Article 8 Grievance Procedure
8.1 Definition of a grievance.
A grievance is defined as an alleged violation of the specific terms and conditions of this agreement.
8.2 Union Representatives.
The employer will recognize only stewards or Business Agents of the union as the grievance representative of the bargaining unit having the duties and responsibilities established by this article, provided however, that nothing in this procedure shall be construed as denying any employee the legal right to present his/her own grievance to the employer through Step 2 of this procedure. An employee so choosing to present his/her own grievance shall sign written notice, prior to or at the presentation, and the employer agrees to notify the union in writing of the Step 2 solution of any grievance so presented.
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 employee duties and responsibilities. The aggrieved employee, a steward, and where appropriate, the Chief Steward and other applicable parties, shall be allowed a reasonable amount of time without loss of pay for the presentation of a grievance to the employer during normal working hours provided that the employee and the steward have notified and received the 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.
Stewards or witnesses participating in an actual grievance presentation on paid or unpaid time may earn seniority up to forty (40) hours per week as long as appropriate documentation is provided by the union.
Grievances, as defined by Section 8.1, shall be received solely in conformance with the following procedure:
A grievance involving discharge, regardless of the step at which it is initiated, must be initiated within fourteen (14) calendar days after receipt of termination notice. All other grievances, regardless of the step at which they are initiated, must be initiated within twenty-one (21) calendar 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 by the mutual agreement of the union and Employee Relations.
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 fourteen (14) calendar 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 fourteen (14) calendar days after receipt of the written grievance, the supervisor shall give the employee the Step 1 answer in writing with a copy to the union. A grievance not resolved in Step 1 shall be appealed to Step 2 within seven (7) calendar days after the supervisor's final answer in Step 1. Any grievance not appealed in writing to Step 2 by the union within seven (7) calendar days shall be considered waived. By the mutual agreement of Employee Relations and the union, a grievance unresolved at Step 1 may be appealed directly to Step 3, within seven (7) calendar 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 fourteen (14) calendar days of receiving the written grievance, he/she shall have a meeting with the aggrieved employee and the steward. The appropriate Human Resources 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 fourteen (14) calendar days after such meeting. A grievance not resolved in Step 2 may be appealed to Step 3 within seven (7) calendar days following the Department Head's final Step 2 answer. Any grievance not appealed in writing to Step 3 by the union within seven (7) calendar days shall be considered waived.
Step 3 If appealed, the written grievance shall be presented by the union to the Director of Employee Relations 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. This meeting shall be scheduled and held within thirty (30) calendar days of the receipt of the notice of appeal. The Director of Employee Relations or his/her designee shall give the union the employer’s answer in writing within fourteen (14) calendar days after such meeting. A grievance not resolved at Step 3 may be appealed to Step 4 within fourteen (14) calendar days following the employer’s final answer at Step 3. Any grievance not appealed in writing to Step 4 by the union within fourteen (14) calendar days shall be considered waived.
By the mutual agreement of Employee Relations and the union, a grievance may be submitted for mediation before the Bureau of Mediation Services at anytime prior to the Step 4 hearing.
Step 4 A grievance unresolved at Step 3 and appealed to Step 4 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."
8.5 Arbitrator's Authority.
A. 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.
B. 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.
C. 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.
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.