FAQ: Grievance Timeliness

Question: “I am a union steward.  Recently, a member brought an issue to my attention.  The issue date is far outside the 30 days our contract provides- but I did not become aware until just recently.  Shouldn’t the date I became aware be the date that matters? “

Answer:  No.  If that was the case, an employee could come to you with an issue two years later and you could file a grievance.  It just makes no sense.  It is incumbent upon the affected employee to bring the matter to the attention of the union in a timely manner; after-all, they are a party to the Collective Bargaining Agreement as well.  Subsequently, they have an intrinsic obligation to know, and adhere, to the terms of the Agreement.  However, there are certain exceptions, most notably what is called a “continuing violation.” Otherwise, the more standard application of “when an employee became aware or should have become aware” is applicable.     

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