NEASO/NEA Contract Disputes
A Dirty Dozen
Frequently Challenged Articles
Article 2 Definitions
Article 8 Probation
Article 11 Work Schedule
Article 12 Overtime Pay and Time Off
Article 15 Travel
Article 17 Discipline
Article 23 Staffing
Article 24 Personnel Files
Article 25 Employee Performance
Article 36 Dispute Resolution
Article 37 Salary Schedule
Article 42 Parking/Transportation Benefit
Article 44 Contracting Out Bargaining-Unit Work
Examples of Recent NEASO Disputes/Grievances
- MCO confidential professionals were brought into the NEASO bargaining unit, pursuant to Article 2 Definitions
- Member voluntarily agreed to performance improvement plan, among other terms, and to set aside alleged Article 17 grievance.
- Investigation ongoing for alleged contracting out bargaining unit work in violation of Article 44 procedures and NEA approval.
Members of the NEASO Dispute Resolution /Grievance Committee
Lillian Brown, Co-chair
Mary Alice Heretick
Marilyn Hutton, Co-chair
Ex Officio Members:
QUESTION OF THE MONTH
What would you suggest to improve Article 38 fairness?
TRADITION. For over 30 years, NEASO contracts with NEA include procedures for members to resolve grievances against management. If you’ve read past provisions, you see that contract wording changes over time. Yet NEASO’s goal remains constant—to provide members with a fundamentally, fair process for remedying contract violations.
ASK FOR HELP. Many members are unfamiliar with the dispute resolution and grievance process. Members experiencing employment problems with their supervisor, or colleagues, may hesitate for a variety of reasons to seek NEASO help. What can the member do? Find out about employees’ rights, probationary employee rights also exist under the contract.
RELIEF FOR MEMBER. Doing nothing is untenable. When a member comes to work with “a headache each day” from difficulties with the supervisor or management and this relates to the contract, then the contract should afford some R-E-L-I-E-F.
NEASO INTAKE FORM. To begin with, members should complete and submit the NEASO Intake Form to the NEASO office. The information is used to discern the overall ordeal, the date/time/place of each incident throughout the ordeal, and who was involved in each incident. It is also used to help identify key written documents to corroborate, or refute, the alleged contract violation. And a remedy is crafted, considering the totality of the circumstances. Committee members are available if you need help filling out this form.
NEASO REFERRAL. Upon receipt of the form from a member, NEASO’s investigation expands. The matter may be referred to a shop steward, the NEASO JLMC, or to the Dispute Resolution/Grievance Committee for further action.
NEASO INVESTIGATION. Under the Committee, pertinent NEA policies and procedures are identified and weighed, key witnesses approached, key documents requested by NEASO, and applicable federal or local laws are considered. A diligent investigation is underway.
GRIEVABLE. While many problems experienced by members are grievable—such as contract terms or conditions of employment—others are not. Frequently a dozen contract articles are allegedly violated. (See Dirty Dozen list.) NEASO assesses and advises the member to or not to proceed under Article 38.
DISPUTE RESOLUTION/GRIEVANCE ARTICLE. Currently Article 38 provides three tracts of procedures:
(A) an informal effort to resolve disputes,
(B) formal grievance procedures, and
The informal effort should be attempted before starting the formal Step I and II hearings and decisions process. Finally, arbitration may be available, if an adverse decision is rendered after exhausting Steps I and II. That is a decision the NEASO Board of Directors will make, based on the Committee’s recommendation.
Members experiencing contractual problems with their supervising management should engage in a reasonable attempt to informally resolve that dispute. If unresolved and the matter on its face involves a grievable contract violation, then the member has a right to file a grievance.
Yes, the grievance process is formal. Requirements include:
time limitations to file the signed, filled-out Grievance Form,
written notice to the other party,
deadline for holding Step I initial hearing or Step II appeal,
deadline for each hearing officer to issue a written decision on the issue(s) presented.
Of course through their NEASO representative, the member may agree with NEA management involved to waive a deadline. In doing so, a waiver extends the time frame for the entire grievance process.
Although the grievance is filed in behalf of the member, NEASO retains the right to arbitrate management’s adverse decision on the grievance, after exhausting Steps I and II. Consideration goes to the unknown outcome—the likelihood of prevailing on the merits or gaining a favorable decision in behalf of the grievant member, and others NEASO members as well.
NEASO takes great care fulfilling its duty of fair representation to members. Our work reflects our commitment to advocating for members in making sure NEA is a fair and equitable workplace.