Section: Personnel
Policy Number: 4-86
Policy Name: Professional Grievance Procedure Level 16 and Up
Date: 1997

POLICY

The purpose of this policy is to provide a peer review grievance procedure for professional staff who hold a position classified at the level 16 or above in the University's professional classification system. Persons in this category normally report to senior administrators.

There may be occasions when a professional staff member level 16 or above feels that he/she has a grievance as defined below. Every effort should be made by all parties to resolve the problem informally. If the problem is not resolved informally to the satisfaction of the employee,the University provides a grievance procedure which affords impartial review.

A grievance is defined as any difference arising between the professional employee and the University concerning the interpretation or application of University policies, rules or procedures related to salaries, fringe benefits or other conditions of employment.

Time lines have been established at each step of the grievance procedure and may be waived by mutual agreement between the affected parties, with no party unreasonably withholding such agreement. All references to "days" in this policy refer to regularly scheduled University working days.

There may be occasions when the grievance involves action(s) by someone other than the immediate supervisor in the professional member's own unit. In such cases, the grievant should inform his or her immediate supervisor of the situation in addition to pursuing the matter with the person concerned.

Professional staff shall exercise their rights to the grievance procedure without prejudice to their position at the University. All those involved in a grievance shall abide by the final decision in the grievance process. Grievants have the option of contacting the standing Grievance Procedure Advisory Body (GPAB) as outlined in the Professional Staff Grievance Policy Up to Level 15.

GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

STEP I

Individual

Within twenty (20) days after the professional staff member becomes aware of the circumstances giving rise to the grievance, he/she should discuss the problem with the supervisor (or person concerned) in an attempt to resolve the matter in open and frank discussion.

Supervisor

The supervisor (or person concerned) shall attempt to resolve the grievance in accordance with University policies by fully discussing all issues relevant to the grievance.

STEP II

Individual

If the problem is not resolved to the satisfaction of the grievant within five (5) days of the aforementioned verbal discussion, the individual submits a written statement to the supervisor (or person concerned) setting forth the nature of the grievance including the policies and procedures being grieved and the remedy or relief sought. The grievant shall have access to pertinent information contained in his/her University personnel file and/or departmental personnel file.

Supervisor

The supervisor (or person concerned) will respond in writing to the grievant within five (5) days of receiving the written grievance. A copy of the response should be forwarded to the Office of Labor Relations.

STEP III

Individual

If the matter is not resolved within five (5) days of receipt of the Step II decision, the individual may write to the Vice President for Administration requesting a hearing before a "Level 16 and Above" Hearing Board. A copy of this letter should also be forwarded to the Office of Labor Relations and the vice president concerned.

NOTE: In instances where the grievant is a member of the staff of the Vice President for Administration, the Step III appeal and the recommendation of the Level 16 and Above Hearing Board should be submitted to the University Secretary, who will render the decision.

Vice President for Administration

Within five (5) days after the receipt of the request for a formal hearing, the vice president will ask that a Hearing Board be convened.

Hearing Board

The Vice President for Administration shall maintain a list of ten professionals at Level 16 and above, available to serve as a panel of peers for grievances initiated by professional staff at the Level 16 and above. The names of the individuals will be shared with the Professional Hearing Board. Panel members will serve voluntarily, based on their available time and ability to be impartial in a given matter. Individuals will not hear a case when they serve in the unit involved in the grievance.

At the request of the Vice President for Administration, a member of the Professional Hearing Board will act as a convener and contact the full panel membership identifying five individuals who are available and willing to serve. The Level 16 and Above Hearing Board will be formed within five days after a request to do so by the Vice President for Administration.

The member of the Professional Hearing Board will have the authority and responsibility for convening the hearing. The following individuals may be present for the entire hearing:

  • Five Hearing Board members
  • The grievant and his/her consultant (a University person who is not a GPAB member); attorneys are not permitted
  • A Labor Relations observer
  • The administrator against whom the grievance has been filed
  • The cognizant vice president
  • Other persons as may be requested by the Hearing Board
  • GPAB observer(s) if requested by grievant

Witnesses or persons providing information may only be present when providing such information or answering questions by either party or by the Board. Administrators other than the one against whom the grievance has been filed, will appear only as is necessary to answer questions or provide information. The Witness Advisory Statement as found in the Professional Grievance Policy should be shared with all witnesses.

The Level 16 and Above Hearing Board will conduct a hearing within ten (10) days after the formation of the Board. Witnesses may be called by both parties for the full disclosure of facts. Hearings will be tape recorded; principal parties shall have access to these tape recordings following appropriate University procedures.

The Level 16 and Above Hearing Board will make a written recommendation to the Vice President for Administration within five (5) days of completion of the hearing. The recommendation may include both majority and minority views. The grievant will receive a copy of the recommendation.

Vice President for Administration

Within five (5) days of receipt of the recommendation from the Hearing Board, the Vice President for Administration renders a written decision and forwards it to the grievant. The vice president's decision is binding on all parties except in matters involving suspension or termination. A Copy of the decision should be forwarded to the Office of Labor Relations.

STEP IV

Individual

If suspension or termination is involved and if the grievant is not satisfied with the Step III decision, he/she may appeal in writing to the President of the University within ten (10) days after receipt of the decision.

President

Within ten (10) days after receipt of the appeal request, the President will appoint a panel of arbitrators comprised of three administrative officers as defined by University Trustee Bylaws. These officers are to be drawn from vice presidential units other than that of the grievant.

The grievant may select another employee to assist in presenting the appeal.

Panel of Arbitrators

The panel of arbitrators will conduct a hearing within fifteen (15) days of their appointment and render a written decision within ten (10) days of the hearing. The decision of the panel shall be final and binding on both parties. A copy of the decision should be forwarded to the Office of Labor Relations.

Submitted by: Labor Relations