49:0567(51)AR - - Panama Canal Commission and Maritime / Metal Trades Council, Panama Area Trades Council - - 1994 FLRAdec AR - - v49 p567

[ v49 p567 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

49 FLRA No. 51











March 18, 1994

The Union has filed exceptions to the award of Arbitrator Jason M. Berkman in the above-captioned case. On February 7, 1994, the Authority issued an Order directing 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. 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, Oklahoma 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).

All documents filed with the Authority must be filed in the Docket Room of the Authority's Case Control Office, 607 14th Street, NW., Washington, D.C. 20424-0001. 5 C.F.R. § 2429.24(a).

The Arbitrator's award is dated December 15, 1993. Presuming that the award was deposited in the U.S. mail on that date, 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 January 18, 1994, 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 Office of the General Counsel. The General Counsel's Office forwarded the exceptions to the Authority's Case Control Office, which received the exceptions on February 1, 1994. Section 2429.21(b) of the Authority's Regulations provides that "[i]f the filing is by personal delivery, it shall be considered filed on the date it is received by the Authority . . . ." 5 C.F.R. § 2429.21(b). Accordingly, the Union's exceptions were considered filed on February 1, 1994, the date the exceptions were received in the Docket Room of the Authority's Case Control Office.

The Union states in its response that a copy of the award was hand delivered from the Office of Industrial Relations on December 22, 1993. It is unclear from the Union's response whether the copy it received from the Office of Industrial Relations was service of the Arbitrator's award. However, even presuming that the award was served on the Union by personal delivery on December 22, 1993, an exception to the award had to be either postmarked by the U.S. Posta