Grievances and Unfair Labor Practices (ULP's)
What triggers the union to file?
The most important thing a union does is protect its dues-paying members.
We've had an uptick in both grievances and unfair labor practices since 2015. Recent grievances have been related to issues concerning holiday pay eligibility, denial of the lump sum benefit, followed by meal money reimbursement while working at the VA. New unilateral interpretations of decades-old contract language and heightened retaliation have resulted in a recent (fairly lengthy) ULP which is linked below.
Refusing to arbitrate a grievance is an Unfair Labor Practice. The University (Michigan Medicine), was recently found guilty of this practice. You may have seen the order on the HOA bulletin boards.
Does every contract violation result in a grievance? Absolutely not. The union prefers to work together with the appropriate program/GME/Labor Relations, depending on the issue, to avoid grievances. Unfortunately, since the new Agreement was ratified and implemented one year ago, the union has had to write more grievances than ever before.
While some issues have resulted in implementing the grievance/complaint process, other issues have been appropriately addressed with no grievance.