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ARTICLE 8. NATIONAL GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

Section 1. 
All grievances and/or questions of interpretation arising under the provisions of this National Master Agreement shall be resolved in the following manner:

Deadlocked cases involving only National Master language may be submitted to the National Master Panel for decisions. Those deadlocked cases which cannot be decided by a lower panel because of disagreement over the interpretation of National Master language may be submitted to the Master Panel for interpretation. Requests for interpretations with no factual case to be decided, will be heard by the Master Panel by mutual agreement of the Co- Chairpersons. Interpretations rendered on factual cases by the National Grievance Committee will be sent back to the lower panel to be used to resolve the factual case.

The Committee shall be composed of an equal number of Employer and Union representatives. The National Grievance Committee shall meet upon call of the Chairman of either the Employer or Union representatives on the National Grievance Committee. The National Grievance Committee shall adopt rules of procedure which may include the reference of disputed matters to subcommittees for investigation and report with the final decision or approval, however, to be made by the National Grievance Committee. If the National Grievance Committee resolves any dispute by a majority vote of those present and voting, such decision shall be final and binding upon all parties.

Section 2. 
Work Stoppages All grievances and/or questions of interpretation arising under the provisions of this National Master Agreement shall be submitted to the grievance procedure for determination.

Accordingly, no work stoppage, slowdown, walkout or lockout over such grievances and/or questions of interpretation shall be deemed to be permitted or authorized by this Agreement except: 

(a) failure to comply with a duly adopted majority decision of the National Grievance Committee;

(b) failure to make health & welfare and pension contributions in the manner required by the applicable Supplemental Agreements, Riders and/or Addenda; and,

(c) nonpayment of established wage rates provided for in this Agreement, Supplements, Riders and/or Addenda.

Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c) of this Section, strikes, work stoppages, slowdowns, walkouts or lockouts over disputes, which do not arise under provisions of this National Master Agreement, shall be permitted or prohibited as provided in the applicable Supplement, Rider and/or Addendum. The Local Union shall give the Employer a seventy-two (72) hour prior written notice of the Local Union's authorization of strike action, which notice shall specify the majority National Grievance Committee decision or deadlocked National Grievance Committee decision providing the basis for such authorization. The Local Union shall comply with the provisions of the applicable Supplemental Agreement, Rider and Addendum relating to strike action resulting from delinquencies in the payment of health and welfare or pension contributions.

Section 3. 
The Union and Employer may under this section review and reverse, if necessary, decisions by any area, regional or local grievance committee which interprets Master language erroneously.

The National Grievance Committee may consider and review decisions raising an issue of interpretation of Master Agreement language which are submitted by the Union (either the Parcel and Small Package Director or the General President's designee) or the designated Employer representative. The committee shall have the authority to reverse and set aside the majority decision of any area, regional, or local grievance committee, if, in its opinion, such decision is contrary to the language of the National Master Agreement. The decision of the National Grievance Committee shall be final and binding. The National Grievance Committee shall determine whether a decision submitted to it raises an issue of interpretation of Master Agreement language.

In order for such cases to be reviewed, the decision must interpret Master language. A decision raising an issue of interpretation of Master Agreement language is one in which (1) Master Agreement language was interpreted by a lower panel (2) the interpretation sets a precedent for future grievances; and (3) a reasonable case can be made that the lower panel interpretation was contrary to the true meaning of the Master Agreement. If the National Grievance Committee deadlocks on whether a decision meets these criteria, arbitration may be requested pursuant to Article 8, Section 4.

Prior to such cases being placed on the Master docket, the moving party (either the Parcel and Small Package Director or the General President's designee or the designated Employer representative) shall confer with his counter part and discuss the matter.

Cases that are docketed will be presented in the following manner:

1.) The representatives of the moving party, as described above, present first.

2.) The presenter will cite the specific Master language that the lower panel interpreted. 

3.) Any evidence to prove that the interpretation was contrary to the provisions set forth in the Master Agreement must be presented.

4.) The representative of the responding party will present any responsive evidence he deems necessary.

5.) If the Master Panel is unable to reach agreement, then either party may appeal the issue presented to final and binding arbitration.

Decisions made by lower panels that are properly submitted to the National Grievance Committee pursuant to this Article and Section shall be reviewed by the National Grievance Committee. A decision will be entered by the National Grievance Committee based upon its interpretation and the facts of that case. Such decision will be final and binding upon the parties.

Arbitration decisions under any Supplement, Rider or Addendum which interpret Master Agreement language may also be submitted to the National Grievance Committee provided the three above-referenced criteria are satisfied. If an arbitration decision is reviewed by the National Grievance Committee it shall be processed in accordance with this section except that the Committee will make a final and binding decision rather than refer the case back to the arbitrator. Article 8, Section 4 shall not apply if the National Grievance Committee deadlocks upon review of an arbitrator's decision.

