Article XIV:  Grievance and Arbitration Procedures

 

Section A. Definition

 

A grievance is a disagreement, arising under and during the term of this Agreement, concerning compliance with the provisions of this Agreement. A grievance is limited to the following types of disagreements:

 

1. Between the University and any Employee concerning

a. his/her employment, and

b. the interpretation or application of this Agreement.

When more than one Employee has a grievance of this type involving common fact(s) and provision(s), the Union and at least one designated member of the group shall process the grievance on behalf of named and all similarly-situated Employees. If any Employee in the group seeks a remedy that differs from the remedy sought by the other members of the group, the Employer may request that that Employee also process the grievance with the Union and the first designated member of the group. If the Employees in this group are from more than one department or unit, the grievance shall be filed by the Union at Step Three of the procedure within forty (40) calendar days following reasonable knowledge of the facts giving rise to the grievance.

 

2. Between the Union and the University concerning the interpretation or application of this Agreement on a question which is not an Employee grievance. Such grievances shall be filed at Step Three of the procedure within forty (40) calendar days following reasonable knowledge of the facts giving rise to the grievance.

 

Section B. Representation

 

A Union Representative may represent an aggrieved Employee as provided in Section C. The Union shall provide the University with the names and telephone numbers of its officials and Grievance Committee and any changes therein. The University will provide the Union with the names and telephone numbers of its representatives or designees at Step Two and Step Three, and will report any changes to the Union within the third week of each term.

 

Section C. Grievance Procedure


The following procedure shall be the sole and exclusive means for resolving grievances.

 

For purposes of Sections C, D, and G of this Article, a grievance answer or appeal will be deemed submitted on the date (1) the document is postmarked and addressed to the appropriate individual(s); (2) the document is sent via e-mail to the appropriate individual(s); (3) the document is hand-delivered to the appropriate individual(s); or (4) the document is faxed to the appropriate individual(s).

 

1. Step One:

An Employee or one (1) designated member of a group of Employees, having a grievance in connection with his or her employment, may take the matter up with the immediate supervisor (or department or unit designee) provided, however, that the discussion must take place within forty (40) calendar days following reasonable knowledge of the facts giving rise to the grievance. At the Employee’s option, a Union Representative may be present during such discussion.

 

In the event the discussion cannot be held because of the unavailability of the immediate supervisor (or department or unit designee) during the forty (40) calendar days referenced above, the grievance may proceed to Step Two at the Union’s option, provided the grievance is reduced to writing and submitted to the Department Chairperson (or equivalent level of supervisor) or designee within sixty (60) calendar days following reasonable knowledge of the facts giving rise to the grievance.

 

Any resolution reached at Step One is acceptable as long as it does not violate the terms of this Agreement.

 

Any resolution reached at Step One may not be used to establish a precedent for the future interpretation or application of this Agreement.

 

2. Step Two:

If the matter is not resolved at Step One, the grievance may be appealed in writing to the Department Chairperson (or equivalent level of supervisor) or designee, at the Union’s option, provided, however, that the written grievance must be submitted to the Department Chairperson within twenty (20) calendar days following the date on which either party submits notice to the other that they either

a. consider the matter resolved at Step One, or

b. believe that the matter cannot be resolved at Step One.

 

The grievance shall be dated and signed by the aggrieved Employee and a Union Representative, if any, and shall set forth the facts, including dates, the provisions of the Agreement that are alleged to have been violated, and the remedy desired.

 

Within fourteen (14) calendar days of submission of the written grievance to the Department Chairperson, the Department Chairperson (or equivalent level of supervisor), or designee, shall meet at a mutually convenient time and place with the Union Representative, if any, and the Employee(s) in an attempt to resolve the grievance. The grievance will be answered in writing and a copy of the written answer shall be submitted to the chairperson of the Union Grievance Committee, and the Employee, within fourteen (14) calendar days following the meeting.

