2 Content Definition Objectives Benefits of early settlement Grievance processHandling grievanceDiscipline procedureArbitrationsummary
3 Grievance – Definition DefinitionsHR: Specific complaint or formal notice of employee dissatisfaction related to adequacy of pay, job requirements, work conditions, other aspects of employment, or an alleged violation of a collective bargaining agreement.An actual or supposed circumstance regarded as just cause for complaint.A complaint or protestation based on such a circumstance.Law: (1) Injury, injustice, or wrong that affords reason for resistance or a formal expression as a complaint. (2) The complaint itself.
4 Objectives The Purpose of the Grievance Procedure How to Prevent a GrievanceGrievance TimelinesBenefits of Early SettlementSteps in the Grievance ProcessPreparing for a GrievanceConducting the Grievance MeetingPreparing the Grievance ResponsePreparing for the Grievance Meeting with Employee/Labor Relations
5 Purpose of the Grievance Procedure Allow union members to appeal decisions and resolve problemsAllow employees to voice concerns regarding:Interpretation of AgreementApplication of AgreementCompliance with AgreementCorrective ActionPast PracticeMutuality (known by both parties)ConsistencyBridge Effect (more than one contract)The contract is silent (practice cannot contradict contract)Keep lines of communication open
6 How to Prevent a Grievance Identify potential causesCorrect problems promptlyEncourage corrective suggestionsEstablish and reaffirm policies and work rulesCommunicate and give advance notice of changesKeep employees informed of their progressBe objectiveLearn to listenBe consistent
7 If you Receive an Employee Grievance First and foremost…Don’t panic!Hold your temper!Take charge!Consider the possibility of early settlement…
8 Grievance TimelinesRefer to the appropriate union contract article/section titled “Grievance Procedure” for the applicable time limits for receiving and responding to grievances.Also note:Any grievance not answered within the time limits specified shall be submitted to the next step (Union).Any grievance not appealed to the next succeeding step in writing within the time limits specified will be considered withdrawn and not eligible for further appeal (Management).
9 Benefits of Early Settlement At any point during the grievance process, the parties can agree to an early settlement. The benefits include:Quick resolutionEmployee frustration avoidedSupervisor/Steward credibilityUnion/University credibilityRespect of employees gainedProlonged conflict avoided“Local” control maintained
10 Grievance Management Complaint Grievance Grievance Procedures Indication of employee dissatisfactionGrievanceA complaint formally stated in writingGrievance ProceduresFormal channels of communications used to resolve grievances.Union representation (Weingarten) rights
13 Factors Leading to Employee Unionization Figure 17–1
14 Nature of Unions Union State of U.S. Unions A formal association of workers that promotes the interests of its members through collective action.State of U.S. UnionsFocused on economic issues—wages, benefits, job security, and working conditions.Organized by kind of job and employer.Seek multi-year collective agreements on economic issues as “contracts.”Maintain competitive relations with management.
15 Typical Division of HR Responsibilities: Labor Relations Figure 17–2
16 Steps in the Grievance Process The number of steps in the grievance process differ according to the union involved, but each contain the following:Oral GrievanceWritten GrievanceGrievance Advanced to Employee/Labor RelationsArbitration
17 Steps in the Grievance Process ORAL GRIEVANCE:Employee presents oral grievance to immediate supervisor within timeframe specified in Agreement.Employee may request presence of union steward during discussion.Supervisor provides written response to the oral grievance within timeframe specified in Agreement.
18 Steps in the Grievance Process WRITTEN GRIEVANCE:If the oral grievance is not satisfactorily adjusted:The area steward can submit the grievance in writing to the department head (or designated representative) on a standard grievance form signed by the employee.The grievance must be submitted in writing within the timeframe specified in the Agreement.The department will arrange a grievance meeting between the department head (or designated representative) and the grievant, the steward, and/or Business Agent of the union.The Department shall submit a written response to the grievance within timeframe specified in Agreement.
