A GRIEVANCE includes, but is not limited to, the complaint of an employee or of the Union which involves the interpretation, application of or compliance with the provision of the APWU Agreement or any local Memorandum of Understanding.  When an employee or the Union believes their rights under the Agreement have been violated, then the grievance procedure begins.

To file a grievance,  the process starts with a statement from the employee (APWU member).  The employee will  request  to speak with a steward.  The employee should note the time they asked and when management provides them time to speak with a steward.  The time should be no later than 1- 3 hours, unless there is no steward available.  If it takes longer than 3 hours, that is a grievance under Article 17.   Remember – ask for Union Representation for a Day In Court and any disciplinary meetings with management and if a Postal Inspector, OIC wants to talk with you.   It’s your right.

The APWU Union Member requests  a steward and meets with them and then writes a statement of what the issue is.  The steward will ask the member questions: what happened, who was involved, when it happened and where it took place.  The steward will then start researching the issue and figure out what aspect of the contract that is violated by management.  Stewards have the National Bargaining Contract (CBA), Joint Contract Interpretation Manual (JCIM) and the Local Memorandum of Understanding (LMOU) which have separate Articles that they use to file grievances against management.  For example,  Article 17 is used when management fails to provide the Member(s) with a steward.   The Contracts have special Articles for the Maintenance Craft – Article’s 38 and 32 and Motor Vehicles Craft – Article 39 and 32.  APWU members all use Article 10 Leave; annual and sick (FMLA) and there are many more all craft articles.

Things the steward needs to file a grievance.

The steward will need to get your clock rings for the date the violation took place, a daily roster, seniority list and daily duties of the job the preferenced.

They may need to get statements from other witnesses. Article 37 – Preferred Duty violation. It is very important for the Clerk(s), Article 32: Maintenance employees – subcontracting personnel in the building, over scheduling duties for daily work hours.   Motor Vehicle employees – management delivering mail to stations, mechanical work performed at other facilities not at the VMF, It is very important to be on right operation number for the date of the violation. The operation numbers are very important when filing a grievance to prove the grievant(s) were there working and on the clock and the location. Maintenance custodians have assigned PM routes; Technicians have PRM’s schedules daily.  Motor vehicle have their routes and time tables and mechanics have PRM’s and truck break downs out in the field.

Once the grievant has written their statement, your steward has a total of 14 day (from the violation date) to research – what aspect of the contract is violated by management and collect information and write a step one grievance and  have a step 1 meeting with management.

PLEASE!   I must impress upon you that Stewards and Directors need time to plan, prepare and set a meeting date and time with management.  The steward will need to figure in management’s days off and steward’s days off and employee’s days off too.   (And that could total 6 days out of the 14 days).  The steward gives a RFI – (request for information), it is sent to management and sometimes it takes a few more days to receive the information back.   Please help your steward; by giving them the opportunity to make your grievance solid and use all relied information for your grievance.  IF, you are not sure you have A GRIEVANCE still ask for a STEWARD to explain what you saw happen.    WE, your stewards need to file a grievances when management Violates:  Article 1.6 : performing bargaining work;  Article 37- management is changing clerk hours, abolishing bids, preferred duty , seniority, 204-B issues;  Article 8   –  ALL Crafts: pay issues and hours worked, overtime by passes, clerks are working alone on DBCS,   Article 17- Steward denial -requesting to speak with stewards; just to name a few.  WE, APWU members need to band together and the KEEP UNION STRONG.  .    DO NOT WAIT TILL THE LAST DAY to request a steward.     The APWU is fighting for the violations/causes against the Contract..

Dianne Richardson, IRD
APWU is Working United