48:0336(28)AR - - AFGE, Local 916 and Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center, Tinker AFB, OK - - 1993 FLRAdec AR - - v48 p336

[ v48 p336 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

48 FLRA No. 28















August 20, 1993


Before Chairman McKee and Members Talkin and Armendariz.

I. Statement of the Case

This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to an award of Arbitrator Donald Daughton 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 did not file an opposition to the Union's exceptions.

The Arbitrator denied a grievance alleging that the Agency violated Air Force Regulation 110-15 (AFR 110-15) and the parties' local supplemental agreement by suspending the grievant for her involvement in a drug-related incident. For the following reasons, we conclude that the Union has not established that the award is deficient. Accordingly, we will deny the Union's exceptions.

II. Background and Arbitrator's Award

The grievant, a mechanical parts repairer, was arrested by the Agency's Office of Special Investigations for "possession, use, and transfer of marijuana." Award at 2.

At the time of her arrest, "the [g]rievant admitted using, buying, and transferring marijuana and signed a written statement detailing her involvement in the offenses . . . ." Id. The Agency informed the grievant that it would not institute criminal proceedings against her because it was "interested in obtaining [her] . . . truthful testimony concerning [another employee's] activity . . . ." Id. at 3. The Agency also informed the grievant that, although it would not seek criminal prosecution against her, she would still "face[] administrative disciplinary action for her misconduct." Id. Thereafter, the grievant was suspended for 14 days.

The Union grieved the suspension, and when the grievance was not resolved, it was submitted to arbitration. The parties stipulated the issue before the Arbitrator as follows:

Did [c]ivilian [m]anagement violate Article 13 of the [l]ocal [c]ollective [b]argaining [a]greement when they took [a]dminstrative [a]ction to suspend a [g]rievant for 14 days? If so, can the Agency [d]ecision be sustained?

Id. at 2.(1)

The Arbitrator rejected the Union's claim that the Agency "made an exclusive decision that cases of the type involving the [g]rievant are to be handled as criminal charges before the United States Magistrate thereby precluding administrative discipline of the [g]rievent." Id. at 8.

The Arbitrator found that "[n]othing in the Master Labor Agreement, the Local Supplement to the Master Labor Agreement, or Air Force Regulation 110-15 precludes the Agency from imposing administrative discipline." Id. at 10. The Arbitrator also found that there was "no evidence submitted to cast doubt on the fact that the [g]rievant had committed acts which justify the 14[-]day suspension[,]" and that the "use of a prohibited substance, such as marijuana, on Agency property, by an employee is the kind of conduct which warrants a 14[-]day suspension." Id. Accordingly, the Arbitrator denied the grievance.

III. First Exception

A. Positions of the Parties

1. Union

The Union contends that the Arbitrator exceeded his authority by "ruling upon 'evidence'" which was outside the scope of the grievance. Exceptions at 2. According to the Union, as the issue submitted to the Arbitrator concerned "contract violations and not the facts surrounding the suspension itself, no discussion of the allegations made against the [g]rievant by the Agency could be considered, nor can any be allowed." Id.

B. Analysis and Conclusions

An arbitrator exceeds his or her authority when, for example, the arbitrator issues an affirmative order that exceeds the scope of the matter submitted to arbitration or awards relief to persons who were not parties to the grievance. See American Federation of Government Employees, Local 916 and U.S. Department of the Air Force, Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, 45 FLRA 822, 827-28 (1992). The issue, as stipulated by the parties, was whether the 14-day suspension was appropriate under Article 13 of the parties' local supplemental agreement. The award is directly responsive to this issue. In our view, the Union has not demonstrated that the Arbitrator exceeded his authority. Accordingly, we will deny this exception.

IV. Second Exception

A. Positions of the Parties

1. Union

The Union contends that the award violates law because it permits the Agency "to convict the [g]rievant in the wrong arena." Exceptions at 8. According to the Union, the grievant was investigated for violations of Federal and Oklahoma criminal statutes and not for the purpose of imposing administrative discipline. The Union argues that by sustaining the grievant's suspension, the award permits the Agency to "dispense rulings without regard[] to the protection of the rights of the accused, thereby allowing the Agency to undergo criminal proceedings[,] . . . and subject employees to the whims of [the] Agency[']s officials who have no training in matters of law." Id.

B. Analysis and Conclusions

We reject the Union's contention that the award violates law. The Union has not cited any law with which the award conflicts and none is apparent to us. As such, the Union has not supported its claim that the award is deficient as inconsistent with law. See U.S. Department of the Air Force, San Antonio Air Logistics Center, Kelly Air Force Base, Texas and American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1617, 45 FLRA 797, 799 (1992). An unsupported contention that an award is contrary to law provides no basis for finding an award deficient. See U.S. Department of the Air Force, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma and American Federation of Government Employees, Lo