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POLICIES AND PROCEDURES OF THE GRIEVANCE APPEALS COMMITTEE
1. OPEIU Local 8 currently maintains collective bargaining agreements with over 100 employers governing the wages, hours and working conditions of over 7,000 employees. These agreements establish a grievance and arbitration procedure for resolving disputes concerning matters covered by the agreements, and the union has sole responsibility for determining which disputes shall be carried to arbitration.
2. The union's costs for pursuing grievances through initial investigative steps to arbitration are substantial, including union staff time, witness and travel costs, arbitrator fees, hearing room charges and, when applicable, legal counsel. The union's resources are necessarily limited.
3. Grievances may be of many types, ranging from simple to complex, and from relative insignificance to critical importance to individual employees and to the union as an institution. Moreover, the unsatisfactory resolution of a particular grievance can establish precedents detrimental to other cases.
4. In view of the foregoing factors, discretion must be exercised concerning which grievances shall be pursued to arbitration, which shall be settled or dropped, and which require the assistance of legal counsel.
5. The Union Representative shall investigate each grievance as reasonable under the circumstances and where it is determined that the union will no longer pursue a grievance, the member will be notified that the grievance will be dropped.
6. The member may appeal the decision of the Union Representative by notifying the Local's President by phone c/o the union office within three (3) business days, followed by written confirmation postmarked within five (5) days of notification of the decision, that he/she wishes to appeal the decision to the Grievance Appeals Committee.
7. The Grievance Appeals Committee which shall be comprised of three (3) experienced Local 8 shop stewards, including at least one steward who is an Executive Board member (unless there are no stewards on the Executive Board) shall be appointed by the Local 8 President. Experienced shall be defined as a steward with at least three (3) years of service and demonstrated ability to represent employees during grievance procedures. The Grievance Appeals Committee shall choose its chair and shall convene as necessary to hear employees' appeals over decisions of the Union Representative not to pursue the grievance to arbitration. The President shall also appoint a union staff liaison other than the Union Representative involved with the case to provide advice and technical information to the Committee.
8. The member shall be notified of the time and place of the appeals meeting. The member and the Union Representative shall provide any written information they plan to submit at least seven (7) days in advance of the appeals meeting. The appeals meeting will be held as soon as possible in order to preserve arbitration timelines.
9. The member and the Union Representative shall be allowed reasonable time in which to present their respective cases, take notes, and ask any questions pertaining to the grievance.
10. The member and the Union Representative may be allowed to present witnesses on their behalf, however, the Chairperson shall have authority to determine whether witnesses shall be allowed to remain through the appeals hearing.
11. The Grievance Appeals Committee will render a decision whether or not to pursue the grievance to arbitration within five (5) days and will notify the member of the decision.
12. The Grievance Appeals Committee shall report its actions to the Executive Board at the next regular Board meeting following the 5-day time frame and its determination shall be final.
PASSED AT MEMBERSHIP MEETING MARCH 27, 1991.
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