An arbitration decision sent out by Gary Kloepfer to APWU Union officers and members.
This is a summary of Regular Panel Arbitrator Andres M. Strongin in case H06T-1H-C-08255189 regarding the Postal Service denial of an employee’s request for voluntary transfer. The arbitrator sustained the Union’s grievance; he ruled the Postal Service violated grievant’s right to request a transfer under Article 12.6 of the National Agreement and the Memorandum of Understanding Regarding Transfers by virtue of its failure fully and fairly to consider his work, safety, and attendance records.
The grievance protests the June 11, 2008, denial of grievant’s request to transfer from West Palm Beach to the Miami P&DC, due to an unacceptable attendance record. The Union claimed that the denial was arbitrary and capricious, in violation of Article 12.6 and the Memorandum of Understanding Regarding Transfers.
The Union contended that the Service’s denial of grievant’s transfer request was arbitrary and capricious in violation of Article 12.6 and the Transfer MOU, which requires the Service to give full and fair consideration to transfer requests such as grievant’s. The Union emphasized that there is no evidence to support the Service’s consideration of any factor other than grievant’s attendance, and that even that factor was insufficiently considered in light of Suarez’s admitted failure to consider anything beyond the raw numbers on the Form 3972’s.
The arbitrator sustained the Union’s grievance; in so doing he noted:
Given the facts of this case, the language of the Transfer MOU provides a natural starting point for the analysis to follow. As the MOU provides at Section D, Suarez, as the gaining installation head, was required to give full and fair consideration to grievant’s work, safety, and attendance records. While Suarez obviously is entitled to conduct his own evaluation of those records, the provision of the MOU requiring the losing installation head to be fair in his evaluation, effectively requires the conclusion that the record on which Suarez’s “full and fair consideration” is to be based, must include consideration of the losing installation’s evaluation, which itself must be “full and fair.” . . . . the Service’s inability to demonstrate any consideration of grievant’s work and safety records would require judgment in favor of the Union. As the Transfer MOU and both parties’ citation to arbitral precedent makes clear, the Service is required to consider all three factors – work, safety, and attendance – even if its decision ultimately is based on only one. As the Transfer MOU and related cases make clear, perfection is not the standard for consideration of transfer requests.
Assistant Director, Maintenance Craft
American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO
note: the title of this summary was created by PostalReporter as Mr. Kloepfer had a different title in his email.