United Academics has a Grievance and Contract Administration Committee that helps UA members with workplace issues and problems. The role of the Committee is to protect member rights under the Collective Bargaining Agreement and University policy. Not all problems or situations fall under the CBA, of course, and the Committee's role is to help members determine whether they have a grievance, to advise members accordingly, and, when appropriate, pursue action on behalf of our members.
Nathan Whalen chairs the Grievance and Contract Administration Committee. You can talk with Nathan about his committee, any issues you have, or how you can move forward with a grievance.
What Is a Grievance?
The Collective Bargaining Agreement defines a grievance as an allegation that there has been a violation of a specific term of the Agreement. More informally, a grievance is generally a work-related problem that has arisen in a department which cannot be resolved or a department or university policy that has been violated. Not all problems or situations are grievances, of course, but knowing what is or is not a grievance can be a specialized skill. If you think you have a grievance, please do not hesitate to click on the icon above and contact our office. We can also often help with situations that are unfair or unjust. If you need help in the workplace, please contact us.
Representatives, stewards, and members, if you have identified a potential grievance, you can use the Grievance Intake form to start the process of collecting information.
Bargaining unit faculty members have the right to file a grievance on their own or have the assistance of United Academics. Either way, the procedure described below is the standard procedure for filing a grievance.
- A statement describing the nature of the grievance, the approximate date of the events giving rise to the grievance, and the names of identifiable persons involved;
- The provision of this Agreement that the grievant believes to have been violated and a description of how it was violated;
- Whether an informal process may be appropriate; and
- The relief sought.
Grievances can be filed at the administration's webpage: firstname.lastname@example.org
Faculty members filing a grievance can choose to attempt to have their grievance settled informally. If the grievant indicates that they believe the grievance can be settled informally, the administration will contact all parties involved to decide on the best course of action. Although the informal process is relatively new, it usually involves a mediated conversation between the grievant and their supervisor. If issues are resolved at this stage, then the grievance is resolved. If the grievant does not believe that the informal process has resolved the issues, then they can file for a formal grievance within 14 business days of the conclusion of the informal process.
The formal grievance process takes place either after a unsuccessful informal process or when the faculty member indicates that they do know believe an informal process would be helpful when they file the grievance.
Within 15 business days of the grievance filing, the grievant and their union representative (if they choose to have one) will meet with a representative of the Provost's Office. There is usually a discussion of the facts of the grievance at this meeting. Within 21 business days go this meeting, the Provost's Office will make issue a decision.
If the Provost's Office upholds the grievance, they will recommend an appropriate remedy. If the Provost's Office finds no violation, then the grievant can proceed to the arbitration process.
Grievances Alleging Discrimination
If the grievances alleges a violation of Article 14 or the university's discrimination policies, the grievances is investigated by the Office of Investigations and Civil Rights Compliance. The OICRC will meet with the grievant and union representative (if they choose to have one) and determine whether an investigation is warranted. If an investigation is determined to not be warranted, the grievant will be denied.
If an investigation proceeds, the OICRC will meet with all relevant parties to determine if there has been a violation. The OICRC investigation can last up to 60 business days. If the OICRC finds there was a violation, the grievance will be upheld and referred to the Provost's Office for a decision on the remedy. If the OICRC finds no violation, then the grievant can proceed to the arbitration process.
All members of United Academics have the Weingarten Right. If your supervisor asks you into a meeting that is about discipline or could lead to discipline, you can invoke your right to have a union representative present.
"If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined or terminated, or affect my personal working conditions, I respectfully request that my union representative, officer, or steward be present at this meeting. Until my representative arrives, I choose not to participate in this discussion."