December 9, 1996




MEMORANDUM FOR MACOM CIVILIAN PERSONNEL DIRECTORS AND
spacerCIVILIAN PERSONNEL OFFICERS OF
spacerCIVILIAN PERSONNEL OPERATIONS CENTERS
spacerAND INDEPENDENT REPORTING ACTIVITIES

SUBJECT: Processing Grievances Concerning Civilian
spacerPersonnel Operations Center (CPOC) Actions



spacer The following policy addresses the procedures to be followed in processing administrative and negotiated grievances involving CPOC actions.

spacer Our overall philosophy is that the CPOC, when processing actions for an installation or activity, does so only through the delegation of authority from that commander. Under this guiding principle, although geographically separated, the CPOC can be looked at as part of the commander's staff when completing assignments for the commander's installation or activity.

spacer For purposes of this policy, "installation commander" means the commander of an installation and each commander/director of an activity on or off the installation who has delegated appointing authority to hire and fire civilian employees.

1. Administrative Grievance System (AGS) Involving Non-CPOC Employees.

a. There are three distinct circumstances surrounding AGS grievances over decisions made, or actions taken, by a CPOC. (In all three cases, it is assumed the matter being grieved falls within the coverage of the AGS.) The first situation is where a non-CPOC employee grieves something done by a CPOC (e.g., not rating the employee best qualified, disagreement over discretionary pay setting, failing to refer an employee to the selecting official, untimely processing of a temporary promotion.) Under these circumstances, the employee would use his or her activity's AGS procedure and a final decision would be issued by the activity's designated deciding official. In other words, the grievance is to be processed with the understanding that the CPOC works for the commander.

b. More specifically, upon receipt of a grievance under the AGS which challenges something done by the CPOC for the installation where the grievant(s) are employed, the local AGS process would be followed. However, given the physical separation between the installation and the CPOC, one additional step needs to be taken. Upon receipt of the formal grievance, the installation must notify the appropriate CPOC of the circumstances surrounding the grievance and provide it all other necessary information. This notification will allow the CPOC to begin preparing the pertinent background material for the installation's processing of the grievance. Close coordination between the installation and the CPOC is important for the thorough, timely processing and successful resolution of the grievance. Installations may develop their own processes for coordinating employee grievances with the CPOCs.

c. Where the deciding official, or supervisor in a problem solving process, feels a remedy to the grievance is warranted, and that remedy requires action by the CPOC, the terms of the proposed remedy must be discussed with that CPOC. The same is true when the proposed remedy would not require action by the CPOC but would have the effect of changing or overruling a CPOC action. If there is a dispute regarding a proposed remedy and agreement cannot be reached between the installation and the CPOC, the installation commander will make the final decision. The installation commander may delegate this authority to individuals above the directorate level at the installation. The CPOC will then process the matter as decided by the commander/designee.

d. Where the CPOC believes that the installation directed remedy does not comply with law, rule or regulation, after discussing with the installation representative, the CPOC can send the action to the installation for its authentication. In any event, in overruling a CPOC decision, a commander may not offer or grant a remedy which impacts on the CPOC's processing of other installations' actions (for example, remedies requiring all actions from an installation be processed first) except as reasonably necessary to implement specific relief to the grievant(s).

e. Installations and CPOCs are cautioned that coordination, and a decision issued to the grievant, must be accomplished normally within 60 calendar days from the filing of the grievance, but in no case later than 90 calendar days, absent mutual agreement between the installation and the grievant to extend the time limit. See Department of Defense AGS, Subchapter 771, paragraph D.6.b.(4).

