Local 804 reps are working hard to make the UPS grievance process work for the membership. At the beginning of 2016,we quickly began working through the backlog of cases. Many grievances have been settled before reaching the Panel. The overwhelming majority of grievances going to panel have been won in favor of members.
In 2016, 80 discipline cases on the docket were settled before a hearing took place and another 22 cases were decided favorably for members. The win rate for cases heard at panel was 62%, up from 55% the previous year.
The 2014 supplemental agreement established a new grievance and arbitration procedure that utilizes the UPS/Local 804 Panel. The Panel hears any grievances that have not been resolved by shop stewards or union representatives. The Panel is composed of three union representatives, three UPS management representatives and a neutral arbitrator.
Business Agent Joe Forcelli explained, “The Panel is our last opportunity, so we take it seriously. Extensive preparation goes into each case. The evidence we provide includes detailed notes from the shop steward and grievant, we conduct site visits, as well as conducting legal and contract research.”
As a result of solid preparation and presentations, Local 804 members are winning more cases heard by the Panel.
Grievances involving a discharge or suspension require that an independent arbitrator decide deadlocked cases. Any grievances concerning interpretation of the 804 Supplemental contract are also decided by an arbitrator. Deadlocked cases concerning National Master Agreement language go to a national panel.
The UPS/Local Panel for discipline cases meets monthly, and hears cases in the order arbitrations are filed. All decisions issued by the panels are final.
“We are looking at how we can improve the system in upcoming negotiations. For example, while it sometimes makes sense for cases to be heard chronologically, we’d like more flexibility to take up grievances sooner that have a greater impact on the membership as a whole,” said Local 804 President Eddie Villalta.