17:0237(35)AR - VA Medical Center, SEPULVEDA and AFGE Local 1697 -- 1985 FLRAdec AR
[ v17 p237 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
17 FLRA No. 35 VETERANS ADMINISTRATION MEDICAL CENTER, SEPULVEDA Activity and AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 1697, AFL-CIO Union Case No. O-AR-834 (16 FLRA No. 12) SUPPLEMENTAL ORDER DISMISSING EXCEPTIONS On September 24, 1984, the Authority issued an Order dismissing the exceptions in the above-captioned case because, among other things, it appeared that the exceptions were filed by the grievant and that the grievant was not a party in the proceeding before the Arbitrator and, therefore, was not entitled to file the exceptions under section 2425.1(a) of the Authority's Rules and Regulations. Accordingly, and apart from other considerations, the exceptions were denied. The grievant subsequently filed a submission establishing that he was authorized to file the exceptions on behalf of the Union. Accordingly, the conclusion that the grievant was not entitled to file the exceptions is hereby reversed. However, apart from that consideration, the Union's exceptions are otherwise procedurally deficient as untimely filed and, therefore, the Order of September 24, 1984, is hereby amended to explicitly dismiss the exceptions on that basis. The Arbitrator's award is dated June 26, 1984, and appears to have been served on the parties by mail the same day. In the award, the Arbitrator stated that she would retain jurisdiction of the matter "in the event the grievant is found to be qualified, and the parties are unable to agree upon a remedy." By letter of August 7, 1984, the Arbitrator responded to certain communications from the parties advising them that because the Activity had determined that the grievant was not qualified for the particular position involved, she had not retained jurisdiction. The Union then filed exceptions with the Authority on August 31, 1984. Under section 7122(b) of the Statute, as amended, /1/ and section 2425.1(b) of the Authority's Rules and Regulations, as amended, /2/ which amendments are applicable to exceptions pending or filed with the Authority on or after March 2, 1984, and under sections 2429.21 and 2429.27 of the Rules and Regulations, which are also applicable to computation of the time limit here involved, any exceptions to the Arbitrator's award in this case had to be filed with the Authority no later than the close of business on July 30, 1984. However, the Union's exceptions were not filed until August 31, 1984. Therefore, the exceptions were untimely filed. The Union, however, in effect takes the position that its exceptions are timely because the Arbitrator retained jurisdiction of the matter, the award was not final until August 7, 1984, and the time for filing exceptions did not begin to run until that date. However, as the Arbitrator informed the parties, she did not retain jurisdiction of this matter subsequent to her award of June 26, 1984. Moreover, in arbitration cases that have come before the Authority it is not uncommon for an arbitrator to have retained jurisdiction for a period of time to resolve questions or problems that might arise concerning the award. However, retention for such purpose does not by itself serve to extend the time limits for filing exceptions. E.g., Social Security Administration and American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1164, AFL-CIO, 14 FLRA 444, n. 1 (1984); Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and Federal Employees Metal Trades Council, AFL-CIO, 15 FLRA No. 28 (1984). Therefore, in the instant case, the time limit for filing exceptions to the Arbitrator's award began on June 28, 1984 and expired on July 30, 1984. Accordingly, as the Union's exceptions were untimely filed on August 31, 1984, they are dismissed on that basis. For the Authority. Issued, Washington, D.C., March 19, 1985 Harold D. Kessler Managing Director for Case Processing --------------- FOOTNOTES$ --------------- /1/ Section 7122(b) of the Statute was amended by the Civil Service Miscellaneous Amendments Act of 1983 (Pub. L. No. 98-224, Sec. 4, 98 Stat. 47, 48 (1984)) to provide that the 30-day period for filing exceptions to an arbitrator's award begins on the date the award is served on the filing party. /2/ 49 Fed.Reg. 22623 (1984).