Negotiated Grievance Procedures

Employees who are represented by unions and desire to pursue a negotiated grievance must consult their specific collective bargaining agreement. Procedures, timeframes, and issues covered vary according to the particular bargaining unit.

Contact Information


For more information or a copy of your union contract, contact your Agency Labor Relations Officer or Union Representative.


Merit Systems Protection Board Appeals


The U.S. Merit System Protection Board (MSPB or Board), hears and decides Federal employee appeals of major personnel actions taken by agencies--including removals, demotions, suspensions of 15 days or longer, Office of Personnel Management retirement decisions, and personnel actions involving discrimination or reprisal for whistleblowing.

Who May Appeal:

  • Employees in the competitive service who have completed a 1-year probationary or trial period
  • Employees eligible for Veterans preference who have at least one year of continuous employment in the same or similar positions outside the competitive service
  • Excepted service employees, other than preference-eligibles, who are not serving a probationary or trial period and who have completed two years of current continuous service in the same or similar positions in an Executive agency

Procedure for Filing


You must file an appeal in writing with the Board’s regional or field office serving the area where your duty station was located at the time the action was taken. Appeals may be filed by mail, fax, commercial overnight delivery, or personal delivery. When a Board regional or field office receives an appeal, the case is assigned to an administrative judge in that office. Once it is established that your appeal was filed timely and your case falls within the Board’s jurisdiction, you have a right to a hearing on the merits of your case. The administrative judge will issue a decision after considering all of the relevant evidence in the case. The initial decision of the administrative judge will become the final decision of the Board 35 days after the date of the decision.

Time Limits for Filing


An appeal must be received by the MSPB office within 30 calendar days after the effective date of the action you are contesting, or within 30 calendar days after receipt of the agency’s decision, whichever is later. If you and the agency mutually agree in writing to submit your dispute to alternative dispute resolution (ADR), the 30-day filing time limit is automatically extended to 60 days.

If a Personnel Action is Not Appealable to the Board

Some actions that are not appealable to the Board may be appealable to the Office of Personnel Management or may be covered by agency grievance procedures. If you are a member of a bargaining unit, actions covered under a negotiated grievance procedure may be grieved in accordance with that procedure. If a personnel action (whether appealable to the Board or not) is taken or about to be taken as a result of a prohibited personnel practice, you may file a complaint with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, asking the Special Counsel to seek corrective action from the Board on your behalf.


Contact Information


For more detailed information or to obtain an appeal form, contact the Personnel Management Specialist at your NIH Institute, call the MSPB at (202) 653-7200 or 1-800-209-8690 or go to the MSPB website at