What is a Grievance?
A grievance is a complaint, claim, or dispute arising under the current collective bargaining agreement. Grievances are limited to matters of interpretation or application of provisions of the contract, except for a few provisions within the contract 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. Within the environment of the Health Center, administrators 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 do not know the provisions of the CBA that are relevant to their work environment. Some administrators have consciously violated the contract for one reason or another.
When a violation of the CBA occurs, the affected member must report it to the Union. Many times, a violation may affect other members of the bargaining unit and the union must follow through with an investigation of the facts of the case. If the complaint has merit, the Union will file a grievance.
The grievance process is a check and balance for the faculty against administrative arbitrariness. As such, it makes the Health Center 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. Please contact the AAUP at the Union office.
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 assemble the grievance committee to assist in determining if a formal grievance should be filed. If so, a formal letter will be written to the Administration and a timeline within the grievance process begins. It is important to contact the AAUP as soon as possible to determine if a grievance has occurred.