University of Minnesota
Office of Human Resources

Article 8 Employee Rights - Grievance Procedure

8.1 Definition of a Grievance

A grievance is defined as a dispute or disagreement as to the interpretation or application of the specific terms and conditions of this Agreement.

8.2 Union Representatives

The Employer will recognize representatives designated by the Union, as the grievance representatives of the bargaining unit, having the duties and responsibilities established by the Article. The Union shall notify the Employer, in writing, of the names of such Union Representatives and of their successors, when so designated as provided by Article 7.3 of this Agreement.

8.3 Processing of a Grievance

It is recognized and accepted by the Union and the Employer that the processing of grievances, as hereinafter provided, is limited by the job duties and responsibilities of the employees and shall therefore be accomplished during normal working hours only when consistent with such employees’ duties and responsibilities. The aggrieved employee and/or steward shall be allowed a reasonable amount of time without loss of pay when a grievance is investigated and presented to the Employer during normal working hours, provided that the employee and/or the steward have notified and received approval of the designated supervisor who has determined that such absence is reasonable and would not be detrimental to the work programs of the Employer.

8.4 Procedure

Grievances, as defined by Section 8.1, shall be resolved solely in conformance with the following procedure:

Step 1.  

An employee claiming a violation, concerning the interpretation or application of this Agreement shall, within twenty-one (21) calendar days after such alleged violation has occurred, or within seven (7) calendar days in grievances involving suspension or discharge, present such grievance to the immediate supervisor 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. The immediate supervisor will discuss and give an answer to such Step 1 grievance within ten (10) calendar days after receipt. A grievance not resolved in Step 1 and appealed to Step 2 shall be appealed to Step 2 within ten (10) calendar days after the immediate supervisor's final answer in Step 1. Any grievance not appealed in writing to Step 2 by the Union within ten (10) calendar days shall be considered waived.

Step 2.  

To initiate a Step 2 formal resolution, in accordance with the above time limits, the grievant and/or Union Business Agent must submit to the appropriate Personnel Department staff member the grievance in writing, citing the Article(s) allegedly violated and specifying the desired relief. The written grievance shall be presented at a meeting by the Union to the Department Head and/or his/her designee. The Department Head shall give the Union the Employer's Step 2 answer in writing within ten (10) calendar days after the Step 2 hearing. A grievance not resolved in Step 2 may be appealed to Step 3 within ten (10) calendar days following the Department Head's final Step 2 answer. Any grievance not appealed in writing to Step 3 by the Union within ten (10) calendar days shall be considered waived.

Step 3.

A grievance unresolved in Step 2 and appealed to Step 3 by the Union 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 Bureau of Mediation Services.

8.5 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 be 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.

8.6 Waiver

If a grievance is not presented within the time limits set forth above, it shall be considered "waived." If a grievance in 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.