Grievance Procedure | Policies & Procedures | SIU

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Grievance Procedure for Non-Negotiated Main Content

[The following, which was approved on November 9, 1981, with amendments on July 9, 1999, and on April 10, 2002, in accordance with provisions set forth in SIU Board of Trustees 2 Policies C.3.d.]

The university promotes the internal resolution of employment-related disputes between its employees and its managers. These procedures are intended to provide for fair, consistent and timely disposition of such disputes.  Employees and supervisors have an obligation to make every effort to resolve employment-related problems as they arise. The grievance procedures exist to allow for avenues of appeal when such efforts are not successful.

Applicability

This grievance procedure applies to permanent civil service employees who are not covered by a collective bargaining agreement. It does not apply to civil service employees at the SIU School of Medicine, Springfield campus, or to employees who are covered by a grievance procedure contained in a collective bargaining agreement, unless the collective bargaining agreement specifically incorporates this grievance procedure.

Definition of a Grievance

A grievance is defined as a claimed violation of a specified university policy, regulation or procedure pertaining to an individual's term or conditions of employment. Excluded from the definition of a grievance are the following: 

  1. Dismissal during the probationary period unless the grievant is alleging discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (including sexual harassment), national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, or veteran status.
  2. Discharge or involuntary demotion from a status civil service position. The procedure governing appeal of discharge or involuntary demotion from a status position after completion of the probationary period is set forth in Section 250.110(e) of the State Universities Civil Service rules.
  3. University statements of policy. The misapplication or misinterpretation of the policy may be grieved not the policy itself. No decision may be made at any step of the grievance procedure which conflicts with or modifies a university policy or conflicts with an administrative regulation issued under appropriate statutory authority, e.g., the rules of the State Universities Civil Service System.
  4. Appeals of performance evaluations. Every employee has the right to provide a formal response to a performance evaluation to be included as a part of the employee's personnel record. This response does not constitute an appeal.
  5. Complaints for which a specific university policy exists, for example, sexual harassment.

Employees are encouraged to seek assistance from Human Resources, Labor and Employee Relations or to use the services of the Office of the University Ombudsman to resolve employment-related disputes that do not involve the violation of a specified university policy, regulation or procedure pertaining to an individual's term or conditions of employment.

General Grievance Procedure Guidelines

  1. For the purpose of this procedure, a workday is defined as a normal university business day.
  2. An employee has a right to be accompanied and advised by a representative of his/her own choosing at all levels of the grievance.
  3. If no answer is received at any step within the specified time, the grievant may give notice and proceed to the next step unless the parties have mutually agreed to a time extension in writing.
  4. If the employee fails to initiate a step in the grievance process within the specified time, the grievance is terminated unless the parties have mutually agreed to a time extension in writing.
  5. When a grievant, authorized representative, or witness is required by the procedure to attend a meeting during his/her regularly scheduled work assignment, such person shall be released without loss of pay or benefits for the length of that meeting, including reasonable travel time to and from that meeting. Night shift employees appearing before a hearing panel during the day will receive an equal amount of compensatory time off during his/her regular shift, to be used in accordance with the university policy on the use of compensatory time.
  6. A grievance may be withdrawn at any step, but if withdrawn, the grievance will not be reopened.
  7. No reprisals shall be taken by the employer against an employee because of participation in a grievance.
  8. All participants in the hearing process will hold all information pertaining to the grievance in confidence, except to the extent required by law.
  9. Formal records produced as part of the grievance procedure shall be filed in the office of Labor and Employee Relations, separately from the official personnel file of the employee. 

Steps in the Grievance Procedure (excluding those grievances against Labor and Employee Relations) 

Step 1.  An employee who has an employment related dispute shall first present any grievable matter(s) to the immediate supervisor.  The grievable matter(s) should include the facts pertaining to the circumstance/instance.  The employee has 10 workdays in which to present the grievable matter to his/her immediate supervisor from the time in which the employee knew or should have known of the alleged violation, which gives rise to the grievance.  The immediate supervisor must render a decision and reason for the decision within 5 workdays.