 

3. Step Three:

Except as otherwise provided in this Article, if the matter is not resolved at Step Two, the grievance may be appealed by the Union Grievance Committee to the designee of the provost and vice president for academic affairs, provided that the written appeal is submitted to the designee of the provost and vice president for academic affairs within fifteen (15) calendar days following submission by the Employer of the Step Two answer. Within fourteen (14) calendar days of submission of the Step Three grievance to the designee of the provost and vice president for academic affairs, and at a mutually convenient time and place, the designee of the provost shall set a meeting for discussion of the grievance with representatives of the Union Grievance Committee, the aggrieved Employee and the Employee’s Union Representative. The designee of the provost shall arrange for a representative(s) of the appropriate dean or administrative head of an equivalent unit to be present at this discussion. The grievance will be answered in writing and a copy of the written answer shall be submitted to the chairperson of the Union Grievance Committee and the Employee within thirty (30) calendar days following the meeting.

 

Section D. Impartial Arbitration

 

A grievance, as defined in Section A, which is not resolved at Step Three may be appealed to arbitration by the Union, provided that written notice of intent to arbitrate is submitted to the designee of the provost within thirty (30) calendar days following submission of the Step Three answer by the designee of the provost.

 

Such notice shall identify the grievance and the issue, set forth the provisions of the Agreement involved, and the remedy desired. If no such notice is given within the prescribed time limit set forth in this section, the grievance shall not be arbitrable.

 

1. Arbitration Panel

a. By no later than January 1, 2012, the Union and the University shall agree in writing on a panel of four (4) arbitrators.  The Union and the University shall, by lot, rank the panel in order (1, 2, 3, 4).

b. Any arbitrator on the panel may be removed from the list unilaterally by either party by written notice to the other party and the arbitrator. An arbitrator may remove himself/ herself from the panel at any time with notice to the parties.

c. In the event that a vacancy occurs on the panel of arbitrators, the University and the Union will select a mutually agreeable arbitrator to fill the vacancy, and the newly-selected arbitrator will be placed on the list in the numbered position of the arbitrator he/she replaces.

d. Selection shall be made on a rotation basis with the arbitrator listed first as the one who will hear the first case.  The next arbitrator on the list will hear the second case and so on until each arbitrator has heard a case.  Once the list has been exhausted, the rotation process starts over with the first name on the list.  When an arbitrator is unable to provide a hearing date for three (3) months or longer, the parties may move on to the next arbitrator listed.

e. A member of the arbitration panel shall hear all arbitration cases.

 

2. Alternate Process for Selection of an Arbitrator

a. If the parties are unable to agree on the members of an arbitration panel, as set forth above, the following procedure shall apply to the selection of an arbitrator.

b. Following the written notice to the designee of the provost, the University and the Union shall attempt to select an arbitrator. If an arbitrator is not selected within five (5) calendar days following receipt of the written notice, the Union, within the next ten (10) calendar days only, may request the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service or the American Arbitration Association (AAA) to submit a list of five (5) qualified arbitrators, none of whom may be in the employment of the University. If one (1) of the five (5) arbitrators on the list is not mutually agreeable, a second list will be requested.  If none of the arbitrators on the second list is mutually agreeable, then the arbitrator shall be selected from the list by alternately striking names. The first strike shall be determined by a coin flip. The remaining name shall act as the arbitrator. If the list is not requested within the ten (10) calendar day period, the grievance will not be arbitrable.

c. If a party requests that AAA submit a list of arbitrators, that party shall be responsible for the administrative fees in order to obtain that list or lists.

 

3. Terms and Conditions

Every grievance submitted to an arbitrator for decision shall be subject to the following terms and conditions:

a. Either the University or the Union or both shall notify the arbitrator of selection and upon acceptance shall forward to the arbitrator a copy of the grievance, the University’s answer at Step Three, the Union notice of intent to arbitrate, and a copy of the Agreement. A copy of this communication, except a copy of the Agreement, shall be sent to either the University or the Union, as the case may be. If the arbitrator does not accept selection, the selection process shall be repeated until an arbitrator has accepted selection.

b. Upon receipt of this communication, the arbitrator shall fix the time for hearing the issue or issues submitted for decision. The hearing shall be held in Ann Arbor, Michigan, unless otherwise agreed by both the Union and the University.

c. At the time of the arbitration hearing, both the University and the Union shall have the right to examine and cross-examine witnesses.

d. Upon request of either the University or the Union or both, a transcript of the hearing shall be made and furnished to the arbitrator with the University and the Union having an opportunity to purchase their own copy. The party requesting the transcript shall bear the full cost of the arbitrator’s copy, unless it is mutually requested. In such a case, the cost shall be shared equally.

