- Download printable NTFCGrievanceFAQ (pdf)
What is a grievance?
A grievance is a complaint filed by the Union or an individual protected by the collective bargaining agreement (the union contract) alleging a violation of the agreement by the employer (the University).
Who has access to the grievance procedure?
ALL members of the bargaining unit (individuals covered by the contract) have access to the grievance procedure. In NTFC, that includes most non-tenure-track faculty that are above 50% full-time equivalency.
What should I do if I think the contract has been violated?
Contact NTFC immediately. You can contact the Grievance Committee or your department/building steward. A member of the GC will meet with you to discuss your situation and determine if a grievance will be filed. There are also other informal or alternative strategies that can be considered if filing a formal grievance is not the best option.
What is the procedure for filing?
The procedure is described at length in ARTICLE XVI of our Collective Bargaining Agreement (available online at https://www.local6546.org/contract). The Grievance Chair and Committee study the contract and are responsible for determining if a situation constitutes a violation. If a grievance is filed, the committee will contact the appropriate administrators on behalf of the member, describe the violation and desired remedy, and attempt to resolve the dispute.
If a grievance is filed, letters are directed to administrators in the following order:
Level 1: direct supervisor or unit executive officer (head, chair, director)
Level 2: dean of college
Level 3: Office of the Provost or Human Resources
Arbitration: third-party arbitrator
Time limits: There are specified time limits for filing at each of these stages as well as time limits for the administration’s response.
***The initial filing of a grievance must take place within 20 BUSINESS DAYS of the violation or knowledge of the violation.
How can you help enforce the contract?
- Notify NTFC and the Grievance Committee immediately! Grievances have a strict timeline. It is important that the process begin as quickly as possible to ensure the contract and our members are protected.
- Keep track of departmental issues and talk to the Grievance Committee early. Even in those situations where there is not a grievance, there may be other solutions that the union can help coordinate.
- Keep records: In the event of a grievance, evidence is important to establish a contract violation. Save notices about department policies, letters of appointment, and all paper and email correspondence about job responsibilities and performance. If you receive any of these verbally, request written confirmation of the information covered.
What protections do we have under our contract?
If you are experiencing problems in any of the following areas, you should contact your Grievance Chair as soon as possible.
Discrimination and/or disparate treatment
There shall be no discrimination by the Union or the University against any member of the bargaining unit because of race, creed, color, sex, religion, national origin, order of protection status, ancestry, marital status, civil union status, pregnancy, age, disability, genetic information, status as a protected veteran, unfavorable discharge from the military, sexual orientation, gender identity, membership or non-membership in or activity on behalf of or in opposition to the Union.
Retaliation for Union activity
Each bargaining unit member may make his/her own personal decisions with respect to joining the Union or other employee organization without intimidation or coercion. There will be no discrimination against any bargaining unit member by the Union or the Employer because a bargaining unit member chooses not to become a member of the Union or because the bargaining unit member chooses to become a member of the Union and/or acts as a representative of the Union or its members or other employees pursuant to this Agreement.
Hours of Work and Commitment
Bargaining unit members shall not be required to perform duties outside their dates of service, with the exception of grade reporting, grade disputes, and unit orientation, training, or meetings. If practicable, such duties outside the dates of appointment may be performed electronically. Notification for these duties that occur outside of the dates of appointment will be provided in advance to the extent practicable.
Changes in Working Conditions
The parties shall bargain over the impact of any decision that affects the wages, hours, and working conditions of bargaining unit members at the request of either party.
If you think there is any change in your working conditions, you should see your union representative immediately.
Discipline or meetings with supervisor that may lead to discipline
The Employer may discipline, suspend, or dismiss a bargaining unit member prior to the end of his/her appointment term, up to and including discharge, for just cause.
The “just cause” standard is the right to due process in the workplace. It is the “Bill of Rights” for employment.
Protect your rights in MEETINGS! If you are called into a meeting in which there is a reasonable chance that discipline may occur, or may occur from that meeting, you are legally entitled to having a union representative with you.
Be sure to look up each reference above (https://www.local6546.org/contract) to see the full contract language on each topic.