American Federation of Government Employees, Local 2401 (Union) and United States Department of Veterans Affairs, Northern Arizona Veterans Administration Health Care System, Prescott, Arizona (Agency)

[ v58 p1 ]

58 FLRA No. 1

AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 2401
(Union)

and

UNITED STATES
DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
NORTHERN ARIZONA VETERANS
ADMINISTRATION HEALTH CARE SYSTEM
PRESCOTT, ARIZONA
(Agency)

0-AR-3523

_____

DECISION

August 2, 2002

_____

Before the Authority: Dale Cabaniss, Chairman, and
Carol Waller Pope and Tony Armendariz, Members

      This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to two awards of Arbitrator Harold C. White filed by the Union under § 7122(a) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute) and part 2425 of the Authority's Regulations. The Agency filed an opposition to the Union's exceptions.

      We find that the exceptions to the Arbitrator's February 1, 2002 award are untimely filed. In this connection, assuming that the award was served by mail on the Union on February 1, any exceptions had to be postmarked no later than March 11, 2002. 5 C.F.R. §§ 2425.1(b), 2429.21(b), 2429.22, 2429.24(e) & 2429.27(d). Because the exceptions were postmarked March 18, they are untimely filed. Although the Union submits evidence that it did not receive the award until February 25, it is the date of service -- not the date of receipt -- that controls in determining the timeliness of exceptions. See United States Dep't of Labor, Wash., D.C., 35 FLRA 920, 921 (1990). Accordingly, we dismiss the exceptions to the February 1, 2002 award.

      However, contrary to the Agency's argument, we find that the exceptions are timely filed to the extent that they challenge the February 8, 2002 award. In this regard, assuming that the February 8 award was served on the Union by mail on February 8, any exceptions to the award would be considered timely if they were postmarked no later than March 18, 2002. 5 C.F.R. §§ 2425.1(b), 2429.21(b), 2429.22, 2429.24(e) & 2429.27(d). Because the Union's exceptions were postmarked March 18, they are timely filed to the extent that they challenge the February 8 award.

      With regard to the merits of the February 8 award, under § 7122(a) of the Statute, an award is deficient if it is contrary to any law, rule, or regulation; or it is deficient on other grounds similar to those applied by federal courts in private sector labor-management relations. Upon careful consideration of the entire record in this case, and Authority precedent, the Authority concludes that the February 8 award is not deficient on the grounds raised in the exceptions and set forth in § 7122(a). See United States Dep't of Veterans Affairs, Med. Ctr., N. Chi., Ill., 52 FLRA 387, 398 (1996) (award not deficient because of bias on the part of an arbitrator where excepting party fails to demonstrate that the award was procured by improper means, that there was partiality or corruption on the part of the arbitrator, or that the arbitrator engaged in misconduct that prejudiced the rights of the party); United States Dep't of the Navy, Naval Base, Norfolk, Va., 51 FLRA 305, 307-08 (1995) (award not deficient on ground that arbitrator exceeded his authority where excepting party does not establish that arbitrator failed to resolve an issue submitted to arbitration, disregarded specific limitations on his authority, or awarded relief to persons who were not encompassed within the grievance); AFGE, Local 1668, 50 FLRA 124, 1