Grievance Procedure

help with filing a grievance


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.

Grievance Procedure

Our grievance procedure is designed so that grievances, ideally, are settled at the lowest step in the grievance process. The process moves through informal conversations with department or unit heads up to binding arbitration. A grievance procedure that works well is designed to solve workplace problems quickly and fairly, with conversation among interested parties the primary vehicle for achieving resolution. 

Our full process goes through three "Steps" at the university level before possibly moving to arbitration.

Step 1 is an informal conversation with the department or unit head.
Step 2 is a written grievance filed with the appropriate dean or vice president.
Step 3 is a written grievance filed with the Provost. 

All of the Steps have important deadlines for filing, meeting, and responding. Those timelines are described below.


Step 1 – Informal Level

The first step in the grievance process is an informal one. When you become aware that there may have been a possible policy or contract violation, you should have a conversation with your department or unit head within 45 days to address your concerns. The union can be of assistance with these conversations. Faculty have the right to have a union representative present at all stages of the grievance process. Unit heads are obligated to provide a response - written or oral within 10 days . If the unit head is the subject of the grievance, then you can proceed to Step 2 without the informal conversation.

Step 2 – Dean Level

If you are unsatisfied with the decision at Step 1, and within 45 days of becoming aware that a possible contract violation has occurred, you should submit a written grievance to your dean or vice president. The dean or designee will meet with you and your union rep (if you have opted to have one) within 21 days of receiving the written grievance. After the meeting, the dean will have 14 days to provide a written response.

Step 3 – Provost Level

If you are unsatisfied with the dean's decision at Step 2, you should submit a written grievance to the Provost's office within 14 days of the issuance of the Step 2 decision. The Provost or designee will meet with you and your union representative (if you have elected to have one) within 21 days of receiving the grievance. After this meeting, the Provost will provide a written decision within 30 days of the meeting.


If you are unsatisfied with the Provost's decision at Step 3, you should contact the Chair of the Grievance and Contract Administration Committee (you can click the green circle at the top of the page). By Oregon law, individuals cannot take an issue to arbitration and it needs to be a decision of the union. Working with the Grievance Committee, the Executive Council will hear about the grievance and make a decision whether or not to file for arbitration.

Weingarten Right

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."