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27:0316(43)AR - VA Medical Center, Kansas City, MO and AFGE Local 2663 -- 1987 FLRAdec AR

[ v27 p316 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

 27 FLRA No. 43
                                            Case No. 0-AR-1314
                         I.  Statement of the Case
    This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to the award of
 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 Rules and Regulations.  The Agency filed an
 opposition to the exceptions.  /1/
                  II.  Background and Arbitrator's Award
    The grievant alleged that he was unjustifiably suspended for 5 days
 for being absent without leave.  The grievant claimed that he was absent
 because of illness and that the suspension was a reprisal for union
 activities and for filing an unfair labor practice charge and an
 accident report.  The Arbitrator essentially found that the record
 clearly indicated that the grievant was absent without leave on the
 occasions noted in the Agency's notice of proposed suspension;  the
 Agency did not violate the parties' collective bargaining agreement;
 and the disciplinary action was not motivated by union animus.  The
 Arbitrator concluded that the Agency had just cause to discipline the
 grievant and that the 5-day suspension was an appropriate penalty under
 the circumstances.  The Arbitrator therefore denied the grievance.
                             III.  Discussions
    In its exceptions, the Union essentially alleges that the Arbitrator
 failed to provide the Union and the grievant a fair hearing, that the
 Arbitrator exceeded his authority and that the award is not supported by
 substantial evidence.
    We conclude that the Union has failed to establish that the
 Arbitrator's award is deficient on any of the grounds set forth in
 section 7122(a) of the Statute;  that is, that the award is contrary to
 any law, rule, or regulation, or that the award is deficient on other
 grounds similar to those applied by Federal courts in private sector
 labor-management relations.  See, for example, Federal Correctional
 Institution, Petersburg, Virginia and American Federation of Government
 Employees, Local 2052, Petersburg, Virginia, 13 FLRA 108 (1983)
 (exceptions attempting to relitigate the merits of a case before the
 Authority and constituting nothing more than disagreement with an
 arbitrator's findings of fact and reasoning and conclusions based on the
 evidence and testimony presented and with the arbitrator's
 interpretation and application of the parties' agreement provide no
 basis for finding an award deficient).
    Accordingly, the Union's exceptions are denied.
    Issued, Washington, D.C., May 29, 1987.
                                       /s/ Jerry L. Calhoun, Chairman
                                       /s/ Henry B. Frazier, Member
                                       /s/ Jean McKee, Member
                                       FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
                ---------------  FOOTNOTES$ ---------------
    (1) In its opposition, the Agency argues, among other things, that
 the Union's exceptions fail to meet requirements of the Authority's
 Rules and Regulations because they fail to state any ground for review
 and are vague and general in nature.  The Agency requests that the
 exceptions be dismissed as procedurally deficient.  We have determined
 that the Union's exceptions are sufficiently clear and specific to
 identify the grounds and arguments for the exceptions presented.  The
 Agency's request is therefore denied.