Union Misses Time Limit By One Day, Loses Grievance

The collective bargaining agreement between the Englewood Police Benefit Association and the City of Englewood, Colorado has a four-step grievance procedure. The contract requires that appeals to Step 4 be made within seven days following receipt of the response to the grievance given by the Director of Safety Services.

The Association filed a grievance challenging the City’s denial of requests by officers for the cashout of personal leave. The Director of Safety Services delivered a response to the grievance on September 30, 2004. The Association’s Step 4 appeal was not presented to the City Manager until October 8, 2004.

An arbitrator ruled that the grievance was not timely, and dismissed it. The Association’s primary argument was that the Director’s response was received “after hours” on September 30, 2004. The Arbitrator, though, ruled that the contract’s reference to the word “days” consistently referred to calendar days and not workdays. In the absence of any evidence that the City waived the time limit requirements in the grievance procedure, the Arbitrator ruled that the grievance was untimely.

City of Englewood, Colorado, LAIG 6356 (Bennett, 2005).

This article appears in the August 2006 issue