[ v15 p353 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
15 FLRA No. 75 SAN ANTONIO REAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT AGENCY Activity and AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 3782 Union Case No. O-AR-643 ORDER DISMISSING EXCEPTIONS This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to the award of Arbitrator John A. Bailey filed by the Union under section 7122(a) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute and 2425.1 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations. For the reasons stated below, it has been determined that the exceptions must be dismissed as untimely filed. The Arbitrator's award in this case is dated November 17, 1982, and appears to have been served on the parties by mail on the same day. In his award, the Arbitrator found that the Activity had not violated the parties' collective bargaining agreement, as interpreted by the Arbitrator, and denied the Union's grievance. The Arbitrator also retained jurisdiction of the matter to resolve any dispute concerning application of the award. The Union subsequently invoked the Arbitrator's retained jurisdiction, contending that management had not complied with the Arbitrator's interpretation of the agreement in a number of instances. By letter of July 12, 1983, the Arbitrator essentially found that the Activity had not violated the award as alleged, denied the Union's complaint and referred the parties to pertinent language in his November 17, 1982 award. On August 16, 1983, the Union again wrote to the Arbitrator, this time requesting clarification of the award as interpreted and applied in the Arbitrator's July 12 letter. The Arbitrator responded by letter of August 29, 1983, essentially reiterating pertinent portions of his award. The Union then filed the instant exceptions with the Authority on September 27, 1983. Under section 7122(b) of the Statute, as amended, /1/ and section 2425.1(b) of the Authority's Rules and Regulations, as amended, /2/ which amendments are applicable to exceptions to arbitration awards pending or filed with the Authority on or after March 2, 1984, and under sections 2429.21 and 2429.22 of the Rules and Regulations, which are also applicable to computation of the time limit here involved, any exceptions to the Arbitrator's award of November 17, 1982 had to be filed with the Authority by the close of business on December 21, 1982. Thus, it immediately and clearly appears that the exceptions filed by the Union on September 27, 1983 are untimely. The Union, however, apparently takes the position that its exceptions are timely filed from the Arbitrator's award "as clarified" by his letter of August 29, 1983. As the Authority recently held in Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and Federal Employees Metal Trades Council, AFL-CIO, 15 FLRA No. 28 (1984), the fact that an arbitrator retains jurisdiction of a matter to resolve problems that might arise concerning the award does not deprive the award of finality or extend the time limit for filing exceptions to the award with the Authority. Nor does a request for clarification and the mere possibility of modification of the award by the arbitrator render the award interlocutory. Unless the arbitrator, in response to the request, modifies the award in such a way as to give rise to alleged deficiencies, the time period begins with the award and not with the arbitrator's response to the request. In terms of this case, the Arbitrator did not modify his November 17, 1982 award in any way in response to the Union's request. Rather, in his responses, the Arbitrator essentially reiterated pertinent portions of his award and determined, contrary to the Union's allegations, that the Activity had complied with the award. Thus, the time limit for filing exceptions to the Arbitrator's award began on the date the award was served on the parties, i.e., November 17, 1982, and expired on December 21, 1982. The exceptions filed by the Union on September 27, 1983 are therefore untimely. Accordingly, the Union's exceptions are hereby dismissed. For the Authority. Issued, Washington, D.C., July 24, 1984 Jan K. Bohren, Executive Director/Administrator --------------- FOOTNOTES$ --------------- /1/ Section 7122(b) of the Statute was amended by the Civil Service Miscellaneous Amendme4ts Act of 1983 (Pub. L. No. 98-224, Sec. 4, 98 Stat. 47, 48 (1984)) to provide that the time limit for filing exceptions to an arbitrator's award begins on the date of the award is served on the filing party. /2/ 49 Fed.Reg. 22623 (1984).