2. AGS Involving Non-CPOC Employees and CPOC Actions for Other Installations.

Where an employee files a grievance over an action of another installation (e.g., a Fort X employee grieves non referral for a vacancy at Fort Y) the provisions of the Special Department of Army Grievance Procedures for grievances that need to be processed outside the local activity will be followed. (See Enclosure 2 of the May 31, 1994, Department of the Army memorandum, DoD Administrative Grievance System (AGS.)) That process provides that the employee would submit a grievance to his or her CPAC within the time frames contained in Department of Defense AGS, Subchapter 771, paragraph D.6.b. The CPAC would then forward the grievance to the installation who has control over the matter being grieved within seven days. Within 30 calendar days of receiving the grievance, the installation, in coordination with its servicing CPOC, if necessary, will issue a final decision to the address provided by the employee with copies furnished to the employee's representative and the CPAC.

3. AGS for CPOC Employees Grieving CPOC Actions.

a. The third circumstance involving an AGS grievance and the CPOC is where a CPOC employee wants to file an administrative grievance. In this case, the CPOC should have already developed its own AGS or agreed to abide by the servicing installation's. In either case, the applicable local AGS system would apply.

b. For internal CPOC AGS grievances, the CPOC director is considered the head of an activity for purposes of Subchapter 771, paragraph C.4. Thus, where a CPOC director has been identified as the deciding official, and, in a particular grievance, he or she is not at "an organizational level higher than any employee involved in the grievance or [has] a direct interest in the matter being grieved," he or she would still remain the deciding official.

c. If the CPOC director is the deciding official and cancels a grievance (e.g., finds it untimely), or fails to render a decision within 90 days, absent a mutually agreed to extension of time, the employee can seek review of that decision, in accordance with Subchapter 771, paragraph D.6.b.6, with the Deputy Director for Civilian Personnel Management and Operations (formerly the Deputy Director of Civilian Personnel.)

4. Negotiated Grievance Procedure (NGP) Involving Non-CPOC Employees.

a. Obviously, there can be no standardized negotiated grievance procedure. Rather, the parties must apply the terms of their locally negotiated NGP to all grievances that fall within its coverage. However, there are certain factors that should be considered.

b. A grievance stemming from a CPOC action, by an employee not employed by that CPOC, would be filed under the employee's negotiated grievance procedure. Upon receipt of the grievance, the installation should inform the CPOC of the circumstances surrounding the grievance and provide it all other necessary information. This notification will allow the CPOC to begin preparing the pertinent background material for the installation's processing of the grievance. Close coordination between the installation and the CPOC is extremely important for the thorough, timely processing and successful resolution of the grievance. Installations may develop their own processes for coordinating employee and union grievances with the CPOCs.

c. Where a deciding official feels a remedy to the grievance is warranted, and that remedy requires action by the CPOC, the terms of the proposed remedy must be discussed with that CPOC. The same is true when the proposed remedy would not require action by the CPOC but would have the effect of changing or overruling a CPOC action. If there is a dispute regarding a proposed remedy and agreement cannot be reached between the installation and the CPOC, the installation commander will make the final decision. The installation commander may delegate this authority to individuals above the directorate level at the installation. The CPOC will then process the matter as decided by the commander/designee.

d. Where the CPOC believes that the installation directed remedy does not comply with law, rule or regulation, after discussing with the installation representative, the CPOC can send the action to the installation for its authentication. In any event, in overruling a CPOC decision, a commander may not offer or grant a remedy which impacts on the CPOC's processing of other installations' actions (for example, remedies requiring all actions from an installation be processed first) except as reasonably necessary to implement specific relief for the grievant(s).

e. If a grievance is raised to arbitration, the grievant's installation will be responsible for presenting the agency's case with CPOC employees available as witnesses and/or providing other assistance, where appropriate. The installation is responsible for any management costs associated with the arbitration.

5. Negotiated Grievance Procedure (NGP) Involving CPOC Employees

Where CPOC employees are covered by a collective bargaining agreement, they would follow their local NGP in filing and processing all grievances falling within its coverage.



//original signed//

Elizabeth B. Throckmorton
Chief, Policy and Program
Development Division


NOTE: Korea and Europe may modify this policy only as necessary given their distinct CPOC/MACOM relationship. A copy of the changes must be sent to HQDA (SAMR-CPP).