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Office of the General Counsel

Date: [XXX]
Matter of: [XXX]
File Number: S9701093

OPM Contact: Murray M. Meeker

In letters dated September 24, 1997 and June 15, 1997, [XXX], a former employee of the [agency], requested that the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) resolve certain personnel matters regarding overdue back pay and benefits, including retirement benefits, Thrift Savings Plan benefits, and service credit. The [agency] advised OPM that while [XXX] had been employed, he had been subject to a negotiated grievance procedure under a collective bargaining agreement. OPM cannot take jurisdiction over the claim of a current or former federal employee on a matter that is or was subject to a negotiated grievance procedure under a collective bargaining agreement between the employees agency and union, unless that matter is or was specifically excluded from the agreements grievance procedure.

The courts have found that Congress intended that such a grievance procedure is to be the exclusive remedy for matters not excluded from the grievance process. Carter v. Gibbs, 909 F.2d 1425, 1453 (Fed. Cir. 1990) (en banc), cert. denied, 498 U.S. 811 (1990) [construing the provision in the Civil Service Reform Act, codified at 5 U.S.C.  7121(a)]. That Act mandates that the grievance procedures in negotiated collective bargaining agreements be the exclusive remedy for matters covered by the agreements. Accord, Cecil E. Riggs et al., B-222962.3, April 23, 1992.

Because [claimant] raised questions concerning his retirement benefits, a copy of his correspondence was forwarded to OPM's Retirement and Insurance Service. A second copy of [XXX] correspondence was forwarded to the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board to respond to [XXX] queries concerning the Thrift Savings Plan.

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