31:1108(90)AR - VA Medical Center, Gainesville, FL and AFGE Local 2779 -- 1988 FLRAdec AR

[ v31 p1108 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

 31 FLRA NO. 90
 31 FLRA 1108
    30 MAR 1988






Case No. 0-AR-1499


     The Union has filed with the Authority exceptions to the
award of Arbitrator Stanley H. Sergent, Jr. pursuant to 5 U.S.C.
7122(a) and 5 C.F.R. 2425.1. The Union's exceptions are untimely
and must be dismissed.

     The Arbitrator's award is dated December 22, 1987. The
Union's exceptions: (1) are dated January 29, 1988; (2) were
misdirected to Region 4 of the Federal Labor Relations Authority
in Atlanta, Georgia in an envelope postmarked January 30,  1988;
1 (3) were forwarded to the Authority by the Atlanta Region by
letter dated February 2, 1988; and (4) were filed with the
Authority on February 3, 1988, by operation of 5 C.F.R.
2429.21(b), which provides that if no postmark date is evident on
the mailing, it is presumed to have been mailed 5 days prior to
receipt. 2

     The time limit for filing an exception to an arbitration
award is 30  days beginning on the date the award is served on
the filing party. 5 U.S.C. 7122(b), as amended, 3 and 5
C.F.R. 2425.1, as amended. 4 The date of service is the day when
the matter served is deposited in the U.S. mail or is delivered
in person. 5 C.F.R. 2429.27(d) (1987). The Arbitrator's award is
dated December 22, 1987, and, in the absence of evidence to the
contrary, it is concluded that the award was served on the
parties by mail that same day. Whenever a party is served by
mail, 5 days are added to the prescribed period for filing the
exception. 5 C.F.R. 2429.22 (1987). Therefore, in order to be
timely filed, any exceptions to Arbitrator Sergent's award had to
be either mailed to the national office of the Authority in
Washington, D.C., and postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service no
later than January 25, 1988, or if filed in person, received at
the Authority's national office no later than the close of
business that same date. 5 C.F.R. 2429.21(b), as amended. 5
However, the Union's exceptions were filed on February 3, 1988.

     Accordingly, as the Union's exceptions were untimely filed,
they are dismissed.

     For the Authority.

     Issued, Washington, D.C., March 30,  1988.

Harold D. Kessler
Director, Information Resources
  and Research Services


     Footnote 1 It is well established that exceptions to an  
Arbitrator's award cannot be filed at a Regional Office, but must
be   filed with the Authority at its national office in
Washington, D.C. See   The Panama Canal Commission and Maritime
Metal Trades Council, AFL-CIO,   21 FLRA  303, 305 at n.5

     Footnote 2 A discussion of the method for determining the
date of   filing in the absence of a postmark is found in
Veterans   Administration, Veterans Administration Medical
Center, Muskogee Oklahoma, 29 FLRA  51 (1987).

     Footnote 3 Section 7122(b) of 5 U.S.C. was amended by the
Civil   Service Miscellaneous Amendments Act of 1983 (Pub. L. No.
98-224, 4, 96   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.

     Footnote 4 49 Fed. Reg. 22623 (1984). The amendments to
section   2425.1 of 5 C.F.R. are applicable to exceptions pending
or filed with   the Authority on or after March 2, 1984.

     Footnote 5 51 Fed. Reg. 45751 (1986). The amendments to
section   2429.21 of 5 C.F.R. are applicable to exceptions
pending or filed with   the Authority on or after December 31,