ARTICLE 26 – GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE
A. Definition, Eligibility, Consolidation, and Representation
1. Definition. A grievance is a claim during the term of this Agreement that the University has violated a written provision(s) of this Agreement.
2. Eligibility. Except, as otherwise provided in this Agreement, a grievance may be brought to the attention of the Office of Labor Relations through this procedure by an individual employee, a group of employees, or by the Union. A grievance may not be brought through this procedure by the University.
3. Consolidation. Grievances 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 Employee and Labor Relations Manager and the Union be consolidated for the purposes of this procedure; provided that the time limits described in this Article shall not be shortened or lengthened for any grievance because of the consolidation of that grievance with other grievances.
4. Representation. An employee shall have the right to be represented at all steps of the Grievance Procedure by a person or persons designated by SETC. Said representative shall not be a University employee who has been designated by the University as supervisory, managerial or confidential. If an employee is represented by the Union, only one SETC representative (i.e., a UC MERCED employee) and one SETC Officer shall participate in the Grievance Procedure.
1. Informal Review – Employee’s Immediate Supervisor
Step 1. The employee must submit a written request for an informal review to his/her immediate supervisor, or designee. Within three (3) working days from the request, the immediate supervisor shall convene a meeting to discuss the grievance. All parties shall informally attempt a resolution of the matter before a formal grievance is filed. Informal resolutions, although final, shall not be precedent setting. If the grievance is not resolved through informal discussion with the immediate supervisor, the employee may file a formal grievance as set forth below.
Attempts at informal resolution do not extend time limits unless an extension is mutually agreed to in writing by the Employee and Labor Relations Manager or designee and the employee or his/her representative. The Union may file a formal grievance before the informal step is completed in order to meet the timelines set forth in Section B (2) below and said grievance shall be held in abeyance until the informal review is completed. The informal review must be completed within ten (10) calendar days of the filing of the grievance.
2. Department Review – Department Head or Designee
Step 2. A formal grievance initiation must be filed in writing on a grievance form mutually agreed to by the parties. The Office of Labor Relations must receive the written 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 fifteen (15) calendar days after the date of the employee’s last day on pay status, whichever occurs first. Grievances not presented within the time limits specified in the contract shall be considered untimely and not eligible for the Grievance or Arbitration Procedure.
Formal grievance may be filed by hand delivery, U.S. mail, or email in the Office of Labor Relations and must be received by that office within the time periods referenced herein. The date filed shall be the date received in the Office of Labor Relations. If a grievance is received outside of normal business hours, the first following business day will be deemed the filing date.
During the Step 2 process, the alleged violations stated in the original grievance may be amended, by mutual agreement. Such amendment shall be in writing.
Formal grievance initiations filed by email must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. The ‘date of filing’ for emailed grievance initiations shall be the date received on the University server, provided that the grievance is received during business hours. The University shall provide an acknowledgement of the Union’s grievance, within (2) two business days.
Formal grievances must set forth:
a. The specific section(s) and provision(s) of the Agreement alleged to have been violated;
b. The action grieved and how it violated the above-mentioned provision(s);
c. How the grieving employee was adversely affected;
d. Name of the employee’s representative, if any;
e. The date(s) of the occurrence of the alleged violation(s);
f. The date(s) the employee discussed the alleged violation(s) with his/her supervisor; and,
g. The remedy requested.
The department head or official designee shall review the grievance and shall meet with the employee(s) and his/her representative, to discuss the grievance when the grievance alleges violations of this Agreement which are not subject to arbitration (Article 6 – Probationary Period; Article 10 – Training & Development; Article 11 – Promotion & Transfer; Article 39 – Union Rights, Section E; & Article 40 – Management Rights). Within fourteen (14) calendar days after receipt of the Grievance, the department manager or designee who issues the decision shall schedule a meeting with the employee. A written response will be issued to the employee(s) with a copy to his/her representative and the Union, within fifteen (15) calendar days of the meeting with the department head or designee. If the department’s response is not issued within the established time limits or if the grievance is not resolved, the grievance may be appealed to Step 3.
When the grievance alleges violations of this Agreement which are subject to arbitration, the parties may mutually agree to waive Step 2 and proceed to Step 3 if the grievance is not resolved at Step 1.
3. Human Resources Review
Step 3. If the grievance is not resolved at Step 2, an appeal may be submitted in writing by the employee(s) or his/her representative to the Office of Labor Relations. The written appeal must be received by the Office of Labor Relations within twenty (20) calendar days of the date on which the written response to Step 2 was issued or due.
Formal grievance appeals may be filed by hand delivery, U.S. mail or email in the Office of Labor Relations and must be received by that office within the time periods referenced herein. The date filed shall be the date received in the Office of Labor Relations. If an Appeal is received outside of normal business hours, the first following business day will be deemed the filing date.
Formal grievance appeals filed by email must be sent to email@example.com. The ‘date of filing’ for emailed grievance appeals shall be the date received on the University server, provided that the grievance appeal is received during business hours. The University shall provide an acknowledgement of the Union’s grievance, within (2) two business days.
a. Within twenty (20) calendar days of the receipt of the Step 3 appeal, the Employee and Labor Relations Manager, or designee shall schedule a meeting to discuss the grievance. During the meeting the parties
shall discuss information and contentions relevant to the grievance.
b. The Employee and Labor Relations Manager, or designee shall issue a written decision within twenty (20) calendar days following the Step 3 meeting. The decision shall be sent to the employee(s) and his/her representative. A copy of the decision also shall be sent to the Union with a proof of service attached. The date on the proof of service shall constitute the “date of issuance.”
c. The Union may appeal the grievance to arbitration pursuant to the Arbitration Article within thirty (30) calendar days of the date on which the decision was issued or due. The parties may agree, on a case by-case basis, to attempt resolution of the grievance through mediation.
4. Waiver. The Employee and Labor Relations Manager, or designee and the Union Representative may mutually agree in writing to waive any and all steps of the Grievance Procedure. Such written agreement must be executed in advance of the expiration of the specific applicable time limits, i.e., no later than the last day of the applicable time limit.
5. Time Limits. Time limits may be extended by mutual agreement of the parties in writing in advance of the expiration of the time limits as set forth in Section B.4 above. 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, 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 the right to process the grievance to the next level.
6. Pay Status. Time spent by bargaining unit employees in investigation of grievances shall be on pay status as follows:
1. A maximum of eight (8) non-cumulative hours per month will be granted for such activities; and,
a. A request for the release time must be made to the employee’s immediate supervisor at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance of the activity.
b. Whenever the University and the Union convene a meeting to mutually resolve grievance(s) during the scheduled work time of an employee who is a grievant or a representative, upon advance request, reasonable release time shall be granted to the employee(s) involved. Employee time spent at these meetings shall be considered as time worked.
c. When such meetings are convened outside an employee’s scheduled work time, no employee release time shall be granted. University employees called as witnesses at such meetings shall be released from work with reasonable advance request and granted leave with pay for reasonable time spent in meetings. The University will make a good faith effort to alter the work hours for grievants and/or stewards who do not work the day shift. Said grievants and/or stewards shall not suffer a loss of regularly assigned shift pay when participating in the Grievance Procedure.
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. The University and the Union agree that any resolution of a grievance at Step 2 or thereafter shall be reduced to writing.
The University and the Union may mutually agree to mediation/arbitration with an agreed upon arbitrator.