Monday, May 16, 2011

What are the forms and causes of grievance in an organization?

What are the forms and causes of grievance in an organization? Study
the existing grievance handling mechanism in your organization or an
organization you are referring to. Describe the organization you are referring

Answer. In any organization both employer and employee have mutual
expectations. When an employee’s expectations are not fulfilled he will have a
grudge against the employer because of the disagreement or dissatisfaction it
causes. Similarly when an employee’s expectations about an employee are not
fulfilled, the employer will have a grudge against such employee. It may be a
problem of indiscipline. Broadly, a grievance can be defined as any discount or
dissatisfaction with any discount or dissatisfaction with any aspect of the
organization. It can be real or imaginary, legitimate or ridiculous, stated on
invoiced, written or oral. It must, find expression in some form or the other.
Discount or dissatisfaction parse is not a grievance. They initially find expression
in the form of a complaint. When a complaint remains unattended and the
employee concerned feels a sense of lack of justice and fair play, the
dissatisfaction grows and assumes the status of a grievance. Usually, grievances
relate to problems of interpretation or perceived non-fulfillment of one’s
expectations from the organization. Aggrieved employees usually manifest deviant
The pre-requisites of such a procedure may be summed-up as follows:
 It gives an opportunity to the workers to express their feelings.
 The management comes to know that what the workers think.
 It highlights the morale of the people.
 There may be some complaints, which cannot be solved at supervisory level.
They must have been resolved by a systematic grievance handling procedure.
 It improves the policies and practices of the company.
Grievance has the following features:
 It reflects dissatisfaction if discontent arises out of employment.
 A grievance may be expressed verbally or in writing. Verbal grievance includes
gossiping, jealous, argumentation, poor workmanship etc. Written grievance
are often called complaints.
 The dissatisfaction may be valid and legitimate or irrational and ridiculous or
 A grievance arises only when an employee feels that injustice has been done
to him.
 Grievance not redressed in time tends to lower morale and productivity of
Forms of Grievance
There are three basic types of grievances:
A. The INDIVIDUAL grievance, as the name indicates, involves a single individual
in the grievance procedure. the following example could constitute grounds to
write an individual grievance:
Example: Mary Jones was underpaid 250 when a deduction was taken for life
insurance for her spouse even though the spouse expired last month. Employer
refused to adjust.
B. The GROUP grievance, as the name indicates, involves two or more
individuals. In a situation involving a group grievance, the Grievance Handler
should try to get everyone in the bargaining unit within their jurisdiction (groups,
departments, etc.) to sign the grievance. This is especially true in cases of
"Production Standards" or "Speedup" grievances under the Grievance Handler's
jurisdiction, where ALL of the workers involved should sign the grievance. The
following example could constitute grounds for a group grievance:
Example: Maintenance engineers received an upgrade in classification and in pay.
The increase was not in their last pay cheque.
C. The POLICY grievance is much broader in scope than either the individual or
the group grievance. Policy grievances may involve several departments within the
bargaining unit structure. As such, they may effect more than one or two workers;
they effect several such workers, even the entire workplace.
Policy grievances may include new jobs, new classifications, new wage rates,
mutual understandings and past practices (union practices) that have been in
effect a long time. They may include working conditions, employer concessions,
workable practices that exist in departments, offices, and other areas of the
union's jurisdiction. Policy grievances are the responsibility of the grievance
committee rather than of the individual Grievance Handler in the workplace,
because it may affect other workers in the union beyond those whom the
Grievance Handler represents. The following example could constitute grounds for
a policy grievance:
Example: The annual improvement factor was to be paid on the first of the month.
management did not pay on the first week, but instead, the second week.
Causes of Grievances
When the number of people are working together, differences are likely to take
place. When things are not as per expectation of employees, this gives
dissatisfaction to them. There are many reasons or causes of grievances. Some of
the causes of the grievance are following:
 Wage fixation and revision
 Payment of overtime
 Inadequate bonus
 Demand for welfare and equipments
 Poor working conditions
 Faulty machines and equipments
 Attitude of supervisor
 Behaviour of top management
 Favoritism and nepotism
 Strained relations
 Excessive discipline
 Defective promotion
 Lay off and retrenchment
 Inadequate health and safety devices
 Victimization
Grievance Procedure: The employees should not keep their dissatisfaction for a
long period. It becomes necessary to handle the grievances of employees. Hence,
personnel management should try to find out the best possible way to handle the
grievances. It should help the people at different levels to formulate and implement
the rules and regulations regarding handling grievances. Grievance redressal
procedure is a problem solving and dispute setting machinery, which has been set
up under agreement between employer and employees or trade union. It is the
machinery by which grievances are handled to the satisfaction of unions' workers
and owners. It helps to detect the defects and to take correction steps. Following
are the features of grievance procedure:
