A. Definition, Standing, Consolidation, Representation, No Reprisal
A grievance is a claim during the term of this Agreement that the University has violated a specific written provision(s) of this Agreement.
Except as otherwise provided in the Agreement, a grievance may be brought to the attention of the University through this procedure by an individual employee within the bargaining unit, a group of employees within the bargaining unit, or by the Union. A grievance may not be brought through this procedure by the University.
A grievance brought by, or related to two (2) or more bargaining unit employees, and multiple grievances by or related to the same employee, which concern the same incident, issue, or course of conduct, may upon mutual agreement of the University and the Union, be consolidated for the purposes of this procedure, provided that the time limits described in this article shall not be shortened for any grievance because of the consolidation of that grievance with other grievances.
An employee shall have the right to be represented at all steps of the Grievance Procedure by one (1) person of the employee’s choice other than a University employee who has been designated by the University as supervisory, managerial or confidential. If the employee chooses to be represented by the Union, a steward and the Union Representative shall have the right to be present at the Step 2 grievance meeting.
5. No Reprisal
No employee shall be subject to reprisal for using or participating in the grievance procedure.
1. Informal Review
As soon as practicable, the employee may discuss the grievance with his/her immediate supervisor and/or manager. All parties may informally attempt a resolution of the matter(s) before a formal written grievance may be filed. Informal resolutions, although final, shall not be precedent setting. If the complaint is not resolved through informal discussion with the immediate supervisor, the employee may file a formal grievance as set forth below.
2. Step 1:
a. A matter that has not been resolved through the Informal Review process may be filed as a formal grievance at Step 1. The grievance must be filed in person or electronically via e-mail.
b. A formal grievance must be filed in writing, on a grievance form approved by the Union and the University. Additionally, locations may provide for the electronic filing of grievances and responses.
c. The University’s written response will be issued to the Union and the grievant within fifteen (15) days after the formal grievance is filed. If the University does not issue a Step 1 Response within the fifteen (15) days, the grievance will automatically move to Step 2.
3. Step 2:
A grievance that has not been resolved at Step 1 may be appealed to Step 2 by filing a written appeal with the Labor Relations Office within thirty (30) calendar days of the date the written Step 1 response is issued.
C. Receipt of Grievance
The designated University Official must receive the written Step 1 grievance within thirty (30) calendar days after the date on which either the employee or the Union knew or could be expected to know of the event or action which gave rise to the grievance or within (30) calendar days after the date of the employee’s last day on pay status.
Attempts at informal resolution do not extend time limits unless a written exception is mutually agreed upon in writing by the parties.
E. Statement of Grievance
A formal written grievance shall contain the following information:
1. The specific section and provision of the Agreement alleged to have been violated;
2. A description of the action that caused the grievance, the date on which the action happened, and an explanation of how the Agreement was violated by the action;
3. A description of how there has been an adverse effect on a bargaining unit employee; and
4. A description of the remedy requested.
The employee and/or the Union may amend the alleged violation stated in the original grievance as needed up to, and including, the filing of the Step 2 appeal.
G. Step 2 Grievance Meeting
Within thirty (30) calendar days of the receipt of the Step 2 Appeal, the designated University official shall convene a meeting to discuss the grievance. The parties may mutually agree to extend the deadline for the meeting. The parties may mutually agree to waive the meeting.
H. Step 2 Decision
The designated University official shall render a written decision within thirty (30) calendar days following the date of the close of the Step 2 meeting or the date of an agreement to waive the Step 2 grievance meeting. The decision will be mailed by the designated University official to the grievant and mailed by the designated University official to the Union electronically via e-mail. The University’s decision becomes final thirty (30) calendar days from the date of e- mail. The Union must file a request for arbitration within sixty (60) calendar days after receipt of the Step 2 decision. Proof of Service must accompany the request for arbitration. Such decision shall not set any precedent.
I. Step 3 Mediation
1. Mediation is a process in which a mediator assists the parties in reaching a resolution of the grievance. Either party may request mediation at any time.
2. Both parties must agree to use mediation.
3. Mediation shall be non-binding, except when the parties mutually agree otherwise.
4. All costs of mediation shall be borne by both parties equally, except when the parties agree otherwise.
5. The parties may select a mediator by mutual agreement or by selecting from among a panel of mediators to be agreed upon by both parties.
6. If mediation does not result in a resolution of the grievance, the grievance shall be processed in accordance with this Agreement.
7. Reasonable release time shall be granted to the employee(s) and steward participating in the actual mediation. Employee time spent in mediation shall be considered as time worked. When such meetings are convened outside the employee’s scheduled work time, no employee release time shall be granted. Time spent in preparation for mediation, on the day(s) of the mediation, shall be on pay status.
J. Time Limits
Time limits may be extended by mutual agreement of the parties in writing in advance of the expiration of the time limits. Deadlines which fall on a University non-business day will automatically be extended to the next business day. If a grievance is not appealed to the subsequent step of the procedure within applicable time limits, and an extension has not been agreed to in advance, the grievance will be considered settled on the basis of the last University written response. Failure by Management to reply to the employee’s grievance within the time limits specified automatically grants to the employee or the Union the right to process the grievance to the next level. Each of the steps in the Grievance Procedure may be waived by mutual agreement of the parties in writing.
K. Pay Status: Release Time
1. Release Time for Grievance Meetings: Whenever the University and the Union convene a meeting to mutually resolve grievances during the scheduled work time of an employee who is a grievant or a Union representative, upon advance written request, reasonable paid release time shall be granted to the employee(s) involved. In addition, reasonable paid release time shall be granted to the employee(s) involved to travel to and from, and participate in such meetings. Such requests may be made to Labor Relations and where possible, at least a week in advance. Labor Relations thereafter is responsible for contacting the employee’s Department Head and Supervisor to ensure that the employee will be released absent operational reasons for denying a release request. Employee time spent at these meetings shall be considered as time worked however is not subject to call-back pay minimums pursuant to Article 8: Hours of Work. When such meetings are convened outside an employee’s scheduled work time, no employee release time shall be granted. When such meetings involve a graveyard shift employee, meetings will be held near or immediately after the end of their shift.
2. Release Time for Witnesses: University employees called as witnesses at such meetings shall be released from work with reasonable advance written request and granted leave with pay for reasonable time spent in meetings, if the information they provide is relevant and material to the grievance which is the subject of the meeting.
3. Release Time for Preparing Grievances: Time spent in preparation of a grievance shall not be on pay status. A reasonable amount of time spent during scheduled work hours in investigation of a grievance prior to formal filing shall be granted on pay status, subject to notice and approval of the employee(s)’ supervisor.
L. Notification to the Union
Informal resolution may be agreed upon at any stage of the grievance process. Prior to the resolution of any formal grievance in the Skilled Crafts bargaining unit, the Union shall be notified.