|Volume 2, No 16 Delivering information when you need it most. Fall 1999|
The old saying that knowledge is power is especially true for NALC representatives. Every steward and local officer understands that knowledge of the National Agreement is the best weapon to protect letter carrier rights. Effective representatives realize that they should also know as much as possible about other resources, including the vast body of national and regional arbitration decisions and settlements. By demonstrating such knowledge as early as possible in the grievance process, stewards and local officers can often resolve grievances at Step I or even earlier.But representatives are already overburdened with responsibilities and demands. The day simply isn't long enough to accomplish all the essential duties of the job.
Time available for research can be extremely limited.
Take heart. The NALC's Contract Administration Unit has harnessed dynamic new technology that, with only a few clicks of a computer mouse, gives stewards and local officers electronic access to key contract enforcement documents, including a library of more than 19,000 arbitration awards. Using the new software systems, NALC representatives can not only read relevant contract information, but can also print copies of that information for their own use and even "cut and paste" text from those documents directly into their own correspondence or grievances.
This article provides an overview of the two sources of digital contract information now available to NALC stewards and local officers:
The NALC Arbitration Program, a 10-CD set containing all NALC Arbitration decisions (C-number cases) and a powerful, integrated search engine; a brand-new MRS CD, which contains the Materials Reference System's Summary and Index, all the original M-number settlements and related materials, plus a new collection of NALC materials including the Joint Contract Administration Manual (JCAM) in an accessible format.
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