 It is a problem solving machinery.
 For management it is a problem detector.
 A channel through which employees present their grievances.
 It ensures proper handling of grievances.
 A method which helps employees to get relief from dissatisfaction.
 Brings uniformity in grievance handling.
 Develops confidence in employees.
Organizational Example: Grievance Resolution at
University of Melbourne
The University of Melbourne is committed to ensuring fair, equitable and safe work
practices. Grievances may arise from decisions, which affect one individual. The
grievance procedures in the University of Melbourne Enterprise Agreement apply
to all staff grievances, except where specific procedures exist. In all cases, the
grievance must relate to an issue arising from the employment relationship.
General principles for handling grievances
In the case of all grievances, the University investigates the allegations and
responds to the staff member who raised the grievance. Confidentiality, natural
justice and protection of the individual are important principles underpinning the
University's grievance procedures.
Before entering into the formal process, unless the grievance relates to unlawful
discrimination or sexual harassment, the aggrieved staff member should attempt
to resolve the grievance with his or her supervisor, or other person in the
Department who has the power to resolve the grievance. Most grievances should
be able to be resolved at local level.
In addition, nothing in the policy precludes a staff member of the University raising
a grievance directly with a senior University staff member.
Grievance Resolution Procedures
The following is a summary of the University's provisions for grievance resolution.
Local Resolution: Where a local grievance arises, every effort is made to resolve
the matter through discussion between the supervisor and the staff member
concerned. Staff members are expected to raise issues of concern with their
supervisor as soon as they arise. Advice on the grievance process is available
from Human Resources. The staff member must outline the grounds for the
grievance in writing to their supervisor or the person who has made the decision
about which the staff member is aggrieved. The supervisor initiates discussions
within two (2) working days of receiving a staff member's request. Where local
grievances arise, work shall continue according to custom and practice while these
grievance resolution procedures are implemented.
In circumstances where the grievance relates to the behaviour of the supervisor,
and the staff member considers that it would be inappropriate to discuss that
grievance with the supervisor, the staff member may discuss the grievance with
the next level of management or supervisor.
Where Local Resolution Fails: Where discussions between the staff member and
their supervisor fail to resolve the matter, the staff member may refer the matter to
the next level of management for resolution.
Appointment of a Grievance Conciliator: In the event that the grievance is not
resolved through the above process within ten (10) working days, the staff
member may undertake the procedures outlined below.
The staff member must outline in writing the grievance and the efforts taken to
resolve it to the Vice-Chancellor. The Vice-Chancellor will then select a grievance
conciliator from a pool of independent conciliators agreed upon by the unions and
the University.
Where unusual circumstances exist, the parties may agree that persons other than
those nominated to the pool (whether staff member or not) may be appointed as a
grievance conciliator.
The grievance conciliator shall first determine whether the subject matter of the
grievance reasonably constitutes a genuine grievance. If the grievance is not
considered to be genuine (i.e. if the nature of the alleged grievance is frivolous,
vexatious, or not relevant to the employment relationship), the grievance
conciliator may choose not to proceed with the matter. Should the grievance
conciliator choose not to proceed with the matter, s/he shall notify the parties of
the reasons for this decision.
The grievance conciliator shall investigate the matter having access to all relevant
documents and shall attempt to facilitate a fair and reasonable conclusion to the
grievance as quickly as possible.
If the grievance is not resolved within a reasonable time, the grievance conciliator
shall provide a written report and recommendations on the terms of resolution to
the Vice-Chancellor for approval.
Vice-Chancellor's Determination: The Vice-Chancellor shall make a decision on
the grievance having due regard for the recommendations of the grievance
conciliator, and shall advise the aggrieved staff member and other relevant parties
of the decision.
Resolution of a Grievance: A grievance is regarded as resolved if it is withdrawn,
in writing, by the staff member, or if a written agreement is reached between the
staff member and the supervisor relating to or resulting from the grievance. The
aggrieved staff member must be advised that he or she may consult with the
relevant union before signing any agreement.
External avenues of appeal: In addition to these internal procedures staff have the
right to lodge grievances with an appropriate external body. The University
understands that the advice of these external bodies is that ordinarily staff should
first attempt to resolve their grievances internally using the documented
procedures of the University before seeking external review.

1 comment:

  1. sir i liked your post ..i was searching for your email id but i didnt find it so iam posting my question here. iam MS (Mgt Science) student and my research topic is kinda similar to your post. i am assembling literature on "grievances at workplace" but i failed to find it from authentic literature like research articles and books. i was wondering where did you find all the data. even you didnt mention the sources or references..kindly help me in this regard.


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