Section 1. Grievance Definition
A grievance shall be a complaint alleging a violation in the application and/or interpretation of provisions of the graduate assistant terms of employment.
Section 2. Representation
An aggrieved employee may be accompanied at all stages of the grievance procedure by a witness observer or support person. The employee may be accompanied by legal counsel of their choosing in lieu of a witness observer or support person in all proceedings of the procedure after Level 2
Section 3. Time Limits
Failure to appeal a grievance from one level to another within the time periods hereafter provided shall constitute a waiver of the grievance. By mutual agreement, the parties may extend any and all time limits.
The failure by the University or any of its representatives to give a decision within the prescribed time limits set forth in these standards shall permit the employee to proceed with the appeal to the next level. Notwithstanding this provision, the University fully accepts its good faith obligation to process grievances, confer with grievant(s), and issue written decisions in accordance with the procedure set forth in these standards.
Calendar days will be used in computing any period of time prescribed or allowed by these standards, and the day of the act or event from which the designated period of time begins to run shall not be included in the computation. For example, the day a grievant receives a response from an administrator will not be counted as part of the time period. The last day of the period so computed shall be included, unless University administrative offices are not open on that day, in which event the period runs until the end of the next day on which University administrative offices are open.
Section 4. Adjustment of Grievances
An effort shall first be made to resolve an alleged grievance informally between the employee and the immediate supervisor. Such informal efforts to resolve the grievance must be initiated within thirty (30) days following the time at which the aggrieved party could reasonably have been aware of the grievance. However, under no circumstance shall a grievance be considered timely after twelve (12) calendar months from the date of the occurrence.
Level 1: If the grievance is not resolved through informal discussions, the grievant shall, within forty-five (45) days following the time at which the aggrieved party could reasonably have been aware of the grievance, commit the grievance to writing and describe the nature of the dispute and the remedy sought. The Departmental Executive Officer, or designee from within the department, shall meet with the grievant and shall provide to the parties a written decision on the grievance within fourteen (14) days after receipt of the written grievance.
Level 2: In the event the grievance is not resolved in Level 1, the decision rendered may be appealed to the Dean of the College or Vice President of the division, provided such appeal is made in writing within fourteen (14) days after receipt of the decision in Level 1. If a grievance has been appealed in Level 2 as described above, the Dean/Vice President or designee shall set a mutually satisfactory time to meet regarding the grievance, to be held within ten (10) days after receipt of the appeal. Within ten (10) days after the meeting, the Dean/Vice President or designee shall issue a written decision to grievant(s).
Level 3: In the event the grievance is not resolved in Level 2, the decision may be appealed to the Associate Vice President for Human Resources and the Dean of the Graduate College, provided such appeal is made in writing within fourteen (14) days after receipt of the decision in Level 2. If a grievance has been appealed to Level 3, as described above, the Associate Vice President, Dean or their designee(s) shall set a mutually satisfactory time to hear the grievance within ten (10) days after receipt of the appeal. Within ten (10) days after the meeting, the Associate Vice President or designee shall issue a written decision to the parties involved.
Section 5. Emergency Grievances or Group Grievances
Grievances of an emergency nature or grievances affecting a class or group of employees may be initiated at Level 3. Emergency grievances shall be defined as matters regarding which progression through the grievance steps specified herein would subject the grievant to a substantial deprivation relative to their terms and conditions of employment such as termination, suspension, or demotion.
Section 6. Arbitration Procedure
- Request: The grievant may submit a grievance to arbitration, provided written notice of intent to arbitrate is delivered to the office of the Associate Vice President for Human Resources within twenty-one (21) days following receipt of the decision in Level 3 of the grievance procedure
- Selection of Arbitrator: Upon submission of a request for arbitration, the parties may within ten (10) days after the request to arbitrate, attempt to agree upon the selection of an arbitrator. If no agreement on an arbitrator is reached, either party may request the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) to submit a panel of seven arbitrators. Within ten (10) days after receipt of the panel, the parties shall alternately strike names and the remaining name shall be the arbitrator to hear the grievance. The parties shall promptly notify the arbitrator of her/his selection.
- Hearing: The grievance shall be heard by a single arbitrator and both parties may be represented by such person or persons as they may choose and designate, and the parties shall have the right to a hearing at which time both parties will have the opportunity to submit evidence, offer testimony, and make oral or written arguments relating to the issues before the arbitrator.
- Decision: The arbitrator so selected shall confer with the University and employee representatives and hold hearings within six (6) months of their selection and shall issue their decision not later than thirty (30) days from the date of the close of the hearings or, if written briefs have not been waived, then from the date the final statements and proofs on the issues are submitted to them. The arbitrator's decision shall be in writing and shall set forth their findings of fact, reasoning and conclusions on the issues submitted. The arbitrator shall not have power to alter, add or detract from the specific provisions for graduate assistant employment. The decision of the arbitrator shall be submitted to the parties and shall be final and binding on the parties.
- Expenses: The cost for the services of the arbitrator, including per diem expenses, if any, and actual and necessary travel and subsistence expenses shall be borne by the employing department. Any other expenses incurred shall be paid by the party incurring the same.