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An Introduction to Grievance Processing IEA Higher Education Conference Saturday, October 5, 2013 9:30 – 10:30 am Elk Grove Village, IL Presenters: LuAnn.

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Presentation on theme: "An Introduction to Grievance Processing IEA Higher Education Conference Saturday, October 5, 2013 9:30 – 10:30 am Elk Grove Village, IL Presenters: LuAnn."— Presentation transcript:

1 An Introduction to Grievance Processing IEA Higher Education Conference Saturday, October 5, :30 – 10:30 am Elk Grove Village, IL Presenters: LuAnn Swartzlander, Roosevelt Adjunct Faculty Organization, IEA-NEA Betsy Pawlicki, Associate General Counsel, IEA-NEA

2 Todays Task An overview of grievance processing including : The Anatomy of a Grievance Investigating the Grievance Developing a Theory Drafting the Grievance Presenting the Grievance FALL 2013 IEA HE CONFERENCE: GRIEVANCE PROCESSING 2

3 The Anatomy of a Grievance FALL 2013 IEA HE CONFERENCE: GRIEVANCE PROCESSING 3

4 The Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act (IELRA) requires that all collective bargaining agreements for educational employees contain a grievance procedure that ends in binding arbitration. The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) does not contain a similar mandate, but most collective bargaining agreements under this Act contain a grievance procedure that ends in binding arbitration. Grievance Procedure FALL 2013 IEA HE CONFERENCE: GRIEVANCE PROCESSING 4

5 Way to solve problems: Compels management to listen to us in forum in which we are equals. Formal process that allows us to educate management about whats going in the work place. Puts the onus on management to justify its actions. Purpose of the Grievance Procedure FALL 2013 IEA HE CONFERENCE: GRIEVANCE PROCESSING 5

6 Legally, it is our mechanism to enforce the contract. Process for establishing how the contract will be interpreted by both the union and the employer. Way to ensure equal treatment for all bargaining unit members. FALL 2013 IEA HE CONFERENCE: GRIEVANCE PROCESSING 6

7 Requires that administration treat all members of the bargaining unit in a fair and equitable manner. Holds the union and our membership accountable, too. FALL 2013 IEA HE CONFERENCE: GRIEVANCE PROCESSING 7

8 The locals Bylaws typically establish a Grievance Committee and define duties and obligations. The local should have policy on how grievances are filed and processes that address: Role of Grievance Representative Role of Grievance Committee Role of Executive Committee/Senate An appeal process The Associations Grievance Policy FALL 2013 IEA HE CONFERENCE: GRIEVANCE PROCESSING 8

9 Decisions of whether to process to the next step of the process, including arbitration, should be well documented. Decision to go to arbitration is typically made by the Executive Committee or Senate of the Local. Union has an obligation to investigate alleged violations of the contract and to file a grievance if there is a violation. Union has no obligation to file grievance to pursue grievances that are without merit. FALL 2013 IEA HE CONFERENCE: GRIEVANCE PROCESSING 9

10 Every grievance begins and ends with YOUR contract! How does your contract: define a grievance, identify who may file a grievance, o Individual employee o Group of employees o The Association set time limits for initiating a grievance (informal v. formal step), identify specific information that must be included in the grievance report? Members must : become the experts on their contract, and work as hard to enforce the contract as they did to bargain it! FALL 2013 IEA HE CONFERENCE: GRIEVANCE PROCESSING 10

11 6.1 Grievance Definition A complaint by (1) an adjunct employee; or (2) a group of adjunct employees; or (3) the HCAFA, that there has been a violation, misinterpretation or misapplication of any provision of this Agreement Harper College Adjunct Faculty Association, IEA-NEA FALL 2013 IEA HE CONFERENCE: GRIEVANCE PROCESSING 11

