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Article 17: Grievance Procedure

Collective Bargaining Agreement for Part-Time Faculty

17.1 Purpose

The purpose of this grievance procedure is to secure, at the lowest possible administrative level, equitable solutions to problems that may arise and are subject to this procedure.  Unless otherwise prohibited by law, there shall be no other grievance or appeal procedure for members of the bargaining unit other than that contained in this Article.  To the extent allowed by the law, the Union and the employees waive any other right they have or may have to challenge any right or benefit covered by this Agreement in another forum. Employees have the right to file grievances over the issues contained in this Agreement.

17.2 Definitions

17.2.1

A “grievance” shall be defined as a violation of any provision of this Agreement has occurred.

17.2.2

A “grievant” shall be any faculty member, group of faculty or the Union.

17.2.3

“Days” shall mean Monday through Friday except for holidays which are observed by the College.

17.3 Procedures

17.3.1

The number of days indicated at each level of this procedure shall be considered maximum and every effort shall be made to expedite the process.

17.3.2

Grievance proceedings shall be kept informal at all levels of this procedure.

17.3.3

If the College fails to comply in writing or with its time limit requirements as set forth under any of the procedure steps, the grievance shall be considered automatically appealed to the next level of the procedure.

17.3.4

If the grievant fails to comply with the grievant’s time limit requirements as set forth under any of the procedure’s steps, the grievance shall be considered null and void.

17.3.5

The time limits set forth herein may be extended provided the extension has been mutually agreed upon in writing by the parties.

17.3.6

A grievance shall not be considered unless the grievant initiates the grievance no later than fifteen (15) days after the grievant knew or reasonably should have known of the action which precipitated the grievance and contains, at a minimum, what contractual provision(s) of this collective bargaining agreement is alleged to have been violated, the facts constituting the alleged violation, the date of the incident giving rise to the grievance and the relief requested.

17.3.7

No reprisal or retaliation shall be taken against any person who participates in this procedure.

17.3.8

A grievant may be accompanied and represented by the Union and the charged party may be represented by a person of the party’s choice at any hearing or meeting conducted under this procedure.

17.3.9

The parties agree to make good faith efforts to exchange information in order to expedite the process.

17.3.10

An employee, acting individually, may present a grievance without the intervention of the Union provided the grievance has been processed in accordance with this procedure. The grievant shall be responsible for notifying the Union in writing that a grievance is being filed. At any hearing or meeting related to a grievance brought individually by an employee, the Union shall be afforded the opportunity to be present and make its views known. Any adjustment made shall be consistent with the provisions of this Agreement.

17.3.11

If a grievance affects a group of two or more employees or involves a decision or action by the College which has a departmental or College-wide impact, the Union may submit the grievance on behalf of the affected employees at Level 2 of this procedure.  The parties may submit this grievance at Level 1 if the affected employees have the same supervisor.

17.3.12

All documents related to a grievance shall be maintained in a separate grievance file.  This provision does not include disciplinary actions and/or documents that are the subject of a grievance.

17.3.13

Unless otherwise agreed to by the parties, grievances shall be processed at times other than during scheduled workload hours.

17.3.14

Except for informal decisions at Level 1, all decisions shall be submitted in writing at each step of the grievance procedure and the decision shall be submitted to both the grievant and the Union.

17.3.15

Grievances shall be filed on forms approved by the parties.

17.3.16

The parties shall maintain confidentiality for all grievance proceedings and for documents required by law to be kept confidential.

17.4 Level 1

17.4.1

A grievant shall first discuss the grievance in a scheduled meeting with the Department Dean with the objective of resolving the issue informally. The grievant may be accompanied and represented by the grievant's Union representative in accordance with section 17.3.8 herein. The grievant shall submit the specifics of the grievance in writing to the Dean prior to the conclusion of the next day and such document must specifically indicate a grievance is being filed. The time frame for a response shall begin with the written submission. To be considered the grievance must be timely filed in accordance with the provisions of 17.3.6 and must contain, at a minimum, what contractual provision(s) of this collective bargaining agreement is alleged to have been violated, the facts constituting the alleged violation and the relief requested. If the grievance does not comply with all the provisions of this grievance procedure, it shall be null and void.

