A GRIEVANCE INVESTIGATION GUIDE FOR STEWARDS
Generally speaking, the grievance machinery is a procedure whereby an employee grievance is presented to management through a succession of steps. The reason for having a number of steps is to provide a method of appeal to higher authority from the decision of a lower supervisory official. A member tells the shop steward that he/she has a grievance. The Shop Steward should do the following:
STEP ONE: LISTEN and INFORM
The Shop Steward should hear-out the problem and discuss the complaint with the member by asking detailed questions. He should be prepared, be honest, perform the duties with integrity and have good communication which builds trust. The member has to be advised as to what the procedure is with regard to the investigation referring possibly to other similar cases. Most of all, no promises should be made especially because all the facts have not yet been gathered.
STEP TWO: MEETING WITH THE EMPLOYER
The Shop Steward will then meet informally with the foreman to try to resolve the issue or go to the next step. The steward must conduct himself/herself professionally throughout the investigation.
STEP THREE: INFORM
The member or the Steward fills out a grievance form. The Shop Steward explains to the grievant how he/she will proceed with the investigation. Many contracts have time limits for the period in which a grievance must be answered.
Grievance forms can be requested by calling District Council 2 Office at (800) 333-4388.
STEP FOUR: INVESTIGATE
Using the Investigation Form the steward will keep track of all interviews and findings. The Shop Steward will also review the contract language and consult with the Business Representative if he/she has questions.
STEP FIVE: DOES GRIEVANCE HAVE MERIT?
The Shop Steward will decide if there was a violation and if there was none, he has to explain to the grievant the facts and why the grievance may not have merit. However, if there was a violation the Business Representative is contacted so he/she, along with the Steward, will process the grievance to the next level.