Q & A Session – Union Settles Grievance without Grievant


Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.


I have a grievance with my agency. My union invoked arbitration in June 2010. After 18 months of waiting for a hearing, the agency supposedly canceled the hearing three days before the hearing date. They attempted to settle, but what was offered was an insult to my intelligence. I have not communicated with my union in any way since November 2011. I was recently emailed a settlement agreement my union president signed settling my grievance without my knowledge or consent. I do not agree with the settlement at all. Can my union settle a grievance without consulting me?


Yes. The union is the exclusive representative. It does have a duty to represent you fairly, but it can make decisions in your arbitration (including the decision to invoke arbitration) even though you disagree with the union’s decision.

Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw Bransford & Roth PC.

Disclaimer: Ask a Lawyer publishes information on this website for informational purposes only. Information on this website is intended – but not promised, guaranteed, or warranted – to reflect correct, complete and current developments. In addition, the contents of the website do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the attorney. Information from this website is not intended to be used as a substitute for specific legal advice, nor should you consider it as such. You should not act, or refrain from acting, based on information on this website without seeking specific legal advice about your particular circumstances. No attorney-client relationship between you and Ask a Lawyer’s author is created by the transmission of information to or from this site.


About Author

1 Comment

  1. Guess he should have kept paying his dues….. it takes an extraordinarily difficult employee to fray the patience of a union, especially if they have a winnable case.

Leave A Reply