Workplace issues

Arbitration Advocate training

Congratulations to the graduates for all of your hard work and dedication! Class photo for the 16 newly trained Advocates - October 2022

Back row- Greg Dixon (Facilitator-HQ-CAU), Thomas Filipone(Branch 157), Steven Powers (Branch 343), James Brown (Branch 182), David Teegarden (Facilitator-NBA Region 5), Jeff Frazee (Facilitator-RAA Region 1), Shawn Boyd (Facilitator-NBA Region 10), Scott Stanley (Branch 2689), Blake Rockers (Branch 104), Keith Beltz (Branch 1569)

Front row-James D Henry (Vice President), Andrew Grant (Branch 4319), Robert Kosier (Branch 2), Dominic Walton (Branch 38), Carlos Rodriguez, Jr (Branch 1456), Justin Hill (Branch 4559), Melissa Aschom (Branch 825), Dustin Decastro (Branch 148), Cara Neri (Branch 326), Wayne Green, Jr (Branch 461), Justin Landrum (Branch 1100).

Click here to view the full photo album.

Arbitration Advocate training is for NALC activists who have experience processing grievances at the lower levels of the grievance procedure. This training sharpens the skills needed for successfully presenting a case appealed to Arbitration and delivering the arguments made at the lower levels of the grievance process.

The NALC has negotiated an extremely effective grievance procedure. Consequently, the vast majority of all grievances are resolved at the lower steps of the procedure. One of the reasons for our success at the lower levels is that we have “final and binding” arbitration. The certain knowledge that we will pursue meritorious grievances all the way to arbitration forces the Postal Service to resolve most grievances at the lower steps. Arbitration is where we fight out our most difficult and contentious issues.

Numerous arbitration advocates have successfully completed this advocate training. Our win/loss record in arbitration cases has shown a marked improvement coupled with this training program. The NALC continues to seek ways to improve the specialized knowledge and skills of our advocates. The majority of the advocates completed the training knowing it was the most productive and educational training provided by the NALC.

The training summarizes more than 30 years of experience by NALC officers, national business agents, regional administrative assistants, staff and arbitration advocates with a comprehensive range of subjects related to arbitration. It explains the key principles, court decisions contract language, national settlements and arbitration decisions that our advocates need to be effective.

The Advocate trainees have been recommended by their National Business Agent to attend the training and to successfully advocate cases before an arbitrator. To be accepted to this training, applicants must have experience as a witness and/or as a technical assistant (TA) in at least a few arbitration hearings and possess a full working knowledge of our contract and grievance procedure.

The training is built for 16 advocate trainees per class. The trainees must bring their ‘A’ game. All advocate trainees will take part in mock arbitrations of both discipline and contractual issues. Training includes witness prep and examination, cross-examination, opening statements, closing arguments, and brief writing. Each training session begins Sunday afternoon and ends on Saturday.

The goal of the program is to provide our arbitration advocates with additional tools to enforce our contract. Arbitration is the final step of the grievance procedure and some would argue the most complex step.

If you are interested in becoming an arbitration advocate you will need to contact your national business agent’s office. All recommendations for participants will be submitted by the NBAs.