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; 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.
These advances enable stewards and local officers to locate appropriate contract provisions and also research language from relevant arbitration decisions and national-level settlements. With this information on hand, stewards can not only speed up their own grievance-handling, but also work effectively to correct problems on the workroom floor before they become grievances.
Here's a description of these electronic information resources.
The Arbitration Program
When contractual issues arise, the National Agreement is always the first place to look, but the contract's provisions alone do not give all the answers. One place stewards can find more detailed guidance is in NALC's huge collection of arbitration awards. The 10-CD Arbitration Program provides handy and quick access to these decisions.
This program uses digital technologies to enable both quick searches and access to real copies of the original arbitration awards. The arbitration CD-ROM collection, first issued several years ago, contains digitally scanned images of all 19,000-plus regional and national level awards (cases with C-numbers). NALC has added to this collection over time by publishing new CDROMs as additional cases have been decided. The latest CD is No. 10, issued earlier this year.