Ask The Lawyer

By Debra Roth

Q & A Session – Union Settles Grievance Without Grievant

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Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.

Q:

I have a grievance with my agency and my Union invoked arbitration on June 2010. After 18 months of waiting for a hearing, the agency cancelled the hearing three days before the date of the hearing. They attempted to settle, but what was offered was an insult to my intelligence. I have not communicated with my Union in any way since Nov. 2011, and today I was emailed a settlement agreement my Union President signed settling my grievance without my knowledge or consent. I do not agree with the settlement AT ALL. Can my Union settle a grievance without consulting me?

A:

Yes. Your union is your exclusive representative and the case is between them and the agency. Your union does have a duty to represent you fairly and you may be able to file a claim with the Federal Labor Relations Authority if you believe this did not happen.

Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw Bransford & Roth PC.

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