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‘Grievance Handling’

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Introduction to Grievance Handling What is a Grievance?   Every employee has certain expectations, which he thinks must be fulfilled by the organization he is working for. When the organization fails to do this he develops a feeling of dissatisfaction. When an employee feels something is unfair in the organization he is said to have a grievance.   Thus, we can define Grievance Handling as: ‘A complaint of one or more workers in respect of wages, allowances, conditions of work and interpretation of service stipulations covering such areas as overtime, leave, transfer, promotion, seniority, job assignment, and termination of service.’ -International Labour Organisation.

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Causes: There are certainly some of the causes that can lead to Grievances. Some of them are listed below: ( I ) Economic Wage fixation. Overtime. Incentive. Allowances. Increments. ( II ) Work Environment Poor physical condition of workplace like unsafe working condition, illumination, poor ventilation and unsafe equipments. Stringent production norms. Defective tools and equipment. Poor quality of material. Unfair practices. Nature of Job. Poor quality raw material, tools, equipments.etc. ( III ) Supervision Relates to the attitude of the supervisor towards the employee such as perceived notions of bias, favoritism, regional feelings etc. ( IV ) Work Group Employee is unable to adjust with his colleagues. Suffers from feelings of neglect. Victimization and becomes an object of ridicule and humiliation etc.

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Causes: ( V ) Miscellaneous Issues relating to certain violations in respect of promotions, Continuity of service. Transfer Disciplinary rules Fines Granting leaves Over stay after the expiry of leaves Medical facilities Favoritism

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AN ACTUAL GRIEVANCE HANDLING PROCEDURE "Prior to any formal grievance, the employee must discuss the issue with his/her immediate supervisor within three (3) working days after the date of occurrence, or three (3) working days after the date which the affected employee(s) could reasonably been made aware of the issue giving rise to the dispute or complaint." "If not resolved by the immediate supervisor within three (3) working days, the employee(s) may submit a formal grievance, in writing, to Step 1 no later than three (3) working days." STEP1: A written grievance may be submitted by the grievant to the immediate supervisor, as set forth above. The employee may request a union representative accompany him/her to the discussion, which will be held as soon as practicable, but not more than three (3) working days after the submission of the grievance. The supervisor shall provide a written answer to the employee within three (3) working days after the meeting. If the issue is not resolved, the employee(s) and/or Union may appeal to Step 2, within three (3) working days.

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STEP 2: A meeting between the employee, union representative, the Department head and the supervisor shall be held upon receipt of the appeal, or within three (3) working days thereof. The Department Head shall provide a written response to the union representative within three (3) working days of the meeting. If no settlement is reached, to be timely, the union must appeal to Step 3 within five (5) working days. STEP 3: A meeting between the General Manager, Department Head, Human Resource Representative, the District Union Representative, and two (2) other local Union officials (if a discipline case one [1] local union official may be displaced by the grievant) shall be arranged within five (5) working days of  receipt of the Union's appeal from Step 2. The meeting date will be established as soon as possible, but no later than twenty (20) working days from the receipt of the appeal, except where circumstances warrant an extension. Such extension shall not extend for more than five (5) working days. The General Manager, or his designate shall render a decision, in writing, to the District Union Representative no later than five (5) working days. If the matter is not resolved, the Union may submit the matter to ARBITRATION within ten (10) working days of receipt of Management's STEP 3 answer.

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ARBITRATION: Each party shall submit a list of five (5) names to the other. From the Ten (10) names presented, one (1) should be selected as the impartial arbitrator. If no one is acceptable, the union shall submit three (3) names; the company shall submit two (2) names resulting in a list of five (5) names. (In subsequent cases, the arrangement will be reversed.) The party submitting the most names will be the first to eliminate one name, the other party will follow and the sequence will continue until only one name is left. The parties agree that the sole remaining name shall be the arbitrator for this case only. The parties further agree that the decision rendered will be final and binding on all parties, i.e. Management, Union, grievant and employees. Post hearing briefs will not be filed unless requested by the arbitrator, or at the request of either party. The arbitrator’s decision may be oral or written. If written, it shall be delivered to the parties simultaneously no later than thirty (30) working days.

