WHAT IS A GRIEVANCE?
Most trade unionists, when asked to define the term “grievance,” merely say it is a problem arising out of the interpretation of the collective bargaining agreement.
- Has there been a violation of the collective bargaining agreement?
- Has there been a violation of federal or state law?
- Has there been a violation of an established past practice?
- Has there been a violation of the employer’s rules?
If you can answer “YES” to any of these questions, then it is safe to assume there is some merit to the your situation. And, therefore, your problem can properly be called a grievance.
Sometimes employees have complaints but they are not grievances because they do not fall within the definition of grievances under our M.O.U. or past practice, i.e. a complaint about the paint scheme in the cafeteria or the failure of a supervisor to say “good morning.”
The next step is to talk to your shop steward or Union business representative. If you don’t know who your steward is contact the District Office and you will be directed to the correct person.