The Six W’s of Grievance Handling

Whether it’s a contract violation or a discipline case, there are six questions to ask for every grievance:


Who is involved? This might include the member’s full name, employee number, department, job classification, pay rate, shift and seniority date or other relevant information for everyone involved.


When did it occur? Try to identify the specific date, time or shift an incident took place. Or you might need to establish a chronology of events.


Where did it happen? The exact location where the incident occurred can be important, on or off employer premises.


Why is this a grievance? Contract language, work rules, policies or procedures, or laws that were violated.


What happened and what remedy do we want? What does the union and grievant want to resolve the grievance?


Are there any witnesses? Reach out to the individuals who may have seen or heard what took place.

These questions will help you track down all the facts you need to present a solid case.