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Pay & Leave Claim Decisions

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Office of the General Counsel

Date: January 12, 1998
Matter of: [xxx]
File Number: S9601442

OPM Contact: Joann Charleston

We have completed our review of a claim for hazardous duty pay and a wage grade increase and have determined that the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) cannot render a decision concerning this matter.

This claim was submitted by an employee of the [xxx]. Information in the file shows that the employee is part of a unit covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Our Office cannot take jurisdiction over the claim of a federal employee on a matter that is subject to the negotiated grievance procedure under a collective bargaining agreement between the employee's agency and 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.

Cecil E. Riggs, et al., B-222962.3, April 23, 1992.

In the present case the negotiated grievance procedure was available to the employee when the claim arose, that grievance procedure was his exclusive remedy. The fact that he failed to take advantage of that procedure when it was available does not create jurisdiction in our Office to consider a claim over which we otherwise have no jurisdiction. Accordingly, we decline to assert jurisdiction or issue a decision concerning this matter.

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