19 Steps in the Grievance Process GRIEVANCE ADVANCED TO EMPLOYEE/LABOR RELATIONS:If the matter is not satisfactorily adjusted in the previous (written) step, or an answer is not given within the time specified:The written grievance previously submitted shall be forwarded to Employee/Labor Relations within the timeframe specified in the Agreement.Employee/Labor Relations will arrange a grievance hearing meeting with the union staff representative, the aggrieved employee and management.Employee/Labor Relations will arrange a meeting prior to the actual grievance hearing for the purpose of preparation (management).Employee/Labor Relations shall reply to the grievance within the timeframe specified in the Agreement.
20 Preparing for a Grievance Investigate the complaint and organize the case before the meeting by determining the following:Who is involved?Where did the situation occur?When did the incident occur?Why did the situation occur?What are the circumstances?What was the impact to the operation/business as a result of the situation/incident?What remedy is the grievant seeking?
21 Conducting the Grievance Meeting Discuss the matter rationally:Review the grievance with the grievant and the representative.Do not bargain with the grievant or the steward.Be certain that you have all of the information you need before responding.Do not respond to a demand for an “instant” answer. A possible exception is a matter of health and/or safety.
22 Preparing the Grievance Response Adhere to the timeline for your response.Provide an answer that is concise and complete. Brevity is important. If you need help in providing an answer, obtain assistance from Employee/Labor Relations.Obtain acknowledgement of receipt of your answer from the grievant/steward, including time and date.
23 Preparing for Grievance Meeting with Employee/Labor Relations Employee/Labor Relations will facilitate the process at this step. The process includes:Schedule ‘prep’ meeting with the department/management before the date of grievance meeting.Serve as hearing officer.Determine who should be involved in the meeting, including identifying any witnesses.Determine what information must be captured on record.Discuss the format of the grievance meeting.Provide written response.
24 ArbitrationIf the matter is not satisfactorily adjusted in the previous step (Employee/Labor Relations), or an answer is not given within the time specified, the union may, by written notice, request the grievance be advanced to an arbitrator.Arbitration is a method of settling disputes through an impartial third party whose decision is final and binding.
26 Handling Grievanceensure you're familiar with the procedure and apply it correctlyhold any grievance hearing in private without interruptionswhere a grievance relates to the person's line manager, ensure that the employee can raise the grievance with someone elselisten carefully to the person's explanation of the problem and consider whether there is a deeper issue which might be the root cause of the grievancelisten to any conflicting points of view
27 weigh up all evidence to see whether there is an issue you need to address decide what action to take, trying to balance fairness to the person without compromising the business or other workersinform all concerned parties of your decision and the appeal processensure you resolve any problems relating to policies, procedures or conduct where the grievance procedure highlights thesekeep the process as confidential as possible
28 The Disciplinary Procedure be in writingspecify who is coveredbe non-discriminatoryprovide that matters will be dealt with promptlystate that proceedings, witness statements and records will be confidentialindicate the disciplinary actions that may be takenspecify who has the authority to take each form of disciplinary action
29 say that the workers will be informed about complaints and any evidence before the hearing state that workers can state their case before a decision is madeprovide the right to be accompanied by a colleague or trade union officialensure that, except for gross misconduct, no worker is dismissed for a first breach of disciplineensure the case be investigated before any actionensure that all penalties are fully explainedset out the rights and procedures for appeal
30 Arbitration Preparing for the Arbitration Hearing: Once an Arbitration hearing date has been determined, the department will meet with Employee/Labor Relations and the University’s legal representative to fully ‘prep’ for the hearing.The University’s legal representatives lead the Arbitration process.
31 Arbitration The Arbitration Hearing: The Union presents their case first if it is a non-disciplinary matter. Otherwise, the Employer goes first.The burden of proof is on the Union for all issues except discipline. Otherwise, the burden is on the Employer.
32 Arbitration Arbitration as a last resort: A quasi-judicial process Gives arbitrator power to issue a decision/award which may result in:a win-lose situationan Arbitrator-crafted decisionParties lose control of dispute resolutionCostly
33 ReferenceMANAGING THE GRIEVANCE PROCESS, Kathy Irving, Employee/Labor Relations, web article.