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Pay & Leave Claim Decisions

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Office of the General Counsel

Matter of: [xxx]
File Number: 003385
Date: August 10, 1999

OPM Contact: Jo-Ann Chabot

The claimant seeks reconsideration of a claims settlement decision (Z-2869595) that the General Accounting Office (GAO) issued on May 8, 1995.(1)

In its decision, the GAO found that it did not have jurisdiction to consider the claimant's claims for a retroactive Alaska wage differential and retained pay at the rate he formerly received in Alaska because the claimant was covered by a collective bargaining agreement and his claims were not specifically excluded from the negotiated grievance procedure. The GAO based its decision on 5 U.S.C. 7121(a)(1) which requires collective bargaining agreements to include procedures for settling grievances and makes these procedures the exclusive means for resolving grievances within the agreement's coverage. The GAO also based its decision Carter v. Gibbs, 909 F. 2d 1452 (Fed. Cir. 1990), cert. denied, 498 U.S. 811 (1990) where the court of appeals held that section 7121(a)(1) makes a grievance procedure the exclusive means of resolving grievances subject to that procedure.

We have reviewed the authorities cited in the GAO decision and agree with the GAO's findings and conclusions. Accordingly, the GAO decision, Z-2869595 (May 8, 1995), is affirmed.

This determination is final. No further administrative review is available within OPM. Nothing in this settlement limits the employee's right to bring an action in an appropriate United States Court.

1. Effective June 30, 1996, the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act of 1996, Pub. L. 104-53, 109 Stat. 535 (November 19, 1995), transferred certain claims adjudication functions from the General Accounting Office to the Office of Management and Budget. The Office of Management and Budget delegated to the Office of Personnel Management the responsibility for adjudicating Federal employees' claims for compensation and leave. See B-275605, Memorandum from the Acting Comptroller General to the Heads of Departments and Agencies (March 17, 1997). Section 202(n)(1)(B) of the General Accounting Office Act of 1996, Pub. L. 104-316, 110 Stat 3826, 3843-44, October 19, 1996, transferred the Comptroller General's authority to settle claims for Federal civilian employees' compensation to the Director of OPM.

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