By SEIU6 Security Officer & Grievance Committee Member Ceci Hooks
A grievance is a formal complaint against an employer for a violation of a collective bargaining agreement. Union members are entitled to the grievance process. It’s one of our most critical rights. Unlike non-union workers who have little power to fight unjust firings and suspensions, union members can challenge management on unfair decisions without fear of retaliation.
Having a grievance process in place can protect workers from unfair treatment like discrimination, and it gives workers a tool to make positive changes instead of simply quitting. It’s a necessary tool for maintaining a safe and collaborative workplace.
When I handle grievances, I treat each case as important, and take time to speak to the worker directly and in private. It’s critical to handle each case on time, to gather all the relevant information, and to put emotions aside.
What do union members need to know about the grievance procedure?
Timeline is critical. You have a certain amount of days from a disciplinary action in which you can file a grievance. If you think you might need to file a grievance, contact our Member Resource Center right away by calling 206-448-7348.
Not every complaint is a grievance. Decisions on whether to move forward with the grievance procedure will be made based on evidence and the strength of the case.