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lecture7 - Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures Professor...

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Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures Professor Bruce Fortado University of North Florida MAN 4401/6411 Labor Relations Once the contract has been ratified, one must then attend to contract administration. The grievance and disciplinary processes constitute the two formal visible aspects of contract administration. Grievances consist of employee statements of discontent with the decisions of their supervisor. Disciplinary actions consist of supervisory statements of discontent over the performance of an employee. While these are two distinct processes, disciplinary actions, especially severe ones, often produce grievances. In one sense the two processes are opposites of one another, and in another sense, they are interwoven. Grievance Procedure A collective bargaining agreement is much like a constitution. Although every possible situation that can arise is not specified in detail, the general principles should be laid out so the parties can live together productively for the life of the agreement. When disputes arise, the grievance procedure will provide the structure for the parties to debate and resolve their differences. Every contract is incomplete, with unanticipated circumstances to be met, gaps to be filled and ambiguities to be resolved. Whereas contract negotiations deal with the party’s interests, the grievance procedure will deal with rights issues. One might say the parties must decide how to interpret (i.e. apply) and interpolate (i.e. fill in the gaps between) the articles. Every time an employee gets upset, one cannot say a grievance exists. In order to have a grievance, one must have one or more articles of the contract that an employee perceives to have been violated . If one is unable to cite a section of the contract, one does not have a grievance. The union grievance representative should regularly study the contract, so he or she recognizes what articles exist. When a grievant contacts the grievance representative, they often both search the contract for applicable sections before meeting again to fill out a written grievance form. In order to clarify and organize what has happened, the grievance representative may ask the grievant to draw a timeline of the important events that have taken place. The grievance representative must also keep in mind he only has one side of the story at this point. The grievant may be unaware of certain facts. Further, some grievants may omit details, exaggerate or distort matters, in an effort to relieve their frustrations and obtain a sympathetic reaction. These problems can be alleviated by obtaining all the documents involved, talking to other employee witnesses and listening to the other side. There are normally
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This note was uploaded on 07/09/2011 for the course MAN 4401 taught by Professor Fortado during the Spring '11 term at UNF.

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lecture7 - Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures Professor...

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