31:1108(90)AR - VA Medical Center, Gainesville, FL and AFGE Local 2779 -- 1988 FLRAdec AR
[ v31 p1108 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
31 FLRA NO. 90 31 FLRA 1108 30 MAR 1988 VETERANS ADMINISTRATION MEDICAL CENTER, GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA Activity and AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 2779 Union Case No. 0-AR-1499 ORDER The Union has filed with the Authority exceptions to the award of Arbitrator Stanley H. Sergent, Jr. pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 7122(a) and 5 C.F.R. 2425.1. The Union's exceptions are untimely and must be dismissed. The Arbitrator's award is dated December 22, 1987. The Union's exceptions: (1) are dated January 29, 1988; (2) were misdirected to Region 4 of the Federal Labor Relations Authority in Atlanta, Georgia in an envelope postmarked January 30, 1988; 1 (3) were forwarded to the Authority by the Atlanta Region by letter dated February 2, 1988; and (4) were filed with the Authority on February 3, 1988, by operation of 5 C.F.R. 2429.21(b), which provides that if no postmark date is evident on the mailing, it is presumed to have been mailed 5 days prior to receipt. 2 The time limit for filing an exception to an arbitration award is 30 days beginning on the date the award is served on the filing party. 5 U.S.C. 7122(b), as amended, 3 and 5 C.F.R. 2425.1, as amended. 4 The date of service is the day when the matter served is deposited in the U.S. mail or is delivered in person. 5 C.F.R. 2429.27(d) (1987). The Arbitrator's award is dated December 22, 1987, and, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, it is concluded that the award was served on the parties by mail that same day. Whenever a party is served by mail, 5 days are added to the prescribed period for filing the exception. 5 C.F.R. 2429.22 (1987). Therefore, in order to be timely filed, any exceptions to Arbitrator Sergent's award had to be either mailed to the national office of the Authority in Washington, D.C., and postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service no later than January 25, 1988, or if filed in person, received at the Authority's national office no later than the close of business that same date. 5 C.F.R. 2429.21(b), as amended. 5 However, the Union's exceptions were filed on February 3, 1988. Accordingly, as the Union's exceptions were untimely filed, they are dismissed. For the Authority. Issued, Washington, D.C., March 30, 1988. Harold D. Kessler Director, Information Resources and Research Services FOOTNOTES Footnote 1 It is well established that exceptions to an Arbitrator's award cannot be filed at a Regional Office, but must be filed with the Authority at its national office in Washington, D.C. See The Panama Canal Commission and Maritime Metal Trades Council, AFL-CIO, 21 FLRA 303, 305 at n.5 (1986). Footnote 2 A discussion of the method for determining the date of filing in the absence of a postmark is found in Veterans Administration, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Muskogee Oklahoma, 29 FLRA 51 (1987). Footnote 3 Section 7122(b) of 5 U.S.C. was amended by the Civil Service Miscellaneous Amendments Act of 1983 (Pub. L. No. 98-224, 4, 96 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. Footnote 4 49 Fed. Reg. 22623 (1984). The amendments to section 2425.1 of 5 C.F.R. are applicable to exceptions pending or filed with the Authority on or after March 2, 1984. Footnote 5 51 Fed. Reg. 45751 (1986). The amendments to section 2429.21 of 5 C.F.R. are applicable to exceptions pending or filed with the Authority on or after December 31, 1986.