Step 2.  If the matter is not satisfactorily resolved, the employee may submit the grievance in writing to the head of the department (e.g., dean, director). This must be done within 5 workdays after the receipt of the immediate supervisor’s decision in step 1. The written grievance must be signed by the aggrieved and must include:

  1. a statement of the facts related to the grievance, description and actions that took place in step 1 above.
  2. the specific university policy, regulation or procedure pertaining to an individual's term or conditions  of employment which is alleged to have been violated, and
  3. the resolution sought.

The Department Head shall request that the supervisor provide a written statement of the facts and actions taken as related to the grievance raised by the employee.  The department head shall review the facts and render a decision and reasons for the decision in writing to the employee within 5 workdays after the receipt of the grievance.

Step 3.  If the grievance still exists, the employee may submit the grievance in writing as presented in step 2, to the Director of Labor and Employee Relations, along with a copy of the response of the department head, as provided in step 2. This must be done within 5 workdays after receipt of the decision of the department head in step 2.

The Director of Labor and Employee Relations or his/her designee shall arrange for a fact finding meeting with the employee(s) who filed the grievance and the administrative officers involved.  This meeting should be held within 10 workdays of the receipt of the grievance submitted to Labor and Employee Relations.  The purpose of the meeting is for the Director of Labor and Employee Relations or his/her designee to collect the facts and information necessary to make a reasonable decision as to whether a grievance exists and/or to satisfactorily resolve the grievance.  The Director of Labor and Employee Relations or his/her designee will have up to 5 workdays from the date of the meeting to render a written decision as to whether a grievance exists and/or offer a resolution.  This decision and resolution must be presented to the employee and any other parties to the grievance.

If the grievance is not resolved, the employee may pursue resolution through a hearing panel.  See step 4 below. 

Step 4.  It is preferred that the grievance be resolved through the steps described above.  But, if the grievance is not resolved at step 1, 2 or 3, the employee may submit a request in writing to the Director of Labor and Employee Relations or designee, with a copy to the Chancellor of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, that the Labor and Employee Relations Office coordinate the formation of a hearing panel to review the grievance and the Hearing Panel will make a written recommendation to the Chancellor. This request must be made within 5 workdays after a decision is reached at step 3.   

Hearing Panel Members and Selection.

The hearing panel, if requested, shall consist of three members:

  1. one SIUC employee selected by the grievant
  2. one SIUC employee selected by the university, and
  3. one SIUC employee mutually selected by the above two panel members

Panel members (1) and (2) shall be designated within 5 workdays of the submission of the request for a Hearing Panel, and they shall select the third panel member within an additional 5 workdays. The grievant and the responding party may challenge the selection of the other party's panel selection for cause within 3 workdays. The Director of Labor and Employee Relations or designee will decide whether the selected individual should be excused from service. Such an individual will be replaced using the same procedure as the initial selection.

Hearing panel members must be SIUC employees. The following individuals may not be selected to serve on a panel:

  1. an individual employed in the same department as either party to the grievance
  2. members of the family or household of any party to the grievance
  3. staff members of Human Resources, Labor and Employee Relations, Office of the University Ombudsman or General Counsel
  4. individuals who participated in the decision which led to the grievance or in the supervisor's chain of command
  5. individuals with a personal or financial interest in the outcome of the grievance
  6. the grievant's union steward or business agent
  7. other individuals whose participation on the panel may constitute a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest.

The mutually selected panel member shall chair the committee. The hearing panel shall have no independent internal investigatory powers.  The hearing panel shall conduct the hearing and render its written recommendation to the Chancellor within 15 workdays of its formation. See Hearing Panel Procedures, Hearing Procedures and Hearing Panel Recommendation sections below. 

