42:1364(95)AR - - VA Hospital, Bedford, MA and NAGE Local R1-32 - - 1991 FLRAdec AR - - v42 p1364

[ v42 p1364 ]
42:1364(95)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:


42 FLRA No. 95

FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY

WASHINGTON, D.C.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

HOSPITAL

BEDFORD, MASSACHUSETTS

(Agency)

and

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES

LOCAL R1-32

(Union)

0-AR-2168

ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION

October 31, 1991

Before Chairman McKee and Members Talkin and Armendariz.

I. Statement of the Case

This matter is before the Authority on a motion filed by the Union seeking reconsideration of an Authority Order dated October 3, 1991, dismissing the Union's exceptions to an arbitration award. The Authority dismissed the exceptions because the Union failed to respond to an earlier Order granting the Union an opportunity to correct deficiencies in its exceptions. The Agency did not file an opposition to the Union's motion for reconsideration.

For the following reasons, we conclude that the Union has not established that extraordinary circumstances exist warranting reconsideration of the Authority's Order dismissing the exceptions. Accordingly, we will deny the motion for reconsideration.

II. Background

In accordance with the Authority's Rules and Regulations, the time limit for filing exceptions to an arbitration award is 30 days beginning on the date the award

is served on the filing party. 5 C.F.R. § 2425.1(b). The date of service is the date the arbitration award is deposited in the U.S. mail or is delivered in person. 5 C.F.R. § 2429.27(d). The time limit may not be extended or waived by the Authority. 5 C.F.R. § 2429.23(d).

The Authority's Regulations also provide that any document filed with the Authority must be served on "all counsel of record or other designated representative(s) of parties[.]" 5 C.F.R. § 2429.27(a). Service must be made by certified mail or in person. 5 C.F.R. § 2429.27(b). A signed and dated statement of service which shows that proper service has been made must be submitted with all documents filed with the Authority. 5 C.F.R. § 2429.27(c).

Finally, the Authority's Regulations require that "any document or paper filed with the Authority . . . shall be submitted . . . in an original and four (4) legible copies." 5 C.F.R. § 2429.25.

By Order dated September 12, 1991, the Authority notified the Union that its exceptions were deficient because the Union did not: (1) provide the date of service of the arbitration award; (2) include a signed and dated statement of service showing that the counsel of record or other designated representative(s) of the parties had been properly served; and (3) submit four legible copies of the exceptions. The Union was also notified that failure to correct the deficiencies in its exceptions not later than September 25, 1991, including documentation of the date of service of the arbitration award and a signed and dated statement of service showing that a copy of the Union's submission had been served on all counsel of record or other designated representatives, would result in dismissal of the exceptions. The Authority's Order was served on the Union's attorney of record on September 12, 1991, by certified mail, return receipt requested. The signed receipt was returned showing that the Order was delivered to the office of the Union's attorney of record on September 16, 1991.

The Union did not respond to the Authority's Order of September 12, 1991. Accordingly, by Order dated October 3, 1991, the Authority dismissed the Union's exceptions.

III. The Union's Motion for Reconsideration

The Union contends that it was not aware of the Authority's Order of September 12, 1991, or that a September 25, 1991, time limit existed within which it had to correct deficiencies in the exceptions, until it received the Authority's October 3, 1991, Order dismissing the exceptions. The Union states that its "failure to respond was not due to inaction of Union Counsel, but rather because Union Counsel was not aware of this deadline." Motion for Reconsideration at 1. In support, the Union submits an affidavit dated October 8, 1991, of the Union's attorney of record.

The Union requests that the Authority vacate the dismissal Order of October 3, 1991, and reissue the Order dated September 12, 1991, in order for the Union to correct the deficiencies in its exceptions.

IV. Analysis and Conclusions

Section 2429.17 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations permits a party that can establish the existence of "extraordinary circumstances" to request reconsideration of a final decision or order of the Authority. We conclude that the Union has failed to establish the existence of extraordinary circumstances.

As indicated earlier, the Authority's Order of September 12, 1991, requiring that deficiencies in the Union's exceptions must be corrected by September 25, 1991, was served on the Union's attorney of record by certified mail, return receipt requested and was delivered to that office on September 16, 1991. However, the Union argues that it was not aware of the existence of the Authority's Order of September 12, 1991, until it received the Authority's Order of October 3, 1991, dismissing the Union's exceptions.

The Authority received a signed return receipt indicating that delivery of the Order had been made to the office of the Union's attorney of record on September 16, 1991. The Union has not demonstrated that the person who signed the receipt was not authorized to do so and has not given any other reason to explain why the Union's attorney of record did not receive the Order. Once the Authority's Order had been delivered to the office of the Union's attorney of record, responsibility for ensuring that the Union's attorney received the Order rested within the Union's internal administrative mail procedures. Delays resulting from a party's internal administrative mail procedures do not establish extraordina