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Gripe vs. Grievance

While every grievance begins as a complaint, all complaints do not become grievances.  In order to know what complaints can be processed as grievances, you will need to refer to the definition of a grievance in the collective bargaining agreement between the Union County College Chapter of the United Adjunct Faculty of New Jersey, Local 2222, and Union County College.  As you will see in “Article VI” of the contract, a grievance can arise from a violation, misinterpretation or improper application of the terms and conditions of employment established in the collective bargaining agreement.

The purpose of the grievance procedure is to provide for the speedy, orderly and equitable resolution of disputes.

Inherent in the grievance procedure is the remedy sought which must be identified in order to make the grievant whole.  In selecting an appropriate remedy, it is important to keep in mind that the purpose of the remedy is restoration not retribution.  The remedy should be consistent with the collective bargaining agreement in order to protect the integrity of the contract.

If you feel that the conditions for a grievance have been met, please do the following:

  1. Carefully document all facts including dates and times pertaining to the grievance.
  2. Contact your local leadership for assistance.

Remember that there is a big difference between a gripe and a grievance.  A grievance is a formal challenge to the employer that the contract has been violated.

Fortunately, most problems can be settled informally without filing paperwork.  But it is imperative that you contact the local leadership as soon as possible when you feel you have a grievance.  There are strict timelines for the filing process, and they start the minute the violation takes place.

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