Why “Grievance” isn’t a bad word

Throughout the course of your professional career as an educator, you may encounter situations which require union support in the form of grievance processing, and BRSFA is here for you. We want you to know that you are not alone, and that the filing of a grievance is a common practice of educators across the United States. It is not an aggressive move, but rather an informative one which identifies a problem and sets up a procedure and timeframe to resolve it. By upholding your contract, you strengthen our profession and the working environment of our colleagues. So, what do you do if you sense that our contract is being violated?*

STEP 1: Be aware of timelines and consult “Article 12” of our contract. You must start the Grievance Process within 25 days. Often times, it is all-too-common to miss the deadline, so do not let this happen to you.

STEP 2: Consult your Site Representative who is your first point of contact. Your BRSFA Site Rep is trained by the CTA to help you assess whether your concern meets the definition of a grievance as an “alleged violation, misinterpretation, or misapplication of a specific article or section of the Agreement”. It helps if you have already looked at your contract and pinpointed the article or section of the Agreement that is not being upheld.

STEP 3: From this point on, your Site Representative will guide you throughout the Grievance Process. S/he may illicit the support of our BRSFA Grievance Chair who may take over your case. Just know that the Grievance Process is comprised of a series of steps designed to resolve the situation in a professional and timely manner. Know that you will be supported.

Sometimes a certain issue may not fall under our Grievance process, but may be more appropriately addressed with another agency. Consult “Our Rights” section of this website to see various state and federal agencies.

*If you choose to submit a grievance on your own, give a copy of the grievance to your Site Representative. BRSFA keeps a log of all grievances so we can see areas of concern. This helps us inform our Bargaining Team who can negotiate at “The Table” to shore up the contract language in question.