43:1149(92)AR - U.S. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS MEDICAL CENTER WACO, TEXAS and AFGE LOCAL 1822 -- 1992 FLRAdec AR



[ v43 p1149 ]
43:1149(92)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:


43 FLRA NO. 92



             U.S. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
                       MEDICAL CENTER
                         WACO, TEXAS
                           (Agency)

                             and

         AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES
                          LOCAL 1822
                           (Union)

                          0-AR-2208

ORDER DISMISSING EXCEPTIONS

     The Union has filed exceptions to the award of Arbitrator
John A. Bailey in the above-captioned case. On January 3, 1992,
the Authority directed the Union to show cause why its exceptions
should not be dismissed as untimely filed. The Union filed a
timely response to the Authority's Order. The Agency has filed an
opposition to the Union's exceptions. For the reasons set out
below, the Union's exceptions must be dismissed.

     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). Absent evidence to the
contrary, the date of the arbitration award is presumed to be the
date of service of the award. See Oklahoma City Air Logistics
Center, Tinker Air Force Base and American Federation of
Government Employees, Local No. 916, 32 FLRA  165, 167 (1988). If
the award is served by mail, 5 days are added to the period for
filing exceptions to the award. 5 C.F.R. 2429.22. The time limit
may not be extended or waived by the Authority. 5 C.F.R.
2429.23(d).

     Exceptions to an Arbitrator's award may not be filed in a
Regional Office but must be filed in the Authority's Docket
Room, 500 C Street, SW., Washington, D.C. 20424. 5 C.F.R.
2429.24(a). See Veterans Administration Medical Center,
Gainesville, Florida and American Federation of Government
Employees, Local 2729, 31 FLRA  1108 (1988).

     The Arbitrator's award is dated November 1, 1991. Presuming
that the award was deposited in the U.S. mail on November 1,
1991, an exception to the award had to be either postmarked by
the U.S. Postal Service or received in person at the Authority no
later than December 9, 1991, in order to be considered timely. 5
C.F.R. 2425.1(b), 2429.21(b) and 2429.22.

     The Union mailed its exceptions to the Authority's Dallas
Regional Office. The Regional Office forwarded the exceptions to
the Authority's Docket Room. Accordingly, the Union's exceptions
were filed on December 18, 1991, the date they were received in
the Authority's Docket Room.

     The Union asserts in its response to the Authority's January
3 Order that its exceptions should not be dismissed as untimely
filed because the exceptions were timely filed with the Dallas
Regional Office. The Union argues that 5 C.F.R. Part 2425
("Review of Arbitration Awards"), does not provide specific
instructions on filing exceptions.

     The Authority's Regulations at subsection (a) of section
2429.24 ("Place and method of filing; acknowledgement") of 5
C.F.R. provide the complete address, telephone number, and times
for filing "documents filed or required to be filed with the
Authority(.)" Parties filing actions with the Authority are
responsible for being knowledgeable of the statutory and
regulatory filing requirements. See U.S. Department of Housing
and Urban Development, Washington, D.C. and American Federation
of Government Employees, Local 476, 34 FLRA  307, 309 (1989).

     The Union further states that the envelope in which the
award of the Arbitrator was mailed is lost, 1 but that the award
was received by the Union through regular mail on November 7.
1991. It is well established that the date of receipt of the
award is not controlling in the determination of the
timeliness of exceptions. U.S. Department of the Navy, Navy
Resale Activity, Guam and American Federation of Government
Employees, Local 1689, 39 FLRA  1109 (