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contract administration

David Lewin


Contract administration is defined as the processes by which terms and conditions of employment contained in collective bargaining agreements between unionized workers and management are enforced. While the vast bulk of such enforcement occurs on a day‐to‐day basis in the workplace through supervisory and management directives and actions, most popular and scholarly attention has focused on those instances in which employees claim that contractual provisions governing terms and conditions of employment have been misapplied or unfairly applied. Consequently, grievances , grievance procedures ( see grievance procedure ), and rights arbitration are widely considered to be at the heart of contract administration ( Lewin, 1999 ; Lewin and Mitchell, 1995 ). Grievance procedures are found in virtually all collective bargaining agreements, contain multiple hierarchical steps for the processing of written grievances, and provide for binding third‐party arbitration as the final settlement step ( Delaney, Lewin, and Ichniowski, 1989 ). Grievance filing rates, measured by the number of written grievances filed annually per every 100 unionized employees, average about 10 percent in the US, with wide variation by industry, firm, occupation, and work location. Most grievances are settled at the lower steps of the procedure, with about 2 to 3 percent being settled at the arbitration step ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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