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.
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