City of New London and AFSCME, Council 4, Local 1378
A grievance complaint that merely states "Violation of Section 4" and that requests that the city "Follow Proper Procedure" can be sufficient to state a grievance claim. Tim O'Neil filed a grievance against the City of New London, alleging "Violation of Section 4 and all other applicable articles of the collective bargaining Contract." O'Neil wrote, "Follow Proper Procedure" as the adjustment that he requested. The city objected that the grievant failed to provide an adequate explanation of the alleged violation or the adjustment requested and that the city should not be forced to play a guessing game about the grievant's allegations. The city's interim public works director and personnel coordinator denied the grievance. The collective bargaining contract provides, "The Complaint, to be further processed, must be reduced to writing, signed by the complainant and submitted to the Head of the Department with a plain statement of the relief sought and an identification of the specific section(s) of the contract or working conditions claimed to have been violated." Arbitrators found that O'Neil's grievance complaint was sufficient. The grievance complaint substantially complied with the collective bargaining contract, because it included a plain statement of the relief sought. Apparently, the city's interim public works director and personnel coordinator comprehended the subject matter of the grievance and denied it. Arbitrators concluded that the grievance was arbitrable. Brian Estep represented the city, and Wayne Meyers represented the union.