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Managing in a Labor/Management Contract Environment: Responding to Grievances Lisa L. Swem February 22, 2013 Training Agency Association of Michigan Fleet.

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Presentation on theme: "Managing in a Labor/Management Contract Environment: Responding to Grievances Lisa L. Swem February 22, 2013 Training Agency Association of Michigan Fleet."— Presentation transcript:

1 Managing in a Labor/Management Contract Environment: Responding to Grievances Lisa L. Swem February 22, 2013 Training Agency Association of Michigan Fleet Managers Continuing Education Plan

2 Caution These slides reflect general legal standards for the related presentation and are not intended as legal advice for specific situations Future legal developments may affect these topics This document may not be reproduced or redistributed, in whole or in part, without the express written permission of Thrun Law Firm, P.C. 2

3 Don’t Panic – Follow These Steps 1.Read the grievance 2.Review the CBA − Cited provisions − Grievance procedures − Note timelines 3.Gather facts 4.Inform your supervisor 3

4 Is It a Grievance or a Gripe? Grievances are based on CBA language Gripes are complaints that may need to be addressed, but not through the grievance process Focus on CBA language for grievances 4

5 Determine Timelines “Occurrence” of grievance –Confirm the actual date –May differ from allegation Step 1 Conference Response Follow the CBA! 5

6 How to Count “Days” Determined by CBA Different treatment? –School days –Business days –Calendar days –Summer vacation 6

7 Time Extensions If you ask for one, be prepared to reciprocate Always “put it in writing” If compensation is at risk, do not delay because adverse decision has increased back pay liability 7

8 Prepare for Conference Gather facts Review documents Talk to other administrators –Past practice –Similar circumstances 8

9 Grievance Conference Have another administrator present Review facts, noting areas of –Agreement –Dispute Review each alleged CBA violation 9

10 Grievance Conference Review “kitchen sink” allegation (“all other applicable CBA provisions”) Explore, don't confront –Help me understand… –How does that violate… Inquire about past practice Review request for relief Confirm timelines 10

11 CBA Language: May v Shall Shall not = prohibition May = discretionary Shall = mandatory 11

12 Response Was the CBA violated? –If so, fix the problem –If not, prepare to defend Consult supervisor 12

13 If CBA Violation Requested relief is not automatic Be very careful not to grant a “greater fix” than required Consult supervisor 13

14 School Code § 1230b(6) The board or a school official shall not enter into an agreement that “has the effect of suppressing information about unprofessional conduct of an employee or former employee or of expunging information about that unprofessional conduct from personnel records.” “Any provision of a contract or agreement that is contrary to this subsection is void and unenforceable.” MCL b(6) 14

15 School Code § 1230b(6) “This subsection does not restrict the expungement from a personnel file of information about alleged unprofessional conduct that has not been substantiated.” MCL b(6) 15

16 Written Decision - Procedure Include dates –Occurrence –Grievance filed –Conference(s) Note time extensions, if any Indicate persons present at conference 16

17 Written Decision - Factual Summary Review all factual assertions Note areas of –Agreement –Dispute 17

18 Written Decision - CBA Provisions Review each cited article –Address “kitchen sink” claim –Consider past practice Explain findings Note timeliness issues Include management rights Address relief sought 18

19 Letter of Agreement Sometimes (but not always) an LOA may serve as a “temporary fix” on CBA interpretation If so, clearly state terms and understandings Underlying issue is then typically addressed at bargaining 19

20 What If No Resolution? Possible appeal to –Superintendent –Board of Education Demand for arbitration –Hearing –Written decision –Arbitrator fees and costs 20

21 2/22/13 Part I: Managing in a Labor/Management Environment 21


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