The grievance procedure is covered by Article 15 of the CBA.
A grievance is defined as a dispute, difference, disagreement or complaint between the parties related to wages, hours and/or conditions of employment. A grievance includes, but is not limited to, the complaint of an employee or the Union which involves the interpretation, application of, or compliance with the provisions of the APWU Agreement or any Local Memorandum of Understanding.
There is a difference between a valid grievance and a mere complaint. Complaints or gripes should never be put into the grievance procedure simply to appease a dissatisfied worker. The decision on whether or not a grievance is valid and worth processing must be made by the Shop Steward or other Union representative, not the grievant. This decision is based on what is best for the entire bargaining unit, not necessarily what is best for the individual grievant.
Time limits are important in every case.
- If the Union fails to maintain time limits, it is considered a waiver of the grievance.
- If the USPS does not raise the issue of time limits at Step 2 or at the Step where the USPS/Union failed to meet the time limits, whichever if later, the USPS waives any objection to processing the grievance.
- Failure of the USPS to schedule a meeting or render a decision within the time limits, including extension periods, shall be deemed to move the grievance to the next stop of the grievance procedure.
- The parties are contractually obligated to good faith observance of the procedure.
- The procedure is designed to resolve grievances at the lowest possible level.