The Role of Labor Relations at APC – Contract Enforcement

Contract Enforcement

In the last installment of our 4-part exploration, we’re examining contract enforcement, grievance handling, and the arbitration process within Labor Relations at APC. It’s all about making sure agreements are honored, addressing concerns directly, and guaranteeing fairness for everyone. Wrapping up our discussion, we’ll look into these crucial activities that fortify APC’s commitment to its members, ensuring they are represented and their rights are safeguarded.

Contract Enforcement

Enforcing the terms of the contract is a crucial aspect of Labor Relations at APC. Norris said, “Negotiating a contract is meaningless if its terms are not upheld.”   When issues arise on campuses, especially those with widespread impact, they may be brought to the bargaining table during negotiations to address them comprehensively.

For example, APC seeks to address issues like the extended duration of temporary employment. When members face problems, they often reach out to their campus Stewards, who then consult with Labor Relations for guidance. Stewards play a vital role in resolving many issues, acting as liaisons with human resources and campus administration.

However, some issues require more extensive involvement due to their complexity or widespread occurrence. In such cases, Labor Relations takes the lead, keeping Stewards informed but handling the matter directly to ensure thorough resolution.

This collaborative approach ensures that contract enforcement is effective, and that members’ rights are protected across all campuses. Stewards are valued partners in this process, with opportunities for training and support provided by Labor Relations.

Arbitration and Grievance Process

Arbitration is a critical step in the grievance process, but not all grievances proceed to arbitration. When an issue arises, APC assesses whether it constitutes a contract violation or not. If it does, and informal resolution isn’t possible, a grievance is filed.

The grievance moves through a multi-step process. Once the grievance has reached the end of the process Norris makes a recommendation to APC’s arbitration committee, which includes members of the Executive Board and Stewards. The committee has the final authority about whether a case can proceed to arbitration.  This process was put in place to ensure there is an impartial review of each grievance that is ripe for arbitration.

Arbitration involves presenting the case before a neutral third-party arbitrator. APC adopted the practice of using a single arbitrator to ensure consistency and efficiency in case resolution. However, not all grievances make it to arbitration. Many are resolved at earlier stages: usually through settlement between the Parties.

The timeframe for filing grievances is crucial. According to the contract, grievances must be filed within 21 days of the event or when the individual reasonably becomes aware of the violation. Failure to adhere to this timeline may result in challenges to the grievance’s arbitrability.

Ultimately, APC’s goal is to protect its members’ rights and ensure fair treatment in the workplace. While arbitration is a powerful tool, APC also works to resolve issues through negotiation and informal processes whenever possible since it is important to understand that the outcome of litigation is uncertain.


Hopefully this sheds more light on Labor Relations and the pivotal role they have at APC in advocating for its members. From navigating contract negotiations to ensuring compliance and enforcing the terms of the contract, the Labor Relations Team is dedicated to safeguarding the rights and interests of APC members and ensuring the Union is meeting its legal obligations.

As APC continues to navigate through negotiations and address various issues, it’s crucial for members to remain engaged, provide feedback through surveys, and actively participate in the democratic processes of the union. By working together and staying informed, APC members can continue to advance their collective interests and uphold the rights and conditions of employment for all.

If you’d like more information on APC, please contact your local campus Steward.