What is a Grievance?
A grievance is a complaint, claim, or dispute arising under the current contract. Grievances are limited to matters of interpretation or application of provisions of the contract, except for a few provisions that are specifically excluded from the grievance procedure.
The Role of the Grievance Process
The Union has a number of important functions, but the two most important are negotiating the Collective Bargaining Contract (CBA) and enforcing it. In enforcing the CBA, the Union has the role of protecting the rights of the members of the bargaining unit under its provisions. In a large organization like our university, administrators across the institution have the contractual responsibility to follow the provisions of the CBA in their day-to-day work. Too often, we find that many of them either do not know the provisions of the CBA that are relevant to their work, or, sometimes, a few will consciously violate the contract for one reason or another.
When a violation of the CBA occurs, the affected member comes to the Union. An investigation of the facts of the case is begun. The relevant Union grievance officer will make a finding and, if the complaint has merit, the Union will file a grievance.
Since the Union came into existence some forty years ago, the Union has filed nearly 350 grievances, about 9 a year. The Union has a good record and wins far more than it loses when a grievance is taken before an arbitrator.
The Union is a check and balance for the faculty and academic staff against administrative arbitrariness. As such it makes the University a fairer place to work and live.
What should I do if I think I have a grievance?
Please contact the Union as soon as possible. There are very strict deadlines and we do not want to miss them. You can find the appropriate contact information here.
What happens if I have a grievance?
First, we try to settle the matter informally with a conversation between the Union, the member, and the appropriate member of the Administration. If this works, this is the most efficient way to settle disputes.
If that fails, we begin the more formal process of filing a grievance. This means that we write a formal letter to the Administration within 60 working days following the time at which the grievant could have been reasonably aware of its occurrence.