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The Statutory Provisions for the Grievance Handling Procedure under the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946. The provisions are under: - Cl 28) (1) Any workman desirous of the redress of a Grievance arising out of his employment or relating to unfair treatment or wrongful exaction on the part of a superior shall either himself or through a trade union of which he is a member, submit a complaint to the manager in his behalf. (2) The Manager or any such officer shall personally investigate the complaint at such times & places as he may fix. The workman and-         (i) any other workman of his choice, or ii)     (ii) where the complaint is made through a trade union a member of the union shall have the right to be present at such investigation. Where the complainant alleges unfair treatment or wrongful exaction on the part of a superior, a copy of the order finally made by the Manager shall be supplied to the complainant if he asks for one. In other cases the decision of the investigating officer & the action, if any taken thereon by the Manager shall be intimidated to the complainant: Provided that complaints relating to assault or abuse by any persons holding a supervisory position or refusal of an application for urgent leave shall be enquired into immediately by the Manager or such other officers as he may appoint. Cl 29. The decision of the Manager upon any Question arising out of, or in connection with, or incidental to these Standing Orders shall be subject to an appeal to the proprietor except where the Manager is himself the proprietor.

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Developing Information In Investigatory Grievances SOURCES OF INFORMATION: RECORDS Personnel File: It may contain the personal details of the employee that can prove vital while investigation.     Performance Records: Past performances of the employee, from the date of his joining the organisation (whether he was found skilled & up to mark in his work profile) Grievance Records: Whether he has had any grievance regarding any issue, and if yes, how did it affect his performance?      Medical Records: This is really vital, as it indicates your physical abilities to perform the assigned work.

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2. SPECIAL REPORTS Supervisory Report: This includes the feedback from the supervisor regarding the overall personality trait of the employee. As the supervisor really knows the grievant well, this report is crucial in investigatory purposes.   Medical Reports: This determines the employee’s competency to perform the assigned job.

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3. INTERVIEWS:    Management The management on interrogation can certainly determine some crucial facts that may help in the investigation Union ThThe more you interact with a person, the more you know him better. This is obvious especially among peers. So union members definitely get to know each other well, which is very important in grievance handling cases. 4. PHYSICAL EVIDENCE

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Gathering of facts. Determine possible witnesses. Decide on order of interviews & conduct them promptly. Examine reports as well as records. Develop possible theories of the case Develop working hypothesis At all stages keep careful and complete notes PROCEDURES FOR USE OF SOURCES

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PROOF Evidence is used to establish proof of a fact in the mind of the arbitrator. The degree of proof required depends on the nature of the case and must simply satisfy the arbitrator. There are three degrees of proof used by arbitrators in making decisions: (1) Proof beyond a reasonable doubt - the strictest degree (2) Clear and convincing proof - the moderate degree (3) A preponderance of evidence - the minimum degree A greater degree of proof will be required for cases determining more critical issues for the individual, the labor/management relationship, and the law. Generally, arbitrators look for clear and convincing proof in the majority of cases.

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BURDEN OF PROOF One party has the obligation to establish through evidence the issue to be proven. This burden of proof consists of two elements: (1) The burden of producing evidence (2) The burden of persuading the arbitrator of the issue in dispute The burden of proof depends on the nature of the case. Generally, in non-disciplinary hearings, the grieving party, which is usually the union, bears the initial burden. In disciplinary cases, it is usually the employer who has the burden of proving just cause. The burden of proof may also shift. In arbitration, the concept of burden of proof may be applied according to the particular arbitrator who may or may not find it useful to decision making.

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PREPARATION OF THE WITNESSES ENCOURAGE THE WITNESS TO: Tell the truth. Listen very carefully to the questions that are asked and to answer only the question asked in the most direct and simplest way possible. Ask for the question to be explained or restated if he or she does not understand the question. Answer only "Yes" or "No" in response to questions from opposing counsel on cross-examination. Maintain a calm and dignified position while testifying so as to enhance his or her credibility. DISCOURAGE A WITNESS FROM: Arguing with opposing counsel during cross-examination. Offering explanations or attempting to rephrase the question and answer Volunteering information that is not specifically asked

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Any Queries?

Thank You. : 

Thank You. Shriya Karve.