Bargaining Unit Grievance Process
- The first step of the grievance procedure is crucial in resolving issues before they escalate into formal and somewhat rigid procedures that could involve posturing, positioning, and a third party deciding the resolution of a workplace matter. The first step is initiated by either the employee or the employee's union representative. Because of the importance of this step, and the fact that the contract stipulates time constraints in filing and answering grievances, it would be a wise to ask if the employee is coming to you as the first step of the grievance procedure. You should not give an immediate answer to the concern raised. You have 5 days to research the allegation, speak with your supervisor, and consult with Staff Relations.
- Once an answer has been formulated and given to the employee/union representative, they have 5 days to file a written grievance (or 10 days from the occurrence, whichever comes first). You should document the answer you give and the date given. This will not only be helpful in determining timeliness, but will be important in formulating the second step answer of the grievance, and in stating our position at a third step meeting.
- The Union progresses the grievance to the second step by putting the grievance in writing and submitting it to Staff Relations. The Assistant Director of Staff Relations will investigate the nature of the grievance, interview supervisors or other department employees involved, and develop a second step answer. The answer will be reviewed with the department chair, and he/she will then give the official second step answer. A meeting may be held before or after the second step answer is given, to attempt to resolve the issue.
- If the Union does not accept the second step answer, or the issue isn't resolved through a meeting, the grievance is re-submitted for a third step hearing. Typically, the Union representative, the Director and Assistant Director of Staff Relations, the Chair and Vice Chair of the Union, and Chief Stewards and department managers, attend a grievance hearing.
- Within 5 days of the hearing, the Director of Staff Relations must submit a third step answer to the Union. The Union then has 30 calendar days to file for arbitration.
- Arbitration is a formal hearing with an arbitrator presiding over the case. The results of the arbitration are binding. Testimony is taken under oath, both sides may present opening and closing statements, and usually both sides submit their cases in writing to the arbitrator. The arbitrator has 30 days to decide the case.