12 A grievance" is a dispute or difference of opinion raised during the term of this Agreement by an assistant(s), or by the Union on behalf of an assistant(s) who has authorized the filing of such grievance in writing, against the University involving an alleged violation of one or more provision(s) set forth in this Agreement as to such assistant(s). In addition, a "grievance" is a dispute or difference of opinion raised during the term of this Agreement by the Union against the University, involving an alleged violation of one or more provisions in this Agreement concerning specific Union rights under this Agreement (e.g., dues deduction, Union use of University equipment, facilities or supplies, Union access and receipt of information, etc.). The Union may also file a grievance against the University on behalf of a class of similarly situated assistants who have authorized the filing in writing and who have a grievance involving facts in common and alleging a violation of the same provision or provisions of this Agreement SIU Graduate Assistants United, IEA-NEA FALL 2013 IEA HE CONFERENCE: GRIEVANCE PROCESSING 12

13 Bypass of steps Class/Association grievance No reprisals Withdrawing a grievance Grievance settlements Timeline violations Grievance meetings Release time Who can attend/must attend Miscellaneous Provisions FALL 2013 IEA HE CONFERENCE: GRIEVANCE PROCESSING 13

14 Initial filing Managements response Unions forwarding the grievance to the next step Requesting arbitration Time Limits FALL 2013 IEA HE CONFERENCE: GRIEVANCE PROCESSING 14

15 Many contracts contain a provision for extending timelines. Extensions of timelines should always be in writing. Extending Timelines FALL 2013 IEA HE CONFERENCE: GRIEVANCE PROCESSING 15

16 Informal Step Dean/Department Chair President/Provost/Chancellor Board of Trustees Arbitration Steps/Levels FALL 2013 IEA HE CONFERENCE: GRIEVANCE PROCESSING 16

17 Every grievance begins and ends with YOUR contract ! FALL 2013 IEA HE CONFERENCE: GRIEVANCE PROCESSING 17

18 Investigating the Grievance FALL 2013 IEA HE CONFERENCE: GRIEVANCE PROCESSING 18

19 Who? (was involved; who were the witnesses) What? (what, exactly, happened) Where? (did the event occur) When? (did it happen, or should it have happened) Why? (did it happen; is this a grievance) and, What would an appropriate remedy be? WHAT HAPPENED? The 5 Ws (and a R) FALL 2013 IEA HE CONFERENCE: GRIEVANCE PROCESSING 19

20 Witness Testimony The Paper Trail o Employee records (time sheets, disciplinary notices, reports, evaluations, lesson plans, personnel file) o Copies of written and electronic correspondence relating to the issue Examples of Evidence FALL 2013 IEA HE CONFERENCE: GRIEVANCE PROCESSING 20

21 Talk to all witnesses/involved parties. Best practice: individual interviews Make sure you get all points of view. This might include the grievant, administrators, and other staff. Who else might you talk to as part of your investigation? Interviewing Witnesses FALL 2013 IEA HE CONFERENCE: GRIEVANCE PROCESSING 21

22 Dont talk; dont interrupt. Pay attention. Show the witness that you hear her/him. Give the witness feedback. Dont judge what you hear. Interview tips: LISTEN ACTIVELY FALL 2013 IEA HE CONFERENCE: GRIEVANCE PROCESSING 22

23 The Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act (IELRA) and the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) require employers to furnish relevant information requested by the exclusive representative. If working with a public employer, an information request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is another option. Requesting Information From Your Employer FALL 2013 IEA HE CONFERENCE: GRIEVANCE PROCESSING 23

24 Put your request in writing. Follow up in writing if the request was initially made verbally or informally. Stick with whatever format the Union has used in the past. Make sure you include the date! FALL 2013 IEA HE CONFERENCE: GRIEVANCE PROCESSING 24

25 Developing a Theory FALL 2013 IEA HE CONFERENCE: GRIEVANCE PROCESSING 25

26 1.Identify the issue. 2.Determine the source(s) of your claimed rights. 3.What are the elements to show the right was violated? 4.Apply the facts to the elements. 5.Form a conclusion. Five Steps to a Theory FALL 2013 IEA HE CONFERENCE: GRIEVANCE PROCESSING 26

27 Five Steps to a Theory Whose issue is it? Why is it an issue? 1. Identify the issue(s) in the case FALL 2013 IEA HE CONFERENCE: GRIEVANCE PROCESSING 27

