In April 2011, at the annual leadership assembly, the membership decided we needed to focus on improving our grievance handling.  So in July, we began to develop a new system of grievance handling.  Previously, staff worked in the dual role of organizer and representative.  They would visit the buildings and mobilize members for actions, but they would also file formal grievances.  Our new restructuring allows us to streamline the work by separating out the grievance handling from the organizing: so we can do both faster and better.  On September 15th, we introduced our call center phone number 1 855-265 6225.  Since September 15th, we’ve been tracking the volume of work to the call center

(see below).

# of Calls # of Griev Calls/day Griev


Sept. 1005 71 47.85 3.38
Oct. 922 54 43.9 2.57
Nov. 952 53 47.6 2.65

The volume of work is remarkable considering we only have one employee working in the call center from 10 a.m. until 4p.m. The new process is: a member calls with a contract question.  If that question can be resolved by referring to the contract or past practice, the member will have their question immediately answered.  If instead, the question is an issue that needs a formal grievance; the call center representative will forward that individual to one of our two grievance representatives.

Now that the call center has been set up, our next phase involves recruiting more building stewards.

Stewards are the most important individuals in a building because they help members resolve their issues immediately in the building.  If a member has a contract question or a dispute with their supervisor, they should refer to a steward.  It’s the best, and fastest way to rapidly resolve problems for your co-workers.  If your building does not have a steward, you should elect one and send them to the next steward training.

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