The Regents of the University of Michigan
Graduate Employees Organization
American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO Local 3550
May 7, 2002 February 1, 2005
Grievance and Arbitration Procedures
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), one designated member of the group shall process the grievance on behalf of named and all similarly-situated employees. 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.
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.
Section B. Representation
For the purposes of this Article, a Union Representative may represent an aggrieved employee as provided in Section C. The Union will provide the University with the names and telephone numbers of the employees designated for that purpose and shall report any changes to the University within the third week of each term. In addition, 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:
Step One: An employee or one designated member of a group of employees, having a grievance in connection with his/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. In the event the meeting cannot be scheduled because of the unavailability of the immediate supervisor (or department or unit designee), the grievance shall be remanded to Step Two. At the employee's option, a Union Representative may be present during such discussion.
Step Two: If the matter is not resolved at Step One, the grievance may be submitted in writing to the Department Chairperson (or equivalent level of supervisor) or designee, provided, however, that the written grievance must be received within twenty (20) calendar days following the discussion of 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.
At the time the grievance is submitted, the department chairperson (or equivalent level of supervisor), or the chairperson's designee, shall date it and return a copy to the aggrieved employee and to the Union Grievance Committee.
Within fourteen (14) calendar days of submission of the written grievance, the department chairperson (or equivalent level of supervisor), or the designee, shall meet at a mutually convenient time and place with the Union representative, if any, and the employee in an attempt to resolve the grievance. The grievance will be answered within seven (7) calendar days following the meeting. A copy of the written answer shall be given to the chairperson of the Union Grievance Committee and the employee.
Step Three: If the matter is not resolved, the grievance may be appealed by the Union Grievance Committee to the designee of the provost and vice president for academic affairs within fifteen (15) calendar days following receipt by the Union of the Step Two answer. The designee of the provost shall set, within the next fourteen (14) calendar days and at a mutually convenient time and place, a meeting for discussion of the grievance with representatives of the Union Grievance Committee, the aggrieved employee and the employee's Union representative at Step One, if any. 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. A written answer shall be given by the provost's designee, within the thirty (30) calendar day period following such meeting.
A copy of the written answer shall be given to the chairperson of the Union Grievance Committee and the employee.
Section D. Impartial Arbitration
A grievance, as defined in Section A, which is not resolved at Step Three may be submitted to arbitration by the Union, provided that written notice of intent to arbitrate is received by the designee of the provost within the thirty (30) calendar day period following receipt by the Union of the Step Three answer.
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.
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 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) day period, the grievance will not be arbitrable.
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.
Every grievance submitted to an arbitrator for decision shall be subject to the following terms and conditions:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. At the time of the arbitration hearing, both the University and the Union shall have the right to examine and cross-examine witnesses.
4. Upon request of either the University or the Union or both, a transcript of the hearing shall be made and furnished 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.
5. 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.
6. 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 consistent with this Agreement and considered by him in accordance with this Agreement.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. The Arbitrator shall render the decision in writing within thirty (30) calendar days following the hearing.
10. 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.
11. 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.
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.
5. Whenever time limits are used in this Article, an actual verified receipt or a postmark, if mailed, will control.
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.
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.
- Such grievances may be initiated at either; Step One, Step Two, or Step Three of the procedure, at the discretion of the Union.
- 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 the 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 expedited arbitration as follows and shall so inform the University in writing.
- Development of the arbitration panel: each year the panel will be selected as described here.
- The Union and the University shall meet no later than fourteen (14) calendar days following ratification of this Agreement, and on each anniversary thereafter, to attempt to decide upon a panel of four (4) arbitrators who will serve for the following year.
- Should the Union and the University not reach agreement upon the membership of the panel in seven days, the parties will obtain a list of twelve (12) arbitrators from the American Arbitration Association.
- The parties will alternately strike names from the list until four (4) names remain. That list shall constitute the panel. This selection process will occur only in the first year. At any time during the period of the contract each party may replace one name from the list.
- The Union and the University shall, by lot, rank the panel in order (1, 2, 3,4). The arbitrator-designated number 1 shall be the first called upon to sit. If number 1 is unavailable, the remaining arbitrators shall be called upon, in rank order.
- A hearing will be scheduled on or about November 30; February 28, April 30; June 30 each year.
If there are no cases to be heard, the Union and the University will split any cancellation fees charged by the arbitrator for these dates.
- Cases may be scheduled for hearing on other dates if the designated dates result in a delay of more than twenty-one (21) days between the receipt of a decision at Step Three and the next pre-scheduled hearing. In that event, the case will be scheduled by the arbitrator. If arbitrator number 1 is unavailable for an earlier scheduled hearing, arbitrator 2 will be approached. If arbitrator 2 is unavailable for an earlier scheduled hearing, arbitrator 3 will be approached, and if arbitrator number 4 is unavailable, arbitration will be conducted on a pre-determined date in (e) above.
- Either the University or the Union shall forward 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, excepting a copy of the agreement, shall be sent to either the University or to the union, as the case may be.
- 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.
- The arbitrator shall render a decision, in writing, within seven (7) calendar days following the hearing. If both the Union and the University agree, the arbitrator may be asked to issue a bench decision.
- The fees and expenses of the arbitrator for cases that are heard 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 witnesses and representatives for either the University or the Union shall be paid by the party producing the witness or having the representatives.
- The arbitrator's decision, when made in accordance with the arbitrator's jurisdiction and the authority established by this Agreement, shall be final and binding upon the University, the Union, and the employee or employees involved.
All other provisions of the grievance procedure described above remain in effect.