Article VI – GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE
6.1 For the purpose of this Agreement, the term “grievance” means any difference or dispute between the Board and the Association or between the Board and any employee with respect to the interpretation, application, or violation of any of the provisions of the Agreement. There shall be a grievance procedure as follows:
STEP 1 – Immediate Supervisor
A grievance shall be presented by the aggrieved to his immediate supervisor within fifteen (15) working days after the employee knew or “should have known” of the act, event, and/or commencement of the condition which is the basis of the grievance. The supervisor shall attempt to settle the grievance within two (2) working days of its receipt.
STEP 2 – Presidential Level
If the grievance is not resolved in Step 1, it shall be submitted within three (3) working days of the immediate supervisor’s decision to the President or his designee, who shall grant a hearing to the aggrieved within ten (10) working days of the receipt of the written grievance. A written decision shall be rendered within seven (7) working days of the conclusion of the hearing.
STEP 3 – Commissioner’s Level
If the grievance is not resolved in Step 2, it shall be submitted within five (5) working days of the President’s decision to the Commissioner of Higher Education or his designee, as agent for the Board of Governors, who shall grant a hearing to the aggrieved within ten (10) working days of the receipt of the grievance. A written decision shall be rendered with ten (10) working days of the conclusion of the hearing.
6.2 The time limits specified herein shall be regarded as maximums and every effort shall be made to expedite the processing of grievances provided, however, that the parties may by mutual agreement extend any time limitation specified herein.
6.3 Either party to this Agreement shall be permitted to call witnesses as part of the grievance procedure. The Board, on request, will produce payroll and other records, as necessary. Employee witnesses who are University employees and grievants will receive their regular rate of pay for time spent processing grievances. Such time spent shall be subject to approval of the appropriate dean, which should not be unreasonably withheld.
6.4 Further, in a group grievance only one (1) of the grievants and the appropriate employee representative shall be in pay status as spokesman for the group. Group grievances are defined as, and limited to, those grievances which cover more than one (1) employee within an employing unit and which involve like circumstances and facts for the grievance involved. The Association representative shall have the right to assist the aggrieved at any step of the grievance procedure. Nothing contained herein deprives an individual employee of the right to process his grievance without Association representation. If such grievance is processed without Association representation, the facts of said grievance will be furnished to the Association.
It is also agreed that in all cases of dismissal or suspension the aggrieved may go immediately to Step 2 of the grievance procedure. It is further agreed that either party may submit a grievance to each other and proceed immediately to Step 2.
Decisions rendered shall be forwarded to the Association and to the aggrieved employee.
For the purposes of this Article, the following definitions shall apply:
a. “within a working day” shall mean prior to the end of the normal closing time of the working day following receipt of the grievance and shall be exclusive of weekends, vacations and holidays.
b. “aggrieved” shall mean either the employee and/or the Association.
Article VII – ARBITRATION
7.1 If a grievance is not settled under Article VI, such grievance shall, at the request of the Association or the Board, be referred to the American Arbitration Association in accordance with its rules then obtaining.
7.2 The decision of the arbitrator shall be final and binding upon the parties except where the decision would require an enactment of legislation, in which case it shall be binding only if the legislation is enacted. The expense of such arbitration shall be borne equally by the parties.
7.3 Only grievances arising out of the provisions of this contract relating to the application or interpretation or violation thereof may be submitted to arbitration.
7.4 All submissions to arbitration must be made within fifteen (15) working days after the grievance procedure decision.
Article VIII – DISCIPLINE AND DISCHARGE
Discipline shall be for just cause and, except for the most egregious offenses, shall be progressive.