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The Step 1 meeting

The "step meeting" (usually Step 1 in a formal grievance) is like the "pre-step" meeting, only more so: more preparation, more planning, and more at stake.

Step 1 meetings usually involve a low-level supervisor. This can be good or bad. On the one hand, the supervisor may want to solve the problem before it gets to his or her superiors. On the other, the supervisor may lack the authority to make things right.

  • Review the eleven rules for dealing with management.
  • Write down your main points and the facts that support them.
  • Anticipate the arguments management will use. Try to "think like a boss."
  • If the grievant(s) will attend the meeting, prepare them in advance. Decide what should and should not be said.
  • Take good notes. If the case goes to Steps 2, 3, or arbitration, your notes can make the difference between winning and losing.
  • Always maintain a united front. Call a caucus if any member has an objection or suggestion (or if management springs any surprises on you).
  • Never volunteer information that doesn't help.
  • Don't admit to charges that hurt your case. Make management prove their case.