When not to file grievance

Here are a few reasons not to file a grievance…

  1. Thinking you’re going to get back at your manager or the company
  2. When you have a problem with a co-worker and want to file grievance against them
  3. Filing a grievance merely because you feel a work situation or process is unfair

You should never file a grievance to get back at your boss or try to punish them. Grievances are not tools you use to try and convince your boss to change their ways. Grievances are not ways of harassing a manager by covering him/her with paperwork. Grievances are a dispute resolution process that you may use when you think the contract has been violated.

You can’t file a grievance against a co-worker. Asking the Union to grieve another coworker who most likely is a bargained for employee, is not the appropriate, or even a possible course of action. If this situation is occurring, it’s strongly suggested you speak with your Union steward and discuss a possible plan of action.

You don’t like how the company is asking you how to do your job. You think the process they have defined is useless and without merit… The company has the right to implement reasonable rules and expectations. The question becomes; Is it a contract violation or safety concern? The grievance procedure exists for one reason only: to enforce the contract. If the behavior that’s bothering you isn’t a contract violation, then it’s not a grievance. That doesn’t mean there’s nothing we can do about it, but filing a grievance won’t help. If there is no contract violation then most generally an Arbitrator will not sustain the grievance no matter how unfair the situation is.

Not all complaints are legitimate grievances. Care must be exercised in filing frivolous grievances. There is a basic danger involved in processing unjustified complaints. Management may lose respect for the steward if it feels that the steward does not have the knowledge or authority to distinguish between a legitimate and a nonexistent complaint. The employees, too may lose respect for the steward if they think the steward will process everything.

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