USGW-GC-L Archives

Archiver > USGW-GC > 2006-02 > 1139084588

From: merope <>
Subject: Re: [USGW-GPC] Procedures
Date: Sat, 04 Feb 2006 15:23:08 -0500
References: <04ce01c6200f$e7bfc1e0$3a281b41@D51XKD11> <> <010201c6294a$688abf80$7301a8c0@scott> <> <011501c629c2$4ce68d90$7301a8c0@scott>
In-Reply-To: <011501c629c2$4ce68d90$7301a8c0@scott>

Scott Burow wrote:

> Good questions, and I'll do my best to reply from my point of view.
>> You say: "Upon receipt by the Grievance Committee, both parties are
>> bound by any agreement reached in the grievance process, or if no
>> agreement can be reached, by the final decision of the
>> grievance/arbitration team when approved by the Grievance
>> Committee." Suppose one party to the grievance [presumably the
>> defendant] refuses to participate? How can you bind a party to some
>> future outcome just based on receipt of the grievance?
> Probably 'receipt' is not the correct word to use here, but perhaps
> those of you less linguisticly challenged than I can come up with a
> better one. The intent is that the outcome of this process is binding
> on all parties. We need to look at the big picture and realize what
> happens to this process in the future. Once completed it will be
> presented for approval by the elected officials of this project. If
> approved, these procedures become policy. Binding
> mediation/arbitration becomes the official policy of the project.
> We're all bound by the official policy of the project.

I would remove this whole paragraph from the Introduction and move it
down to Section 5D. You could change the wording from receipt to "once
the GC has determined the grievance is viable and meets the criteria in
Sections 5A-C" all parties are bound by the outcome of the grievance
process." Or something like that.

>> Committee business section:
>> You use the term "billet announcement" in this section and nowhere
>> else. It should be defined. Or better yet, changed to something
>> else. The word "billet" refers to assignment of quarters to military
>> personnel.
> The wording was from the original proposal and I believe that it
> refers to specific assignments to a particular grievance. A billet
> assignment would be that "XX is assigned as Committee Member, XX as
> mediator, and XX and XX as arbitrators to grievance 06-01." I doubt
> there would be any objection to changing 'billet assignment' to 'case
> assignment', 'grievance assignment' or something of that nature.

"Case assignment" works for me. Its less exotic. :)

>> Grievance Process section:
>> You say: "Grievances against the local grievance project of a State
>> or Special Project which has its own member-approved process for
>> resolving grievances." Huh? I am not at all sure what you are
>> trying to say here. Is this the part where, for projects that have
>> local processes, you will only hear a grievance if it alleges that
>> those processes were violated? If so, rewording will make this clearer.
> Yes, if a local process exists, the GC will not re-hear that
> grievance, only review it to determine whether the local process was
> followed. The paragraph below that should be indented as 5(a) and is
> meant to be an explanation of the limitation. Again, if those less
> linguistically challenged than I can phrase it better ... please do so.

How's this: Grievances resulting from the failure of state or special
project coordinators to follow local guidelines existing in their
project(s). Or something like that. With the 5a paragraph still
attached but reworded slightly: "a. The Grievance Committee is limited
to reviewing the local grievance process and determining whether the
local procedures for the grievance process were followed within that
State or Special Project. The Grievance Committee will not re-hear a
complaint that has been addressed at the local level.

> "Member approved" means to me that procedures were adopted by a vote
> of the membership in that state or project at some time in the past.
> When we were writing our ILGenWeb procedures for grievances, we
> reviewed the existing processes in projects that had them. I can't
> think of one which was not labeled as being "Adopted by the membership
> on (date)". Perhaps I'm assuming that this was done by vote of the
> members, but that was my impression. By including the phrase we're
> intending to prevent the situation that you describe.

Yeah, but how would you know? Not every state makes state-wide voting or
their state rules publicly available. And why would "member-approved"
procedures necessarily be any more valid than those just written and
instituted by an SC? What are you going to do if an SC wrote their own
guidelines, followed them to the letter, fired someone, and that someone
complained? Will the Grievance Committee refuse to hear the original
complaint because there is a state process in place, or will it agree to
hear the original complaint because the state guidelines weren't "member
approved"? Suppose the SC claims that the guidelines were "member
approved" because no member complained? Will the GC require SCs to
somehow prove that the guidelines they used to fire someone were
"member-approved"? How so?

> I do not know where the representative should be included in this type
> of process, so it's not in there at all, but on my list of things to
> ask about.
I think people just feel more comfortable having someone in their
corner. Advisors might be particularly useful in the mediation process
when they might be able to temper someone's emotional responses. People
who bring grievances to the Board have often been through a very
frustrating and difficult experience and they don't always act in ways
that are conducive to working things out. I just envision advisors as
people who are able to hear both sides, and make reasonable suggestions
to their advisee. The mediators have to be neutral, so they can't really
fill that role. If it got to abitration, then, yeah, they'd end up
being more in a legal advisory role.


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