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Grievance Interpretation

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Grievance Interpretation

  1. 1. GENERAL STANDARDS FOR CONTRACT INTERPRETATION LS-5 Contract Analysis
  2. 2. Clear and Unambiguous <ul><li>Language is clear and definite </li></ul><ul><li>Meaning determined without looking at other standards </li></ul><ul><li>Language means what it says </li></ul><ul><li>Past practice does not override – language speaks for itself </li></ul>LS-5 Contract Analysis
  3. 3. Example <ul><li>Contract language: “The company will provide required safety equipment.” </li></ul><ul><li>Company: It means it must make safety equipment available to purchase. </li></ul><ul><li>Union: The company has agreed to pay for the equipment </li></ul>LS-5 Contract Analysis
  4. 4. Specific Wording Weight <ul><li>Conflict between general and specific language </li></ul><ul><li>Specific language will govern </li></ul><ul><li>Presumes both parties examined the matter more closely </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore specific language given more consideration </li></ul>LS-5 Contract Analysis
  5. 5. Example – Specific Language <ul><li>Contract Language (general): The company shall continue to make reasonable provisions for the safety and health of its employees. </li></ul><ul><li>Same Contract (specific): Wearing apparel and other protective equipment necessary to protect employees from injury shall be provided by the company in accordance with practices now prevailing or as such practices may be improved from time to time by the company. </li></ul>LS-5 Contract Analysis
  6. 6. Question <ul><li>Using language on last slide: </li></ul><ul><li>Is the company required to provide rain clothes to certain employees if this had not been before? </li></ul>LS-5 Contract Analysis
  7. 7. Express One Thing Excludes Another <ul><li>If one item is mentioned and others are not generally means others were meant to be excluded. </li></ul><ul><li>Example Contract Language: “Safety glasses, hard hat, and gloves will be provided by the company to those working in yard classifications.” </li></ul><ul><li>Is someone in a yard classification entitled to have the company provide safety shoes? </li></ul>LS-5 Contract Analysis
  8. 8. Enumeration Limits <ul><li>General language follows a list of specific terms </li></ul><ul><li>Interpreted to cover only things of same nature </li></ul><ul><li>Example Contract: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Seniority shall govern in all cases of layoff, promotion, and transfers. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(same contract) Overtime shall be shared among employees within a given classification </li></ul></ul><ul><li>If a senior electrician demanded overtime over a junior electrician, how would it be decided? </li></ul>LS-5 Contract Analysis
  9. 9. Words Judged by Context <ul><li>Words and phrases interpreted by the context in which they appear </li></ul><ul><li>Where words appear often determine what was meant </li></ul><ul><li>Example: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1.Holidays Worked: Holiday pay of eight hours plus time worked at the applicable rate will be paid for holidays worked. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. Holidays Not Worked: To be eligible for holiday pay, and employee must work the day before and the day after a holiday. </li></ul></ul>LS-5 Contract Analysis
  10. 10. Holiday Pay Eligibility Question <ul><li>A worker was absent the day before a holiday, but worked eight hours on the holiday. If the company argued that the worker was not eligible for holiday pay, would it be correct? </li></ul>LS-5 Contract Analysis
  11. 11. Agreement Interpreted as a Whole <ul><li>The meaning of each sentence and each paragraph must be determined in relation to the contract as a whole </li></ul><ul><li>Sections or portions of the contract cannot be isolated from the rest of the contract and interpreted without regard to what the rest of the contract says. </li></ul><ul><li>All parts of the contract have some meaning, or they would not have been included in the contract. </li></ul>LS-5 Contract Analysis
  12. 12. Words Given Normal Meaning <ul><li>The ordinary and popularly accepted meaning and definition of words and phrases will be used unless something special was intended. </li></ul><ul><li>Contract Example: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Vacation pay shall be based on average earnings.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Question: An employee worked on two types of jobs. The employer based vacation pay on the average earnings of the lower rated job. Is this correct? </li></ul></ul>LS-5 Contract Analysis
  13. 13. Standards Summarized. <ul><li>Clear and unambiguous </li></ul><ul><li>Specific wording given greater weight </li></ul><ul><li>To express one word is exclude another </li></ul><ul><li>Enumeration limits general language to the category of enumerated items </li></ul><ul><li>Words will be judged by their context </li></ul><ul><li>The agreement will be interpreted as a whole </li></ul><ul><li>Words will be given normal meaning </li></ul>LS-5 Contract Analysis

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