It can easily take a union official two hours to locate a lost grievance document. And unfortunately, documents are often permanently lost or misfiled. These lost documents are expensive to replace and can be extremely hurtful to the union member who expects his or her grievance to be properly managed by the union.
Not to say that the union is completely at fault for these mistakes, it can be so much work to properly manage all the grievances coming through a local union's office. Some of the reasons that lead to the mishandling of grievances include:
- Lack of communication between union reps (business agents, stewards, etc. ) and the union official at the local responsible for filing the grievance documentation.
- Lack of staff available to properly handle the flow of grievances.
- To many grievances and relevant documents to efficiently file with traditional methods (i. e. filing cabinets).
For those reasons and many more, unions are opting to implement a new way to file and track grievances. They are turning to the Internet.
The Internet provides an electronic filing location that is far superior than any traditional filing method. The reasons the Internet is the best place to manage and track grievances include:
- All grievances are centralized in an online location.
- All grievances can be accessed by multiple users from any location.
- All grievance documents can be scanned and uploaded to the online database.
- During grievance negotiations, the union officials can access the online grievance database and research how grievances were previously settled under certain contracts and articles. It is a great cross-referencing tool.
- Grievances can be logged and tracked from step 1 through arbitration.
Unions are proud to be adopting new technologies and they are automating their grievance procedure as a result. Better negotiating power for the member is the ultimate reward for labor union organizations implementing new, advanced technologies.
Check out the pioneer of web-based grievance software at http://www.griev.com/
Justin V. Cecil, MBA
Managing Partner, My Union Journal
My Union Journal (new online service for union members): http://www.myunionjournal.com/