e. At the close of the hearing, the arbitrator shall afford the University and the Union a reasonable opportunity to furnish briefs if either party requests the opportunity.

f. The jurisdictional authority of the arbitrator is defined as, and limited to, the determination of any grievance as defined in Section A. submitted to him or her consistent with this Agreement and considered by him or her in accordance with this Agreement.

g. The arbitrator shall not have any authority to add to, subtract from, or otherwise modify any of the terms, clauses, or provisions of this Agreement.

h. The fees and expenses of the arbitrator shall be paid by the party not prevailing in the matter. The arbitrator shall decide which party has prevailed. The expenses of, and the compensation for, each and every witness and representative for either the University or the Union shall be paid by the party producing the witness or having the representative.

i. The arbitrator shall render the decision in writing within thirty (30) calendar days following the hearing.

j. The arbitrator’s decision, when made in accordance with the arbitrator’s jurisdiction and authority established by this Agreement, shall be final and binding upon the University, the Union, and the Employee or Employees involved.

k. The provisions of this Section do not prohibit the University and the Union from mutually agreeing to expedited arbitration of a given grievance or grievances.

l. To the extent that the University’s action is based upon academic judgment, the arbitrator shall have no authority to substitute his or her judgment for the University’s judgment.  However, the arbitrator can rule on the impact of academic judgments to the extent that their effects may violate the University’s obligations under this Agreement.  This provision neither limits nor expands the scope of an arbitrator’s authority under Article I.D.

m. To the extent that the University’s action is based upon academic judgment, the arbitrator shall have no authority to compel the University to make or continue an appointment or assign an Employee to a particular course or assignment.  However, this provision neither limits nor expands the scope of an arbitrator’s authority under Article IV.

 

Section E. Time Limits on Appeals


1. Any grievance not appealed within the specified time limits shall be considered settled on the basis of the final answer and not subject to further review. However, this shall not prejudice the position of either party with respect to a grievance involving the same issue at that unit or any other unit of the University.

 

2. A grievance may be withdrawn without prejudice and, if so withdrawn, all financial liabilities shall be canceled. If the grievance is reinstated, for any reason other than the University’s failure to meet a commitment, financial liability, if any, shall date only from the date of such reinstatement, provided, however, reinstatement occurs within the specified time limits for appeal.

 

3. Where one or more grievances involve a similar issue, those grievances, by mutual agreement, may be held in abeyance without prejudice, pending the disposition of an appeal, to Step Three or arbitration, of a representative case. In such event, financial liability, if any, will not be affected except as set forth in other Articles of this Agreement.

 

4. The specified time limits at each step of the procedure may be extended by mutual written agreement of the parties involved at that step, except that the time limit for filing at Step One can only be extended by the Departmental Chairperson or designee (or equivalent level of supervisor) and a Union Representative.

 

Section F. Effect on Employment Relationship

 

When the Employer schedules a meeting in accordance with the provisions of this Article, attendance at such a meeting by the Employee or Union Representative shall not adversely affect their employment relationship.


Section G. Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Harassment Grievances

Grievances in which the grievant contends that he or she has been the victim of discrimination, harassment or sexual harassment, as defined in Article IV of this Agreement, may be submitted to the special arbitration process described here.

 

1.  Such grievances may be initiated at either: Step One, Step Two, or Step Three of the procedure, at the discretion of the Union, provided the grievance is submitted within forty (40) calendar days following reasonable knowledge of the facts giving rise to the grievance.

 

2.  The designee of the provost will schedule Step Three meetings to occur within five (5) business days after submission at Step Three. These meetings may include relevant witnesses invited by the Union. A written answer will be given by the provost’s designee within twenty-one (21) calendar days following such meeting. The specified time guideline may be amended by mutual written consent of the parties.

 

Should the Union be unsatisfied with the Step Three outcome, the Union may choose to proceed to arbitration provided that written notice of intent to arbitrate is submitted to the designee of the provost within thirty (30) calendar days following submission of the Step Three answer by the designee of the provost.

 

All other provisions of the grievance procedure described above remain in effect.

Article 14 – Grievance and Arbitration Procedures