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17:0237(35)AR - VA Medical Center, SEPULVEDA and AFGE Local 1697 -- 1985 FLRAdec AR

[ v17 p237 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

 17 FLRA No. 35
                                            Case No. O-AR-834
                                            (16 FLRA No. 12)
    On September 24, 1984, the Authority issued an Order dismissing the
 exceptions in the above-captioned case because, among other things, it
 appeared that the exceptions were filed by the grievant and that the
 grievant was not a party in the proceeding before the Arbitrator and,
 therefore, was not entitled to file the exceptions under section
 2425.1(a) of the Authority's Rules and Regulations.  Accordingly, and
 apart from other considerations, the exceptions were denied.  The
 grievant subsequently filed a submission establishing that he was
 authorized to file the exceptions on behalf of the Union.  Accordingly,
 the conclusion that the grievant was not entitled to file the exceptions
 is hereby reversed.
    However, apart from that consideration, the Union's exceptions are
 otherwise procedurally deficient as untimely filed and, therefore, the
 Order of September 24, 1984, is hereby amended to explicitly dismiss the
 exceptions on that basis.
    The Arbitrator's award is dated June 26, 1984, and appears to have
 been served on the parties by mail the same day.  In the award, the
 Arbitrator stated that she would retain jurisdiction of the matter "in
 the event the grievant is found to be qualified, and the parties are
 unable to agree upon a remedy." By letter of August 7, 1984, the
 Arbitrator responded to certain communications from the parties advising
 them that because the Activity had determined that the grievant was not
 qualified for the particular position involved, she had not retained
 jurisdiction.  The Union then filed exceptions with the Authority on
 August 31, 1984.
    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 pending or filed with the
 Authority on or after March 2, 1984, and under sections 2429.21 and
 2429.27 of the Rules and Regulations, which are also applicable to
 computation of the time limit here involved, any exceptions to the
 Arbitrator's award in this case had to be filed with the Authority no
 later than the close of business on July 30, 1984.  However, the Union's
 exceptions were not filed until August 31, 1984.  Therefore, the
 exceptions were untimely filed.
    The Union, however, in effect takes the position that its exceptions
 are timely because the Arbitrator retained jurisdiction of the matter,
 the award was not final until August 7, 1984, and the time for filing
 exceptions did not begin to run until that date.  However, as the
 Arbitrator informed the parties, she did not retain jurisdiction of this
 matter subsequent to her award of June 26, 1984.  Moreover, in
 arbitration cases that have come before the Authority it is not uncommon
 for an arbitrator to have retained jurisdiction for a period of time to
 resolve questions or problems that might arise concerning the award.
 However, retention for such purpose does not by itself serve to extend
 the time limits for filing exceptions.  E.g., Social Security
 Administration and American Federation of Government Employees, Local
 1164, AFL-CIO, 14 FLRA 444, n. 1 (1984);  Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and
 Federal Employees Metal Trades Council, AFL-CIO, 15 FLRA No. 28 (1984).
 Therefore, in the instant case, the time limit for filing exceptions to
 the Arbitrator's award began on June 28, 1984 and expired on July 30,
    Accordingly, as the Union's exceptions were untimely filed on August
 31, 1984, they are dismissed on that basis.  For the Authority.  Issued,
 Washington, D.C., March 19, 1985
                                       Harold D. Kessler
                                       Managing Director for Case
 --------------- FOOTNOTES$ ---------------
    /1/ Section 7122(b) of the Statute was amended by the Civil Service
 Miscellaneous Amendments Act of 1983 (Pub. L. No. 98-224, Sec. 4, 98
 Stat. 47, 48 (1984)) to provide that the 30-day period for filing
 exceptions to an arbitrator's award begins on the date the award is
 served on the filing party.
    /2/ 49 Fed.Reg. 22623 (1984).