28 Five Steps to a Theory Labor agreement/contract Review standards for interpretation Past practice Statutory rights Board policy 2. The possible source(s) of your right to grieve FALL 2013 IEA HE CONFERENCE: GRIEVANCE PROCESSING 28

29 Five Steps to a Theory What do you need to show that the contract was violated? Example: 3. Elements to be proven FALL 2013 IEA HE CONFERENCE: GRIEVANCE PROCESSING 29

30 Five Steps to a Theory What facts do you have to establish each element How do you prove each fact? Example: 4. Apply the Facts FALL 2013 IEA HE CONFERENCE: GRIEVANCE PROCESSING 30

31 Five Steps to a Theory What can you prove? What harm was there? What remedy can you get? Example: 5. Conclusion FALL 2013 IEA HE CONFERENCE: GRIEVANCE PROCESSING 31

32 Drafting the Grievance FALL 2013 IEA HE CONFERENCE: GRIEVANCE PROCESSING 32

33 Most contracts specify exactly what needs to be in a grievance: Timely filing. Required content. Some specify that a particular form has to be used. Some require the formal grievance to be signed by the grievant. Do everything the contract requires! FALL 2013 IEA HE CONFERENCE: GRIEVANCE PROCESSING 33

34 Writing the Grievance - Samples Second Best Local Education Association, IEA-NEA July 27, 2013 Re: John Doe Grievance Dear _______: Please consider this letter a written grievance as required by Article/Section ___ of our labor agreement. On or about _ _ the District and/or Board violated Article(s)/Section(s) __________________ and all other applicable sections of our labor contract when it ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ __. As a remedy, we demand that the District remedy the grievance as follows: ________________________________ ____________________________________________________ _ and provide such other relief as may be deemed appropriate. Sincerely, Signature Title FALL 2013 IEA HE CONFERENCE: GRIEVANCE PROCESSING 34

35 Includes: Name of affected party/parties Specific violation(s) of contract (Article, rule, policy) Other contractual requirements Remedy requested Signature, title and date Grievance Form FALL 2013 IEA HE CONFERENCE: GRIEVANCE PROCESSING 35

36 Once you file a grievance, keep track of it! Use a grievance tracking form for each grievance. Mark on your calendar when it needs to be sent forward. Grievance Tracking FALL 2013 IEA HE CONFERENCE: GRIEVANCE PROCESSING 36

37 Presenting the Grievance FALL 2013 IEA HE CONFERENCE: GRIEVANCE PROCESSING 37

38 Know the parties: Who will be present for the Association? Grievant, representative, witness, others? Roles: Speaker, note taking, observer, etc. Who will be present for the Administration? Where and When? FALL 2013 IEA HE CONFERENCE: GRIEVANCE PROCESSING 38 One size DOES NOT fit all!

39 Prepare the Grievant What to expect? What will the roles be? How to behave? Can the issue be settled? Presenting the Grievance FALL 2013 IEA HE CONFERENCE: GRIEVANCE PROCESSING 39

40 Present your facts Witnesses? Documents? Questions for administration? Present your theory Why do these facts show a contract violation? What remedy do you want? You may be unable to later add facts, theories, and remedies you dont present now. Do you offer a settlement? Presenting the Grievance Step 1 FALL 2013 IEA HE CONFERENCE: GRIEVANCE PROCESSING 40

41 Review the grievance answer. Discuss it with the grievant. Do you and the grievant want to take it to the next step? Do you need to rebut points raised in the answer? Check and meet all timelines. Presenting the Grievance Next Steps FALL 2013 IEA HE CONFERENCE: GRIEVANCE PROCESSING 41

42 File the request to go to the next step o Determine whether to simply request it go to the next step or file a more detailed explanation. o Determine the parties. o Is further investigation needed? o Who will present what? o Can you negotiate a settlement with lower or higher administration? Presenting the Grievance Next Steps FALL 2013 IEA HE CONFERENCE: GRIEVANCE PROCESSING 42

43 FALL 2013 IEA HE CONFERENCE: GRIEVANCE PROCESSING 43


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