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Pay & Leave Claim Decisions

Office of the General Counsel

Matter of: [xxx]
Date: March 23, 2000
File Number: S004330

OPM Contact: Jo-Ann Chabot

A former federal employee has filed a claim for severance pay as a result of his separation through a reduction-in-force. For the reasons stated below, we do not have jurisdiction to consider this claim.

The claimant was a member of a collective bargaining unit during the time that he worked for his former employing agency. Moreover, this matter was not excluded from negotiated grievance procedures under the collective bargaining agreement. See Section 2a(2) of Article 21 of the Negotiated Grievance Procedure.

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) does not have jurisdiction to consider a matter that is or was subject to a negotiated grievance procedure under a collective bargaining agreement between the employee's agency and labor union, unless that matter is or was specifically excluded from the agreement's grievance procedure. Congress intended that such a grievance procedure would be the exclusive remedy for matters not excluded from the grievance process. Carter v. Gibbs, 909 F.2d 1452, 1454-55 (Fed. Cir. 1990) (en banc), cert. denied, 498 U.S. 811 (1990) (Construing therein the provision in the Civil Service Reform Act codified at 5 U.S.C.  7121(a) which mandates that the grievance procedures in negotiated collective bargaining agreements be the exclusive remedy for matters covered by the agreements). Accord, Paul D. Bills, et al., B260475 (June 13, 1995); Cecil E. Riggs, et al., 71 Comp. Gen. 374 (1992). Accordingly, OPM cannot assert jurisdiction over, or issue a decision concerning, this matter.

This settlement is final. No further administrative review is available within the Office of Personnel Management. Nothing in this settlement limits the claimant's right to bring an action in an appropriate United States Court.

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