City of New Haven and AFSCME, Council 4, Local 3144
A party that does not immediately raise the issue of timeliness and that proceeds to hold a grievance hearing may waive the ability to protest that a grievance complaint was not filed timely, within 15 days of an event. On or about Jan. 15, 2010, Linwood Dorsey, who worked as a foreman in the Department of Public Works for the City of New Haven, was assigned to perform the job responsibilities of a streets superintendent. Dorsey requested extra compensation, because his responsibilities had expanded. On March 12, 2010, the director of his department denied his request for extra compensation. On June 17, the union filed a grievance. In October, the city held a grievance hearing. On November 30, the union filed a request for arbitration. The City of New Haven objected and claimed that the June 17 grievance and the November 30 request for arbitration were not filed timely. The union protested that the City of New Haven effectively waived its claims that the grievance and arbitration requests were not filed timely, because the city did not immediately raise the issue, or inform the union it would continue to process the grievance and reserve its right to raise timeliness. The collective bargaining contract provides, "Any complaint that is not taken up with the employee's immediate Supervisor within fifteen (15) working days after the occurrence or knowledge of the matter, out of which the complaint arises, shall not be presented or considered at a later date." Arbitrators found that the city did not immediately raise the issue of timeliness in June and proceeded to hold a grievance hearing in October. "If the City wished to raise timeliness," wrote the arbitrators, "it should have protected its right to do so by alerting the Union earlier in the process that it believed the issue was time barred." Arbitrators held that the grievance was arbitrable. Scott Nabel represented the municipality, and Josephine Miller represented the union.