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Office of Merit Systems Oversight and Effectiveness

Date: June 21, 2002
File Number: [02-0020]
Matter of: [Claimant]

OPM Contact: Deborah Y. McKissick

The claimant is a former employee of the [claimant's agency]. He is requesting that the agency give him full credit for his military service connected disability in the determination of his leave accrual rate. The Office of Personnel Management received the claim on March 29, 2002 and received the agency administrative report on May 1, 2002. We received a copy of the covered collective bargaining agreement on June 14, 2002. For the reasons stated below, we do not have jurisdiction to consider this claim.

The claimant believes he meets the criteria to be eligible to receive full credit for leave accrual purposes. The claimant states that the [agency] has determined that his disability is service-connected and part of his retirement income is excluded as disability compensation. He provided a copy of a letter dated, March 1, 2001, from the [agency] that certifies that the claimant receives disability compensation due to a service-connected disability.

Based on the information provided by the claimant's agency, the claimant was a member of a bargaining unit, the Mint Council American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, during the time of the claim. Moreover, this matter was not excluded from negotiated grievance procedures under the agency's collective bargaining agreement. See Article 34 of the Agreement between the [agency] on behalf of the American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO.

OPM cannot take jurisdiction over the claim of Federal employees that are or were 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. This is because 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 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). That Act 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., B-260475 (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. Nothing in this settlement limits the claimant's right to bring an action in an appropriate United States Court.

Control Panel