Section 1. Grievance Definition

A grievance shall be a complaint alleging a violation involving the application and 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 his or 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.

Section 4. Adjustment of Grievances

An effort shall first be made to adjust 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 give a written decision of the grievance to the parties 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 decision to grievant(s).

Level 3: In the event the grievance is not resolved in Level 2, the decision may be appealed to the Vice President for Human Resources and 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 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 Vice President or designee shall issue its decision in writing to the parties involved.

Section 5. Employer Time Limits

The failure by the Employer or any of its representatives to give a decision within the prescribed time limits under this Article shall permit the employee to proceed with the appeal to the next level. Notwithstanding this provision, the Employer fully accepts its good faith obligation to process grievances, confer with grievant(s), and issue written decisions in accordance with the procedure described above.

Section 6. Emergency or Grievances of a General Nature

Grievances of a general or emergency nature or grievances affecting a class or group of employees may be initiated at Level 3.

Section 7. Arbitration Procedure

  1. Request: The grievant may submit a grievance to arbitration, provided written notice of intent to arbitrate is delivered to the office of the Vice President for Human Resources within twenty-one (21) days following receipt of the decision in Level 3 of the grievance procedure.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Decision: The arbitrator so selected shall confer with the Employer and employee representatives and hold hearings within six (6) months of her/his selection and shall issue her/his 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 her/him. The arbitrator's decision shall be in writing and shall set forth her/his 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.
  5. 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.