University of Minnesota
Office of Human Resources
http://www.umn.edu/ohr
612-625-2016

XI. Grievance Procedure

Section 1. Definition of a Grievance.

A grievance is defined as an alleged violation of the specific terms and conditions of this Agreement.

Section 2. Procedure.

Grievances, as defined by Section 1, shall be received solely in conformance with the following procedure:

All grievances involving discharge, regardless of the step at which it is initiated, must be initiated within ten (10) work days after receipt of termination notice. All other grievances, regardless of the step at which they are initiated, must be initiated within fifteen (15) work days from the date the Employee, through the use of reasonable diligence, had or should have had knowledge of the event(s) giving rise to the grievance.

Grievances relating to suspension or discharge shall be initiated at Step 2 of the grievance procedure. In grievances involving discharge, Step 2 may be waived at the option of the Employer. Discrimination grievances shall not go to arbitration.

Step 1:

An Employee claiming a violation concerning the interpretation or application of this Agreement shall, within fifteen (15) work days after such alleged violation has occurred, or within ten (10) work days in grievances involving discharge present such grievance in writing setting forth the nature of the grievance, the facts on which it is based, the provision or provisions of the Agreement allegedly violated and the remedy requested, to the Employee’s supervisor as designated by the Employer. In the event the first (1st) step supervisor is not involved in the grievance, the grievance shall move to Step 2. Within five (5) work days after receipt of the written grievance, the supervisor shall give the Employee the Step 1 answer in writing. A grievance not resolved in Step 1 shall be appealed to Step 2 within five (5) work days after the supervisor’s final answer in Step 1. Any grievance not appealed in writing to Step 2 by the Union within five (5) work days shall be considered waived. By the mutual agreement of the appropriate Personnel Services Manager and the Union, a grievance unresolved in Step 1 may be appealed directly to Step 3, within five (5) work days of the supervisor’s Step 1 answer.

Step 2.

If appealed, the written grievance shall be presented by the Union to the Department Head or his/her designee. Within five (5) work days of receiving the written grievance, he/she shall have a meeting with the aggrieved Employee and the steward. The appropriate Personnel Department Representative shall be present to make a written record of the proceedings and to assist the department.

The Department Head or his/her designee shall give the Union the Employer’s Step 2 answer in writing within five (5) work days after such meeting. A grievance not resolved in Step 2 may be appealed to Step 3 within five (5) work days following the Department Head’s final Step 2 answer. Any grievance not appealed in writing to Step 3 by the UNION within five (5) days shall be considered waived.

Step 3.

If appealed, the written grievance shall be presented by the Union to the Director of Personnel or his/her designee. This person shall have a meeting with the Employee, the Business Agent of the Union, and the Department Head or his/her designee. The Director of Employee Relations or his/her designee shall give the Union the Employer’s answer in writing within five (5) work days after such meeting. A grievance not resolved in Step 3 may be appealed to Step 4 within ten (10) work days following the Employer’s final answer in Step 3. Any grievance not appealed in writing to Step 4 by the Union within ten (10) work days shall be considered waived.

Step 4.

If the parties are unable to resolve the grievance at an earlier step, they may, by mutual agreement, utilize the services of a mediator to reach a resolution. If both parties choose to use the mediation process, either party may withdraw from that process at any time. If either party chooses to withdraw, they must immediately inform the other party of their intent to proceed to Step 5. If either party chooses not to use the mediation process they will have ten work days from the Step 3 answer to inform the other party of their intent to proceed directly to Step 5.

Step 5.

A grievance unresolved in Step 3 or 4 and appealed to Step 5 by either party shall be submitted to arbitration subject to the provisions of the Public Employment Labor Relations Act of 1971 as amended. The selection of an arbitrator shall be made in accordance with the “Rules Governing the Arbitration of Grievances” as established by the Public Employment Relations Board.

Section 3. Arbitrator’s Authority.

  1. The arbitrator shall have no right to amend, modify, nullify, ignore, add to, or subtract from the terms and conditions of this Agreement. The arbitrator shall consider and decide only the specific issue(s) submitted in writing by the Employer and the Union, and shall have no authority to make a decision on any other issue not so submitted.
  2. The arbitrator shall be without power to make decisions contrary to, or inconsistent with, or modifying or varying in any way the application of laws, rules, or regulations having the force and effect of law. The arbitrator’s decision shall be submitted in writing within thirty (30) days following close of the hearing or the submission of briefs by the parties, whichever is later, unless the parties agree to an extension. The decision shall be binding on both the Employer and the Union and shall be based solely on the arbitrator’s interpretation or application of the express terms of this Agreement and to the facts of the grievance presented.
  3. The fees and expenses for the arbitrator’s services and proceedings shall be borne equally by the Employer and the Union provided that each party shall be responsible for compensating its own representatives and witnesses. If either party desires a verbatim record of the proceedings, it may cause such a record to be made, providing it pays for the record. If both parties desire a verbatim record of the proceedings, the cost shall be shared equally.

Section 4. Waiver.

If a grievance is not presented within the time limits set forth above, it shall be considered “waived”. If a grievance is not appealed to the next step within the specified time limit or any agreed extension thereof, it shall be considered settled on the basis of the Employer’s last answer. If the Employer does not answer a grievance or an appeal thereof within the specified time limits, the Union may elect to treat the grievance as denied at that step and immediately appeal the grievance to the next step. The time limit in each step may be extended by mutual written agreement of the Employer and the Union in each step. For purposes of this grievance procedure only, Monday through Friday (excluding days designated as holidays) shall be considered work days.