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43:1524(121)AR - U.S. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS MEDICAL CENTER ALLEN PARK, MICHIGAN and AFGE LOCAL 933 -- 1992 FLRAdec AR



[ v43 p1524 ]
43:1524(121)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:


43 FLRA NO. 121


   
              U.S. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
                        MEDICAL CENTER
                     ALLEN PARK, MICHIGAN
                            (Agency)

                              and

          AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES
                           LOCAL 933
                            (Union)

                           0-AR-2225

ORDER DISMISSING EXCEPTIONS

     The Union has filed exceptions to the award of Arbitrator
Dallas L. Jones in the above-captioned case. On January 17, 1992,
the Authority directed 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 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 Authority's Docket Room, 500 C Street, SW., Washington,
D.C. 20424. 5 C.F.R. 2429.24(a).

     The Arbitrator's award is dated December 5, 1991. 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 8, 1992, in order to be considered timely. 5 C.F.R.
2425.1(b), 2429.21(b) and 2429.22.

     Exceptions to an Arbitrator's award may not be filed in a
Regional office but must be filed in the Authority's Docket Room.
5 C.F.R. 2429.24(a). See Veterans Administration Medical Center,
Gainesville, Florida and American Federation of Government
Employees, Local 2729, 31 FLRA  1108 (1988).

     The Union mailed its exceptions to the Authority's Chicago
Regional Office on January 9, 1992. The Regional Office forwarded
the exceptions to the Authority's Docket Room. Accordingly, the
Union's exceptions were filed on January 14, 1992, the date they
were received in the Authority's Docket Room.

     The Union does not dispute that its exceptions to the award
of the Arbitrator in the above-captioned case were not timely
filed. In addition, the Union states that it does not have the
envelope in which the award of the Arbitrator was mailed. 1 The
Union argues, however, that its exceptions should be accepted for
review because its inability to meet the time limit for filing
was caused by the Agency's denial of official time for Union
representatives to process appeals.

     The Union's exceptions were not filed in the Authority's
Docket Room within the prescribed time limit. As the time limit
for filing exceptions may not be extended or waived by the
Authority, the Union's exceptions are dismissed.

For the Authority.

Alicia N. Columna
Director, Case Control Office