Bulletin 38 – 22
August 30, 2022
UFLAC has been informed that some bargaining unit members may have received inaccurate advice from individuals who are not on the UFLAC Executive Board regarding grievance processing under the MOU, and that this advice may have caused unit members to waive their rights to pursue grievances to arbitration. Accordingly, UFLAC wants to make sure every unit member is clear on the grievance procedure in order to avoid the waiver of rights.
The grievance/arbitration procedure is set forth under Article 2.1 of the MOU. Pursuant to Article 2.1, Section II (3) a “grievant may be represented by a representative of his/her choice in the informal discussion with his/her immediate supervisor and in all formal review levels.” UFLAC Executive Board members are available to provide representation should you want to select a Union representative. However, you do not have to choose a Union representative and you may select another representative to assist with processing your grievance – that is your right. During the grievance process, UFLAC has the right to be involved at all levels. Article 2.1, Section II (5) provides, “The Union shall have the right to be present in each formal review level.” UFLAC has heard that some unit members are being advised that they can exclude UFLAC from the grievance procedure. As set forth in Section II (5), this is inaccurate.
Most concerning is the fact that UFLAC has been informed that some unit members may have been advised that they can request arbitration without UFLAC. This too is incorrect. In fact, if you do not work with UFLAC in requesting arbitration, you will waive your rights. Article 2.1, Section III, Step 5, provides that in order to advance a grievance to arbitration, a UFLAC bargaining unit member is required to jointly file a written request for arbitration with UFLAC and it must be done within fifteen (15) calendar days following the date of receipt of the Step 3 response. Importantly, this section further provides that “[f]ailure of the grievant and the Union to jointly serve such written request within said period shall constitute a waiver of the grievance.”
Lastly, we want to remind any unit member who is asked to act as a representative that it is important to keep confidential information and communications confidential. If you publicize the processing of a grievance to management, the City or anyone else not directly involved, you risk harming the unit member you represent and their chances of success.
The UFLAC Executive Board is available to answer questions and to assist with grievance processing.
United Firefighters of Los Angeles City, Local #112