17.5 Level 2

17.5.1

If the grievant is not satisfied with the results of the Level 1 informal discussion, the grievant or the Union may submit the grievance in writing to the Vice-President for Academic Affairs.  To be considered, the grievance must be filed in accordance with the ten (10) day time limit set forth in Section 17.3.6 of this article.

17.5.2

No later than ten (10) days following receipt of the grievant's written grievance, the Vice-President for Academic Affairs shall submit a written response to the grievance. The response shall be submitted to the grievant and the Union.

17.5.3

If the parties agree the Vice-President for Academic Affairs does not have the authority to resolve the grievance, the grievant or the Union may initiate the grievance with the Executive Director of Human Resources at Level 3.  The informal discussion, written grievance and time limit requirements set forth under Levels 1 and 2 above shall be followed if this alternative is used.

17.6 Level 3

17.6.1

If the grievant is not satisfied with the Vice-President’s written disposition, the grievant or the Union may appeal the grievance in writing to the Executive Director of Human Resources  or the Executive Director of Human Resources’  designee no later than ten (10) days after the grievant received the Vice-President’s response.

17.6.2

No later than ten (10) days following receipt of the grievant’s appeal, the Executive Director of Human Resources or the Executive Director of Human Resources’ designee shall conduct a meeting. Each party shall be entitled to bring documents and/or witnesses to the meeting in order to present evidence on their behalf. Each party shall have the right to cross-examine witnesses brought by the other party. Each party shall assume its own costs including the costs of witnesses.

17.6.3

No later than ten (10) days following the close of the meeting set forth under section 6.2 of this article, the Executive Director of Human Resources  or the Executive Director of Human Resources’ designee shall submit a written decision on the grievance to the grievant and the Union.

17.7 Arbitration

17.7.1

If the grievant and the Union are not satisfied with the Level 3 disposition, they may appeal the grievance to arbitration no later than ten (10) days following receipt of the Level 3 disposition by the grievant. Once the ten (10) days have expired, if no arbitration request has been submitted as provided for herein, the grievance shall be considered null and void, and the College shall have no obligation to schedule grievance meetings or arbitration.

17.7.2

The grievance will be appealed to arbitration by the submission of a written request by the Union to the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) for a list of seven arbitrators. No special requirements will be requested for an arbitrator without the mutual written agreement of the parties. A copy of the request shall be sent to the College by the Union at the same time the request is filed with the FMCS. Each party retains the right to require a second list of arbitrators from the FMCS.

17.7.3

The arbitrator will be selected from a list of seven arbitrators requested from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. Within ten (10) days of receipt of the list of arbitrators, the parties shall alternately strike names on the list until there is one name remaining who shall be the arbitrator. A coin toss shall determine the party who will strike the first name.

17.7.4

The arbitrator shall conduct the hearing as soon as possible following the selection of the arbitrator.

17.7.5

Issues related to the arbitrability of a grievance shall be decided by the arbitrator. If the College is challenging the arbitrability of the grievance it shall notify the union and obtain a second list of arbitrators from the FMCS for the limited purpose of determining arbitrability.  The parties shall strike names in accordance with the provisions herein. This arbitration on the question of arbitrability must be resolved prior to a hearing on the merits of the grievance, however this provision shall not prevent striking names for an arbitrator to hear the merits of the grievance. The intent of this provision is to resolve the arbitrability question through the submission of briefs, supported with exhibits and/or affidavits as necessary or as determined by the arbitrator. If the arbitrator concludes that the issue is arbitrable the parties shall schedule the arbitration with the arbitrator selected to hear the merits of the case. If the arbitrator concludes the grievance is not arbitrable the grievance on the merits is dismissed and the issue is null and void.

17.7.6

The arbitrator’s decision shall be submitted to the College and the Union as soon as possible, but no later than sixty (60) days after the conclusion of the hearing.

17.7.7

The arbitrator’s decision shall be in writing and shall include the arbitrator’s decision, rationale and, if appropriate, the relief. The arbitrator shall not have the authority to expand, or add to, the rights employees or the Union have under the terms of this Agreement.

17.7.8

The arbitrator’s decision shall be final and binding on the parties subject to appeal in accordance with the Uniform Arbitration Act (Chapt. 44, NM Stat. Ann. 1978).

17.7.9

The arbitrator’s fees and costs shall be shared equally by the Union and the College. All other expenses shall be assumed by the party incurring the costs, including the cost of witnesses.