Grievances vs Gripes

How do I tell the difference?


  1. Violation of Contract
  2. Violation of Law - non contractual
  3. Violation of Policy/Rules
  4. Past Practices
  5. Unfair Discipline


While the universe of grievances is wide, taking a grievance that is frivolous or without merit forward dimishes your effectiveness with management, and wastes valuable time and resourses. It can also be frustrating.


A gripe is a complaint, while valid or not, that is not a violation of the contract, law, rule or regulation or past practice.While it may not be a grievance, a grip is still a valid concern of your member. Try to solve the issue, if possible, but make it clear to the member it's not a grievance.

  1. Disputes between workers
  2. Personality problems
  3. Management Rights
  4. Complaint - no facts
  5. Management has no control
  6. Complaint motivated by revenge

Is it a grievance?
Has the contract been violated? If so, which article/sections.
Has there been a violation of law? Research the law and have sites available for the grievance hearing.
Has an established past practice been violated? See past practices page.
Has a violation of policy or regulations occurred? Research your Departments's SOP's (Standard Operating Procedures) and Rules.

If the answer to one or more of these questions is YES, you may have a grievance (contracts exclude certain issues by law and mutual agreement, see your contract for exclusions)

New Jersey Public
Employees Union

Business Hours

  • Monday-Friday: 8:00am to 5:00pm

Follow Us