Q & A – How do grievance and arbitration procedures work?

Q: How do grievance and arbitration procedures work?

A: Each may be a bit different, depending on the agreement between the union and employer, but typically if an employee disagrees with management action taken against him or her, and believes it is contrary to the collective bargaining agreement, a grievance is filed.  The employer and the union business agent or shop steward typically meet to discuss the grievance.  The employee may or may not be present during this meeting.  If the matter is not resolved and the employee believes that a breach of the agreement exists, an arbitration with a third party to arbitrate the dispute and make a final decision is held.  The arbitrator conducts a hearing, examines the evidence, and makes a decision based upon the facts of the case.