U.S. Federal Labor Relations Authority

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File 2: Opinion of Member Pope

[ v60 p31 ]

Member Pope, dissenting in part:

      I agree with the majority's decision to deny the Agency's contrary to law exception. However, I would also deny the Agency's other exceptions.

      As to the Agency's exceeded authority claim, the stipulated issue required the Arbitrator to determine whether Article 42.03(A) of the parties' agreement required the Agency to bargain in the circumstances of this case, and he found that it did. See Award at 2, 13. Nothing in the stipulated issue or in law required the Arbitrator to address specific arguments relating to specific portions of Article 42.03(A). E.g., NTEU, Chapter 90, 58 FLRA 390, 395 (2003) (arbitrator not required to set forth specific findings supporting award). As such, the Arbitrator did not exceed his authority. For the same reason, I would reject the Agency's claim that the Arbitrator misinterpreted the parties' agreement by failing to make specific findings regarding Article 42.03(A).

      In addition, the Arbitrator's specific finding that the Authority's decision in Local 3529 constituted a "third party decision" under Article 42.03(A), triggering midterm bargaining, is not irrational, unfounded, or implausible. Therefore, the award does not fail to draw its essence from the parties' agreement. See id. The Authority's deferential standard of review regarding arbitral contract interpretation, see OSHA, 34 FLRA at 575, neither requires nor permits the Authority to inspect every aspect of an arbitrator's reasoning in order to uphold an interpretation of an agreement. Therefore, as the award does not fail to draw its essence from the agreement, there is no need to address whether aspects of the Arbitrator's reasoning are inconsistent [*]  and, as a result, no need to remand the award for clarification.

      Accordingly, I dissent. I would deny the Agency's exceptions in their entirety.

File 1: Authority's Decision in 60 FLRA No. 9
File 2: Opinion of Member Pope

Footnote * for 60 FLRA No. 9 - Opinion of Member Pope

   Although the Authority permits exceptions allegingthat an award is incomplete, ambiguous, or contradictory, an award is deficient on this ground only where implementation of the award is impossible, a situation neither argued nor present in this case. See United States Dep't of Veterans Affairs, Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System, Biloxi, Miss., 57 FLRA 77, 79 (2001).