Your Role in the Grievance Process
A number of factors, having to do with the specific procedures in your contract and with the labor relations process in general, will dictate whether it is advisable or even possible for you to attend grievance meetings.
There may be reasons, such as the danger of an unhelpful personality clash between you and a supervisor, for it to be a wiser course of action for you not to be present at a particular meeting. But generally, you can and should play a positive role by attending a grievance meeting.
Factual matters may come up during the meeting that you are in the best position to evaluate and to respond to. And besides, this is your “day in court,” so it makes sense for you to be able to observe firsthand what is being said.
-- Adapted from The Union Members Complete Guide, by Michael Mauer