Contract Grievances

Collective bargaining agreements generally contain provisions for resolving disputes that arise under them. These provisions often define the kind of grievances that may be raised, who may bring the grievance (i.e., employee, union, or both), and the procedures for addressing the grievance.

Grievances usually encompass contractual rights or benefits that the union or employee believes were violated by the employer. Some common types of grievances that arise under collective bargaining agreements include:

The procedures for handling grievances vary among contracts, but generally there is usually an initial informal opportunity to resolve the grievance, followed by reviews from different levels of management if the dispute remains unresolved. If those reviews do not resolve the matter, arbitration is often offered as the final recourse.

The plain language of a contract is always examined first in grievances. When the contract is ambiguous or silent as to the issue raised by the grievant, the parties may look to past practice or other sources for guidance.

We understand the importance of resolving grievances in an efficient and cost-effective manner. We explore settlement options before the matter ends up in arbitration and encourage settlement if it is the client’s best interest. For those matters that do end up in arbitration, our attorneys thoroughly prepare strategy, witnesses, and exhibits by working closely with the client.

If you believe you have a grievance, you should consult with your union. If they are unable to assist you, please contact us to schedule a free consultation.

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