Section 4. 
Where the National Grievance Committee fails to reach a majority decision as to any case submitted pursuant to this Article (excepting arbitrator decisions) either party shall have the right to refer the case to binding arbitration. Either party wishing to submit a grievance to arbitration must do so within ten (10) days of mailing or hand delivery of the National Grievance Committee deadlock decision. The arbitrator is to be selected from an American Arbitration Association national panel list and all aspects of the arbitration procedure shall be governed by the Rules of the American Arbitration Association. Any provision in the grievance procedure of any Supplement, Rider, or Addendum hereto which would require deadlocked disputes to be determined by any arbitration process, shall be null and void as to any grievance and/or interpretation of the National Master Agreement. The decision of the National Grievance Committee as to whether a grievance and/or interpretation which is subject to this procedure shall be final and conclusive.

Section 5. 
Any grievance that does not raise an issue of interpretation of a Master Agreement Article or Section shall be resolved pursuant to the provisions relating to the local, state and area grievance procedures set forth in the applicable Supplements, Riders and Addenda. Prior to invoking the arbitration procedure the parties, by mutual agreement, may submit said case to the National Grievance Committee for resolution.

In the event of strikes, work stoppages, or other activities which are permitted in case of default or failure to comply with majority decisions under this Agreement, no decision and/or interpretation of this Agreement by any tribunal shall be binding upon the Union or affect the legality or lawfulness of the strikes unless the Union stipulates to be bound by such interpretation, it being the intention of the parties to resolve all grievances and/or questions of interpretation by mutual agreement.

In any Section of this Article where language refers to deadlocks, either party shall have the right to refer any unresolved case to arbitration, except as specified otherwise in Section 2 of this Article.

Section 6. 
The arbitrator shall have the authority to apply the provisions of this Agreement and to render a decision on any grievance coming before him/her but shall not have the authority to amend or modify this Agreement or to establish new terms or conditions of employment.

Any grievance that does not raise an issue of interpretation of a Master Agreement Article or Section shall be resolved pursuant to the provisions relating to the local, state and area grievance procedures set forth in the applicable Supplements, Riders and Addenda. The no-strike, work stoppage, slowdowns, walkout and lockout provisions of the Supplemental Agreements, Riders and Addenda shall apply to such grievances. Prior to invoking the arbitration procedure the parties, by mutual agreement, may submit said case to the National Grievance Committee for resolution.

Section 7. 
Deadlocked cases referred from the National Grievance Committee to binding arbitration pursuant to this Article, will be governed by the following procedures:

1. The arbitration process will be administered by the offices of the American Arbitration Association, whose offices located in the following cities will administer deadlocked cases arising from the following corresponding geographical Regions of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters:

New York City Eastern Chicago Central Los Angeles Western Atlanta Southern

2. The parties will jointly designate twenty-four (24) arbitrators, who will each commit to hear one (1) case during each contract year of the Agreement.

3. The panels will consist of the following number of arbitrators who hear American Arbitration Association administered cases in each Region of the IBT:

Eastern 8 Central 7 Southern 4 Western 5

4. The parties shall attempt to agree on the four (4) panels within thirty (30) days of the conclusion of negotiations. Failing agreement within that time, the parties shall exchange lists of two (2) times the number of arbitrators to be assigned to each regional panel within fifteen (15) days thereafter and at the conclusion of an additional fifteen (15) days will alternatively strike from the lists until the correct number of arbitrators is left for each panel. Any arbitrator proposed by the Employer or Union must be a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators and reside within the geographical area covered by the panel. Within thirty (30) days of the panel's selection, the parties and arbitrators will agree upon arbitration hearing dates for the following contract year.

5. Each arbitrator will reserve two (2) consecutive hearing dates agreed to by the parties for each contract year.

6. Once a case is assigned to an arbitrator it will remain with that arbitrator until it is concluded.

7. Either the Company or Union may request by June 1 of each year of this Agreement that any panel be replaced. Any cases already assigned to an arbitrator will be concluded. A new panel will be selected in accordance with the selection procedures set forth in paragraph 4 above prior to the conclusion of the next National Grievance Committee meeting. If there is no request for a new arbitrator, the parties will conclude the scheduling for the following year by July 1. The parties may mutually agree in writing to remove any individual arbitrators from the panel.

8. Except in unusual circumstances, arbitrations will be scheduled for 10:00 a.m. until at least 5:00 p.m.

9. Deadlocked cases from each National Grievance Committee meeting will be assigned in the order of the dates of the respective underlying grievances to the arbitrators on the appropriate panel in the order of their scheduled dates. If there is more than one (1) deadlocked case on the same contractual issue, the date of the earliest dated grievance on the issue will determine the location of the hearing.

10. In the event that an arbitration will not be scheduled until more than six (6) months from the National Panel decision, the American Arbitration Association ad hoc selection procedure used by the parties as of July 31, 1997 will be used through the appropriate AAA office listed above to select an arbitrator and schedule the hearing.

11. There shall be no more than one (1) cancellation of arbitration dates by either party in the hearing of any single arbitration case, except as permitted by the arbitrator with good cause.

12. The American Arbitration Association and arbitrator's fees and expenses shall be shared equally by the parties.

13. The location of the arbitration will be determined by mutual agreement, taking into account the travel requirements of witnesses, counsel and the arbitrator. In the event that the parties are unable to agree on the location, the arbitrator will decide. All hearings will be held at the American Arbitration Association offices unless the parties mutually agree on an alternate site.

14. Any or all of the foregoing may be modified in writing by mutual agreement of the parties at any time.


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