Review – Fact Gathering
Investigation is the foundation of the grievance process
Thorough gathering of facts enhances resolution
Resolution of grievance based on facts not feelings
Obtain the facts while fresh – memories fade quickly
Facts will be used when writing the grievance
The 5’ws plus 1
Who was involved in the dispute?
What happened which led to the grievance?
When did the relevant events take place?
Where did the relevant events take place?
Why did all relevant actions occur?
What is the remedy?
Grievance Purpose and Elements
Purpose of Grievance
To enforce the contract where rights of an employee is violated
To guard against the possibility that rights will be eroded
through an unfavorable past practice
Essential Grievance Elements
Claim management has violated, misinterpreted or misapplied
Demand for an appropriate remedy that corrects an improper
Got the Facts – Now Analyze
Investigation is finding out what happened – the facts
Situation facts – What happened
Analysis – What was supposed to happen – the contract
Contractual facts – What was supposed to happen
Apply facts of situation to facts of the contract
Analyze through Questions
Example Analysis Questions
What contract provision is relevant? (Article or Section)
What part of the contract has been violated? (Subsection)
How did the violation occur?
What law, regulation, policy or directive is relevant?
What past practice is relevant?
What precedents are relevant?
Union grieved and won
Union grieved and lost
Never happened before
Grounds for Grievance
Taking action prohibited by contract
Failing to take action required by contract
Interpreting contract differently than union’s understanding
Writing a Grievance
Keep it Simple
Use a form if required or available
Written grievance will answer three basic questions
What happened or failed to happen (circumstances)
Why is the situation a grievance (contention)
How should the employer correct (remedy)
Try to answer each with no more than 3 sentences
Poor Example: Change in Starting Time
• Without even talking to the union about it, management
decided to change the starting time of the swing shift and the
evening shift. Changing starting time by 45 minutes would
wreak havoc in the lives of employees. Management never
listens to the union and they can’t just go around doing
whatever they want. This is unfair for all workers on these two
• That management stop pulling stunts like this and start
following the contract
Good Example: Change in Starting Time
Statement of Grievance
On September 20, management changed the start times of the
swing and evening shift. This action violates Article VII (Hours of
Work), Article XIV (Definition of Shifts) and any other relevant
articles of the contract.
That management immediately return to the schedule
described in the contract.
Let’s Call Them The Top 10
1.Have a Plan
2. No Surprises
3. Don’t Lose Your Cool
5. Know Where Other SidesStands
More Strategies – Five More
6. Don’t Get Personal
7. Ask Questions
8. Have Notes – Take Notes
9. Have Written Evidence
10. Stay United