-15 (1981).
                               V.  Decision
    Accordingly, the Union's exception is denied.  /*/
    Issued, Washington, D.C., May 26, 1987.
                                       /s/ Jerry L. Calhoun, Chairman
                                       /s/ Henry B. Frazier III, Member
                                       /s/ Jean McKee, Member
                                       FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
                ---------------  FOOTNOTES$ ---------------
    (*) The Union also requested a stay of the award when it filed its
 exception to the award with the Authority on January 13, 1987.
 Effective December 31, 1986, the Authority's Regulations were revised to
 revoke those portions pertaining to the filing of requests for stays of
 arbitration awards (51 Fed. Reg. 45754).  Accordingly, no action on the
 stay request was taken.