Saturday, May 15, 2010

Caveat Lectores on Grievants and Grievances

Any labor leader regularly finds herself faced with troubling grievances and the grievants that follow behind the grievance. From experience, we know that there are countless categories of both grievants and grievances. There is the:

• chronic grievant who always seems to have a complaint with management;
• reluctant grievant who wants to grieve, but is afraid of how management will react;
• aggressive grievant who not only wants to pursue his/her grievances to the hilt, but will add any details necessary to strengthen his/her case, factual or not;
• cynical grievant who wants to file a grievance "just to see what the union will do about it."
• loyal union member/grievant who grieves to protect his/her livelihood and family because of some alleged violation of the CBA

Whether the grievant or grievance fits into any particular category or not, there is one important thing to remember: THE COURSE OF ACTION IN ANY GRIEVANCE MUST BE DETERMINED BY THE MERITS OF THE GRIEVANCE, NOT BY THE MERITS OF THE GRIEVANT. It is when the latter becomes a determining factor in grievance handling that a breach of the duty of fair representation (DFR) can occur. More about that problem in another Rant.

and Oh yes, have a nice Day?


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