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When bargaining unit employees wish to pursue a complaint, they must use the negotiated grievance procedure reprinted below:
Section 2. The following matters are specifically excluded from coverage under this procedure:
Section 3. Appeal and Grievance Option. An aggrieved employee affected by discrimination, a removal or reduction in grade based on unacceptable performance, or adverse action may at his/her option raise the matter under a statutory appellate procedure or the negotiated grievance procedure, but not both. For the purposes of this section and pursuant to Section 7121(e)(1) of the Federal Service Labor Management Relations Statute, an employee shall be deemed to have exercised his option under this section only when the employee files a timely notice of appeal under the appellate procedure or files a timely grievance, in writing, under the negotiated grievance procedure.
Section 4. Any time an employee declares he has a grievance, he shall be entitled to a union representative.
Section 5. The employer and the union recognize that most grievances arise from misunderstandings or disputes, which can be promptly and satisfactorily resolved on an informal basis at the immediate supervisory level. Accordingly, the employer and the union agree that every effort will be made to settle each grievance at the lowest level possible. Inasmuch as dissatisfaction and disagreements arise occasionally among people in any work situation, the filing of a grievance shall not be construed as reflecting unfavorably on an employee's good standing, his performance, his loyalty, or desirability to the organization.
Section 6. It is agreed that when a grievance decision is accepted or the grievance is terminated, at any step, it will be considered to be settled in its entirety, and no further action will be taken by either party regarding the grievance.
Section 7. A grievance shall clearly state the problem and corrective action desired.
Section 8. Reasonable time will be allowed for employees to discuss, prepare, and present grievances. A grievant is not entitled to use government resources such as typing assistance, word processing centers, copying machines, supplies, or materials in preparing a grievance.
Section 9. A request for extension of time at any step of the grievance procedure should be for valid reasons. All time limits specified in this procedure are final, unless an extension has been granted.
Section 10. If an employee or group of employees desires representation in filing a grievance under this grievance procedure, they may be represented only by the union or themselves, but not a private attorney. Any employee or group of employees choosing to represent themselves may present such grievances to the employer and have them adjusted without the intervention of the union as long as the adjustment is not inconsistent with the terms of this agreement and the union has been given the opportunity to be present at the adjustment. The right of employees to present their own grievances does not extend their use of the arbitration process contained in this agreement.
Section 11. If two or more bargaining unit employees request union representation in pursuing substantially identical grievances under this grievance procedure, the union will select one grievant and one representative to pursue the grievance, will provide a list of the other grievances concurrent with the initiation of Step 1 of the grievance procedure, and will be bound in all cases by the outcome of the grievance selected. Not more than one local union representative will be allowed to represent an employee or group of employees at any given meeting during the pursuit of a grievance or complaint.
Section 12. Dispute Resolution/Grievance Procedure.
Section 13. In most instances, employees are required to process their grievance through the informal process before proceeding to the formal process. Specific exceptions to the normal grievance procedure are:
Section 14. Upon request of the union, all material relevant to any grievance or investigation of a complaint will be provided to the union subject to applicable law in a timely fashion.
Section 15. Employer-Union Grievance Procedure. Problems involving the interpretation or application of the agreement between the employer and the union should be resolved in accordance with Section 12 a(1) and 12(b) of this article.
Section 16. If the last day of a time limit under this article falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, the due-date will be the next work day.
Section 17. Questions of Grievability. In the event either party should declare a grievance non-grievable or non-arbitrable, the original grievance shall be considered amended to include this issue. The employer agrees to raise any question of grievability or arbitrability of a grievance in the written answer for the formal step of this procedure.