Town of North Branford and AFSCME, Council 15, Local 484
A collective bargaining contract can require that a union submit a grievance within 10 working days. The union filed a grievance on behalf of Mauro Piroli. The municipality denied the union's grievance, and the union president received the municipality's decision on Jan. 8, 2013. The union president sent the municipality's decision to the union's attorney, who did not immediately receive the decision, apparently because it was damaged in the mail and "returned to sender." Eventually, the union filed a grievance with the Board of Mediation and Arbitration on Jan. 28, 2013. The municipality argued that the grievance was not filed timely, within 10 working days, and was not arbitrable, because the union did not request and receive an extension. The collective bargaining contract provides, "If the aggrieved employee and his/her representative, if represented, are not satisfied with the decision rendered by the Town Manager, the Union may submit the grievance within ten (10) working days to the Connecticut State Board of Mediation and Arbitration." The majority of arbitrators found that the union president was responsible to submit the grievance within 10 working days, and that although he communicated with an attorney during that time, he remained responsible to file the grievance timely. The majority of arbitrators voted, 2-1, that the matter was not arbitrable, because it arrived on Jan. 28, 2013, and that the union was required to submit the grievance on or before Jan. 23, 2013. "It appears," wrote the majority, "that [the union president] failed to keep track of the grievance such that he would have known to check by January 23 with the Board to be sure that it had been properly and timely filed." William Ryan represented the municipality, and John Williams represented the union.