Each local shall elect a Local Committee of Adjustment, consisting of a Chairperson, one or more Vice Chairpersons, and a Secretary. Additional Local Committees of Adjustment may be formed to represent members on a separate seniority district or when employed in a separate craft represented by the United Transportation Union. Such committeepersons must hold seniority rights in one of the crafts under the jurisdiction of the Local Committee.
The International President may grant dispensation for the establishment of separate Local Committees of Adjustment for the members of a local working in one of the various crafts represented by the United Transportation Union. Each Local Committee shall be maintained by dues and/or assessments levied upon the members under the jurisdiction of such committee.
When required, it shall be the duty of the Chairperson of the Local Committee of Adjustment to furnish the Treasurer of the local and the interested General Chairpersons the names of non-members and members who have been taken out of service, or who have been returned to service. Additionally the Chairperson of the Local Committee of Adjustment will assist in furnishing information to the Treasurer as to the names of employees working under the jurisdiction of his/her committee.
It shall be the duty of the Chairperson of the Local Committee of Adjustment to promptly handle claims and grievances when presented in accordance with Article 79. He/she shall be authorized to file claims and grievances including those where time has not been claimed, or where claims were incorrectly filed. He/she shall report on the handling of all claims and grievances at the next local meeting.
Should the Local Chairperson fail to satisfactorily adjust any case presented he/she may refer it to the General Chairperson with the complete facts and history of the case including copies of correspondence exchanged with local carrier officials.
It shall be the duty of the Vice Chairperson to handle matters referred to the Local Committee when so directed by the Chairperson. The Vice Chairperson of the Local Committee shall act as Chairperson when the Chairperson is unable to perform his/her duties, and in case of a permanent vacancy in the office he/she shall act as Chairperson until the office is filled as provided in Article 57. When more than one Vice Chairperson is elected to a Local Committee of Adjustment, the Local Committee shall designate the Vice Chairperson who shall act as required by this paragraph. Local Committees of Adjustment shall not take grievances to the general officers of an employer, except through the General Chairperson, and will not be permitted to enter into any agreement or understanding or change an agreement or understanding unless approved and signed by the General Chairperson and the designated carrier representative.
Compensation and expenses for members of the Local Committee shall be determined by the members of the Local under the jurisdiction of the Committee. The Local Chairperson, when authorized by the General Chairperson to perform service in connection with General Committee matters, shall be compensated from the General Committee fund.
The Local Chairperson is the Chairperson of the Local Committee of Adjustment. He/she is the cornerstone of the "Union". Upon his/her shoulders rests the grave responsibility of enforcing the agreement, knowing his/her members, knowing management, knowing agreements, awards of Public Law Boards and Federal and State Laws. The job encompasses a tremendous amount of work and common sense.
As Local Chairperson of the UTU, you are the key person in the relationship of UTU to management, and of UTU to its members. The success or failure of the handling of claims and grievances rest on the Local Chairperson's knowledge of the agreements. You, as Local Chairperson, will be doing this day-to-day.
Without you, and others like you, even the best agreement is meaningless. You give it life. You make it work. The wisest union leader, the most effective administrator, cannot build the union and make it function efficiently without your help. The UTU depends on you and your fellow Local Chairpersons for future leadership. Do what you know is right. Be fair in your judgments, and you will win the respect of all concerned.
You are to the UTU what an officer is to the company. It is your responsibility to protect the rights and interests of your brother and sister union members. In order to carry out your responsibilities, you must train yourself to be a skillful:
Your constituency expects you to present their grievances to the carrier officers. Your success as a negotiator will determine your success as a Local Chairperson.
You must win the willing support of a great majority of the group. Successful labor-management relations require an equal balance of power.
Your Local and International have definite policies and programs. They expect you to understand them and transmit these ideas to the members.
A leader gets things done with the minimum of friction. He/she sparks the enthusiasm and enlists the cooperation of his/her fellow workers.
A Local Chairperson's salary (if any) and all expenses of the Local Committee of Adjustment are supported by a portion of each members dues. In accordance with Article 81 of the UTU Constitution, each Local Committee of Adjustment shall be maintained by dues and/or assessments levied upon the members under the jurisdiction of such Local Committee.
Local Chairpersons have a definite responsibility as provided for in Article 81 of the UTU Constitution, which states in pertinent part:
"It shall be the duty of the Chairperson of the Local Committee of Adjustment to promptly handle claims and grievances when presented in accordance with Article 79. He/she shall be authorized to file claims and grievances including those where time has not been claimed, or where claims were incorrectly and/or improperly filed. He/she shall report on the handling of all claims and grievances at the next local meeting.
"Should the Local Chairperson fail to satisfactorily adjust any case presented he/she may refer same to the General Chairperson with the complete facts and history of the case including copies of correspondence exchanged with local officials."
Therefore, the Local Chairperson must also be a good manager of money to insure there are adequate funds available to represent the membership.
Local Chairpersons also hold a position on the General Committee of Adjustment. On many General Committees Local Chairpersons elect the General Chairperson.
It is readily apparent the Local Chairperson has a huge responsibility and must be armed with a great deal of knowledge about the Union, the agreements and applicable laws in order to be effective. Without question, the Local Chairperson is the "Cornerstone of the UTU."
The two most important roles of a Local Chairperson are defending the contract on the local level, i.e., handling time claims and grievances, and preserving the right of the membership to a fair and impartial investigation.