Proposed grievance procedures

The following procedures will be presented as a motion at the chapter meeting this Friday (October 19). If you cannot make the meeting please e-mail Sherman with comments.

1. Grievance Committee

A. Membership. All chapter members who are on the current list of accredited grievance representatives shall be members of the chapter grievance committee.

B. Chair. The chapter president shall appoint a chair from the membership of the grievance committee.  The chair shall be responsible for maintaining a list of accredited grievance representatives, assigning intake responsibilities for prospective grievances, managing the grievance process described in chapter and UFF policy, managing grievance-related communications between the chapter and the USF president or the president’s representative, managing communications between the chapter grievance committee and the state Contract Enforcement Committee, managing contract education at the chapter level, and reporting on grievance matters to the chapter and chapter officers.

2. Processing of Individual Grievances

A. Initial contact. All UFF-USF chapter officers, senators, and grievance representatives are obliged to contact the grievance chair by e-mail within 48 hours when they become aware that there is a plausible grievance case. The grievance chair shall contact the potential grievant, provide her or him with an overview of the grievance procedure (including a copy of these procedures), and then assign the case to an accredited grievance representative for intake, which may be himself or herself.

B. Intake and initial investigation. The assigned grievance representative is responsible for initial investigations according to recommended practices, including appropriate record-keeping and fact-finding and assignment of appropriate record-collecting responsibilities to the grievant. At the point of intake, the grievance must provide an off-campus e-mail address for contact purposes. The grievance chair may take additional steps to support the assigned grievance representative in the initial investigation.

Ordinarily within one week of being given the intake responsibility, the assigned grievance representative will make a recommendation on chapter action to the grievance chair. If the grievance chair and assigned grievance representative do not agree on the recommended chapter action, the grievance chair will select a third member of the grievance committee to cast the deciding vote after being briefed by both the grievance chair and assigned grievance representative. The assigned grievance representative will communicate the decision to the grievant by e-mail and, if the decision is not to represent the employee in a grievance, will remind the grievant of the appeal procedure described below.

C. Appeal. If the result of the initial investigation is a recommendation against chapter representation of a grievance, the grievant may appeal in writing or e-mail to the chapter president within three weekdays of the notice. The chapter president shall then convene a meeting of the elected chapter officers to hear the perspectives of the grievant and the grievance chair. The elected chapter officers shall then decide on the appeal in executive session. Neither the grievance chair, the grievant, nor the assigned grievance representative may vote on the appeal, if any are elected officers ; the chapter president may appoint UFF senators to serve on an internal appeal panel if elected officers are unable to serve on the panel, with a preference to appoint senators in a job title similar to the grievant .

D. Step 1 and 2 representation. If the chapter represents an employee in a grievance, the grievance chair will assign an accredited grievance representative to be the chapter’s representative for the grievance at the step 1 and step 2 levels. This assigned grievance representative may be the same person for the intake and initial investigation, but it need not be, and the grievance chair may reassign the case to another representative where necessary. The assigned grievance representative is responsible for consulting regularly with the grievance chair on the case, asking for assistance where appropriate, and representing the grievance in accordance with recommended practices up through a formal step 2 hearing.

E. Appeal to arbitration. After a step 2 written decision, the assigned grievance representative and grievance chair will brief the grievant on the decision and the options for the grievant, if the decision is not completely favorable to the grievant. If the grievant wishes to pursue the case to arbitration, the grievance chair will convene a case conference involving at least three members of the grievance committee. If the case conference decides in favor of an arbitration request, the grievance chair will prepare the paperwork for the Contract Enforcement Committee and manage the case until the Contract Enforcement Committee decides on the merits.

F. Internal appeals on arbitration. If the case conference decides against an arbitration request, the grievance chair will communicate the decision to the grievant by e-mail and describe the opportunity for appeal, which parallels the procedure described in 2.C. If the Contract Enforcement Committee decides against arbitration, the chapter may appeal the decision to the UFF Steering Committee upon a decision of the chapter’s elected officers, the executive council, or a general chapter meeting.

G. Timelines and emergency decisions. An employee forfeits the right to internal appeal if she or he fails to make a good-faith effort to contact the chapter about a potential grievance in time to allow the steps described above before the deadline for filing a grievance. If a potential grievance arises in the summer or at another time when convening meetings is impractical, the grievance chair may make decisions alone regarding initial intake and investigation in 2.B. or regarding arbitration in 2.E., and the chapter president (or chapter vice-president acting in the absence of the chapter president) may make decisions regarding appeals described in 2.C and 2.F.

H. Additional actions in response to employee concerns. Nothing in these procedures forbids chapter assistance to employees outside the scope of the grievance process.

I. Pending cases and appeals. Upon approval of this policy by the chapter, the grievance chair will notify grievants denied chapter representation of their right to appeal that denial if the cases are still timely. Such grievants must then appeal the denial within three workdays, and the procedures described in 2.C. will hold.


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