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50:0003(1)AR - - NFFE and Army Aviation and Troop Command, St. Louis, MO - - 1994 FLRAdec AR - - v50 p3

[ v50 p3 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

50 FLRA No. 1













August 12, 1994

The Union has filed exceptions to the award of Arbitrator Kirby J. Smith, Jr., in the above-captioned case. On July 14, 1994, the Authority issued an Order directing 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, Oklahoma 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 Docket Room of the Authority's Case Control Office, 607 14th Street, NW., Washington, D.C. 20424-0001. 5 C.F.R. § 2429.24(a).

In its response, the Union has provided the envelope in which the Arbitrator's award, dated May 12, l994, was mailed and on which there is a postmark of May 19, 1994. The Union has established that the date of service of the Arbitrator's award was May 19, l994. Therefore, in order to be considered timely, an exception to the award had to be either postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service or filed in person at the Authority no later than June 22, 1994. 5 C.F.R. §§ 2425.1(b), 2429.21(b), 2429.22, and 2429.24(e).

The Union mailed its exceptions to the Authority's Denver Region. The Denver Region forwarded the exceptions to the Authority's Case Control Office. Accordingly, the Union's exceptions were considered filed on July 7, 1994, the date the exceptions were received in the Docket Room of the Authority's Case Control Office.

In its response, the Union asserts that its exceptions were timely filed with the Denver Regional Office because 5 U.S.C. § 7122 does not specify where to file.

The place and method of filing documents with the Authority is set out at subsection (a) of section 2499.24 of the Authority's Regulations. 5 C.F.R. § 2499.24(a). Parties filing actions with the Authority are responsible for being knowledgeable of the statutory and regulatory filing requirements. See U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Washington, D.C. and American Federation of Government Employees, Local 476, 34 FLRA 307, 309 (1989).

The Union further argues that the Arbitrator's award was not addressed to him, as a representative, and that for a period of time he was on emergency leave. We note, however, that the Arbitrator's award was addressed to and received by the Union. The Authority's Regulations do not require exceptions to be filed by a party's representative at an arbitration hearing. See for example, U.S. Department of the Navy, Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Virginia, and National Association of Government Employees, Local R4-19, 36 FLRA 304, 308-09.

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

(If blank, the decision does not have footnotes.)