The following is a snap-shot of the grievance procedure. Hopefully the information will be helpful and give some insight into what filing a grievance entails. The grievance procedure is a form of checks and balances between the PB&PA Unit 156 and the city with regard to our contractual rights. However, not all issues of fairness fit the grievance criteria. A violation of the sergeants’ contract must exist. Research the contract and know what sections were violated prior to seeking any form of resolution. Any sergeant can call the association office for advice or assistance. An attempt to resolve the dispute must be made within ten days of the circumstance that led to the dispute. Should any sergeant feel that his contractual rights have been infringed upon, he/she should first attempt to resolve the dispute with the first exempt member in their respective chain of command by presenting a completed PB&PA Grievance form. Many grievances related to discipline are called "Just Cause Grievances". Section 8.1 of our contract basically states that no sergeant shall be disciplined without just cause. This should be noted in the narrative of the grievance report, along with the request that the contract be made whole and that all rights and benefits of the sergeant be restored.
Once the problem is brought to the attention of the exempt member, the sergeant should get a response within ten working days. If the dispute cannot be resolved at this informal step, the exempt member will contact Management and Labor Affairs and a grievance number will be provided. Once the Grievance form is forwarded to Management and Labor Affairs, PB&PA Unit 156 will be notified. The grievance committee will determine the validity of the grievance, and then make every attempt to mediate a remedy. If both parties come to an agreement, the grievant sergeant will be contacted for his or her approval, and the grievance will be settled. However, if both parties reach an impasse, a summary opinion may be requested. In this step, the grievance is sent to an arbitrator to review and render his opinion as to what he would find if the grievance was brought to full arbitration. The opinion of the arbitrator is not binding at this point. Most cases are decided by summary opinion due to the tremendous costs involved with arbitration. The grievance committee will weigh each case and determine whether or not to take a grievance to arbitration. The finding of an arbitrator, at this step, is binding on both parties and the grievance would thereby be resolved. If a dispute should arise, I hope that the above information will assist you.
You can e-mail the Grievance Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any further questions. Please refer to Article 9 of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement for further instructions.