What is a Grievance? A grievance is a formal request for a resolution in a breach of the agreement between the Union and the Contractor. Complaints occur when a contractor fails to abide by the terms of their pre-set Agreement with the Union.
How is a Grievance Filed? If you think there has been a breach of terms – the first step is to contact your Job Steward. The Job Steward works with you to record your statement and forward the statement to the Union Hall. The Business Agent(s) then investigate the statement. Often, the complaint can be resolved through conversation with the contractor. If the Agent determines reasonable grounds for the complaint, a formal grievance is filed against the contractor. Many if not most complaints are resolved without filing a formal grievance.
What if My Problem Requires a Formal Grievance? The Business Agent works to move the grievance to the highest possible level for resolution. The contractor also works to resolve the grievance, either by providing proof that the infraction did not occur, or by substantiating the complaint by the union member. Most grievances are resolved in a timely fashion because, in our experience, most contractors prefer to resolve the issues as soon as they have proof of the infraction. Our contractors place a high priority on resolving formal grievances filed by Local 110.
What if My Grievance is Not Resolved? The Union has the power to decide if a grievance merits arbitration, under strict guidelines from various sources. In rare situations where arbitration is called for, the union member is required to be available on short notice and possibly for extended periods of time. Arbitration is similar to a court case and just as serious. If your grievance is not resolved, the Business Agent informs you of the Union’s decision and the commitments required from you.
The Union Must File Every Grievance, Right? The Union must investigate every complaint. The Union is required to file a grievance when the complaint has merit and when the contractor refuses to make amends. Not every complaint is a grievance, and not every complaint requires a grievance. Filing grievances is a costly process for all parties involved. Arbitration is even more costly. Both the Union and the contractor are obliged to resolve complaints as quickly as possible. It is in your best interest to avoid filing a grievance when a reasonable resolution is provided to a valid complaint.
Does IAHFIAW Local 110 File a Lot of Grievances? For the size of the workforce dispatched through Local 110, we have (perhaps surprisingly) few complaints. This is because our workforce is well educated and our contractors are committed to best business practices. When we file a grievance, contractors take us seriously and work to resolve it before the need for arbitration.
Who Do I Contact? Your Job Steward is your first point of contact. On-going grievances are handled by your Business Agents: Stacy Edmondson, Doug Casemore, Pat Tilley; arbitrations are handled by your Business Manager, Kevin Lecht.