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27:0387(52)AR - AFGE Local 2004 and New Cumberland Army Depot -- 1987 FLRAdec AR

[ v27 p387 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

 27 FLRA No. 52
 LOCAL 2004
                                            Case No. 0-AR-1300
                         I.  Statement of the Case
    This matter is before the Arbitrator on an exception to the award of
 Arbitrator Walter H. Powell filed by the Activity under section 7122(a)
 of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute and part 2425
 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations.
                  II.  Background and Arbitrator's Award
    The grievant was suspended for five days for misuse of sick leave,
 specifically for failing to request sick leave in accordance with
 established policies and for failing to provide an adequate medical
 certificate supporting his absences from work.  He was also charged as
 being absent without leave (AWOL) for the three days not covered by the
 medical certificate.  A grievance was filed contesting the suspension
 and the matter was submitted to arbitration.
    The Arbitrator found that the parties' agreement requires that in
 circumstances in which sick leave abuse is indicated the employee will
 be provided a letter of understanding that medical certification will be
 required in the future.  He found that although there was evidence that
 the grievant was abusing sick leave, the Activity did not issue him the
 required letter of understanding.  The Arbitrator concluded that both
 the Activity and the grievant had disregarded the agreement and
 regulations concerning sick leave.  Accordingly, as his award, the
 Arbitrator reduced the grievant's suspension from five days to one and
 sustained the charge of three days of AWOL.
                             III.  Discussion
    The Activity contends the Arbitrator exceeded his authority under the
 parties' agreement by substituting his judgment for that of the Activity
 as to the reasonableness of the penalty.
    We conclude that the Activity 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 that constitute nothing more than an attempt to relitigate
 the merits of a dispute before the Authority and disagreement with an
 arbitrator's reasoning and conclusions and interpretation of a
 negotiated agreement provide no basis for finding an award deficient);
 Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and Federal Employees Metal Trades Council,
 AFL-CIO, 5 FLRA 230 (1981) (an arbitrator properly may determine that
 all or part of a disciplinary penalty was not for just cause as required
 by a negotiated agreement and may set aside or reduce the penalty).
 Accordingly, the Activity's exception is 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