Section: Personnel
Policy Number: 4-91
Policy Name: Nonexempt Grievance Procedure
Date: June 1998
Revisions: October 30, 2001; November 20, 2002; January 28, 2013

POLICY

A grievance is defined as any difference arising between the employee and the University as to the interpretation or application of University rules or procedures relative to salaries, employee benefits or other conditions of employment applicable to full-time or part-time nonexempt. Disciplinary action, including discharge, is grievable.

The employee may exercise the grievance procedure without prejudice to standing in the University. Time limits have been established at each step of the grievance procedure and may be varied only by mutual agreement of the parties.

This policy does not apply to differences related to termination of employment during an employee's initial probationary period.

The Grievance Procedure Advisory Committee

In deciding whether or how to proceed with a perceived grievance, the nonexempt staff employee has the option of contacting the standing Nonexempt Grievance Procedure Advisory Committee (GPAC). The GPAC provides objective confidential information and assistance to nonexempt staff employees regarding University policies and procedures, as well as individual rights, choices and obligations. Additionally, nonexempt employees may also benefit from assistance from other campus resources such as the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program, Disability Services, Labor Relations, the Wellness Center and the Office of Women's Affairs.

Specific responsibilities of the GPAC include:

  • Publicizing its functions to nonexempt staff.
  • Assisting the nonexempt employee in the clarification of problems.
  • Informing the concerned nonexempt employee about various formal and informal means of resolving the matter.

The GPAC is to be comprised of five nonexempt staff employees from the University Community interested in personnel matters and whose schedules and responsibilities will not mitigate their availability for advisement. Names for members of the GPAC are submitted to the Nonexempt Staff Advisory Council and are elected in annual elections. Members serve three years, with the two members with the most seniority rotating to the Hearing Board. Two new members are elected to the Advisory Committee. Every January two members with the most seniority rotate to the Hearing Board and two new members are elected to the Advisory Committee.

The GPAC is accountable to the Nonexempt Staff Advisory Council and also maintains close relations with the Office of Labor Relations to ensure access to documentation and to receive proper training as well as procedural advice when necessary. Each advisor should have all appropriate information regarding policies and procedures in order to advise individuals seeking assistance. The GPAC reports its activities to the Nonexempt Staff Advisory Council at least once a year, more frequently when warranted. A chair is to be chosen from among the five members for recording purposes. While the GPAC is to have direct and open communication with both Labor Relations and the grievant, this body is not to serve as a proponent for either.

Pre-Grievance Recommendations:

Before filing a grievance, it is strongly recommended that the employee meet with his/her supervisor in an informal, open, and congenial manner to resolve the issue of concern to the employee. If, after this meeting, the employee is not satisfied with the results and wishes to file a grievance, the following steps should be followed.

STEP I

Individual

Within twenty days of the employee becoming aware of the situation giving rise to the grievance, the individual notifies the supervisor, in writing, that he/she is initiating a formal grievance.

Supervisor

Within three days of receiving the grievance notification from the employee, the supervisor must respond, in writing, to the employee of the final decision regarding the grievance issue.

STEP II

Individual

Within five days of the supervisor's decision, if the problem is not resolved to the satisfaction of the employee, the individual forwards the grievance in writing to the department head.

Department Head

Within three to five days of receipt of the written grievance, the department head meets with the employee and with the supervisor, or alone if the employee wishes. Witnesses may be called by both parties for disclosure of facts.

The grievant may select another employee, who cannot be a current GPAC member, to help present the case during this and subsequent steps.

Within three to five days following the above, the department head responds in writing to the employee. A copy of the decision should be forwarded to the Office of Labor Relations.

STEP III

Individual

Within ten days of receipt of the Step II decision, if the decision of the department head is not satisfactory, the grievant requests, in writing, a meeting with the Assistant Vice President for Labor Relations and Human Resources or his/her designee.

Assistant Vice President for Labor Relations and Human Resources

Within five days of receipt of request, the Assistant Vice President for Labor Relations and Human Resources or his/her designee meets with the employee, the supervisor and department head together or individually if the employee wishes. Witnesses may be called by both parties for a disclosure of facts.

Within three to five days of the meeting(s), the Assistant Vice President for Labor Relations and Human Resources or his/her designee responds in writing to the employee.

STEP IV

Individual

Within five days of receipt of the decision, if the decision of the Assistant Vice President for Labor Relations and Human Resources or his/her designee is not satisfactory, the grievant may request in writing a hearing before a hearing panel of which two members are appointed by the Vice President for Administration and two members by the convener of the Nonexempt Staff Hearing Board. If the grievant wishes, he or she may ask a University employee to attend the Step IV hearing panel and offer support during the hearing process.

The Office of Labor Relations supplies all pertinent information to the hearing panel prior to meeting.

Vice President for Administration

Within five days of the employee's request, the Vice President for Administration selects a department head and an officer of the administration to serve as members of the Step IV hearing panel. The Vice President also notifies the conveners and requests that two Nonexempt Staff Hearing Board members be selected to serve on the hearing panel. All of these individuals must be from units other than the one in which the grievant is employed.

Hearing Board

A hearing board comprised of five nonexempt staff members who previously served on the Advisory Committee. Two members of the hearing board are to be selected to serve at Step IV hearing panels. Members serve for three years. The two members with the most seniority on the Hearing Board are replaced with the two members rotating in from the Advisory Committee. All members leaving the Hearing Board must wait one year before they can re-submit their names to the Nonexempt Staff Advisory Council for re-election to the Advisory Committee. The elected hearing board selects a convener and a co-convener.

When a grievance is moved to Step IV, the Vice President for Administration will notify the conveners of the impending hearing and requests that two hearing board members be selected to serve on the Step IV grievance panel. The convener provides the names to the Vice President. The individuals selected must be from units other than from the one in which the grievant is employed.

All time lines are based on working days.

Hearing Panel

Within five days of appointment, the hearing panel meets with the employee, supervisor, department head and the Assistant Vice President for Labor Relations and Human Resources or his/her designee together or individually if the employee wishes. Witnesses may be called by the parties for full disclosure of facts. The hearing panel renders a written decision within seven days of the collection of all evidence and close of the record which is final and binding on all parties. The hearing will be audio taped.

Submitted by: Labor Relations