Hearing Panel Procedures

  1. Prior to the hearing, the Director of Labor and Employee Relations or designee will meet with the members of the panel. Copies of documentation related to the grievance, including the written grievance and the written responses to the grievance made at each step in the grievance procedure, will be distributed to panel members. The Director of Labor and Employee Relations or designee will review the hearing procedures to assure that all aspects of the procedures are clearly understood.
  2. Labor and Employee Relations Office will provide space, audio tapes, and tape recording equipment for the hearing.  The panel chair will be responsible for scheduling meetings, making meeting arrangements with Labor and Employee Relations, conducting the hearing in accordance with applicable rules, and preparing and submitting the panel's written recommendations.
  3. The date and time set for the hearing shall be acceptable to all parties and shall allow time for the panel to deliberate and reach a decision within the required time frame.
  4. The parties to the grievance will provide the panel chair with the names of potential witnesses at least 2 full workdays in advance of the hearing. Witnesses should be limited to individuals with direct knowledge that has a bearing on the grievance. The panel chair will provide the parties to the grievance a complete list of potential witnesses and copies of all documents submitted at least 24 hours in advance of the hearing.
    1. Each party to the grievance will be responsible for notifying his/her representative and witnesses of the location of the hearing and for arranging for their presence at the appropriate time, in accordance with direction from the panel chair.
    2. Any individual scheduled to make a statement may present relevant documents for the consideration of the hearing panel. Such documents must be submitted to the panel chair at least 2 full workdays in advance of the hearing.

Hearing Procedures

  1. The hearing shall be closed to the public. The parties to the grievance and their respective representatives may be present for the entire hearing. The employee will serve as his or her own spokesperson in presenting information in support of the grievance, unless a spokesperson other than the employee is requested by the employee and approved by the Hearing Panel.   The grievant may choose to retain general counsel  at his/ her own expense.  Such general counsel's participation during the hearing will be limited to advising the employee. Witnesses are permitted to be present only when providing information or answering questions from either party or the panel.
  2. A tape recording of the hearing shall be made of the entire proceedings. The recording is for the reference of the hearing panel members in their consideration of the information presented. No transcript of the recording will be produced unless requested by either party to the grievance. The party making the request will pay the cost of producing the transcript. At the conclusion of the hearing, Labor and Employee Relations will retain the tape in a sealed envelope until all subsequent actions involving the grievance are concluded and all time for appeal under the applicable university policy has expired. The tape will then be destroyed, unless either party to the grievance submits a specific written request to the Director of Labor and Employee Relations to retain the tape. 
  3. The chair of the panel shall direct the conduct of the hearing process. The hearing shall normally begin with brief opening statements by each party. Opening statements normally should not exceed 30 minutes each. The grievant then shall present his /her case first, including witnesses, followed by the respondent and the respondent's witnesses.   
    1. Each individual testifying will have the opportunity to make a statement.
    2. The statement will normally be followed by (a) questioning by the panel, then (b) questioning by the other party or parties to the complaint.
    3. Finally the grievant may make a closing statement, followed by a closing statement by the respondent.

    The panel chair has the authority to alter the order of testimony, if needed, in the interest of the orderly and timely processing of the grievance.

  4. Only information relevant to the grievance shall be introduced. Complaints or concerns that were not raised in the original grievance are to be referred back to step 1of the grievance process, to proceed only if that complaint is timely. The panel chair shall: 
    1. resolve questions of relevancy 
    2. have the authority to limit statements that are duplicative or irrelevant, and 
    3. determine the appropriateness of any question raised.
  5. Any procedural questions that cannot be resolved by the panel chair shall be directed to the Director of Labor and Employee Relations.

Hearing Panel Recommendation

The decision of the panel shall normally be reached by consensus. If no consensus can be reached, majority shall rule. The panel chair will forward a report of the panel's findings and recommendations to the Chancellor, with a copy to the Director of Labor and Employee Relations. The report shall include the following information:   

  1. a brief summary of the hearing, including the issues considered 
  2. the panel's findings and conclusions 
  3. the panel's recommendations for corrective action, if any 
  4. any additional recommendations thought to be in the interest of sound university-employee relations.

The Chancellor shall review the grievance and the Hearing Panel recommendation and make a decision regarding the grievance filed by the employee.  The Chancellor shall notify the parties to the grievance, the appropriate vice chancellor/provost, and the Director of Labor and Employee Relations in writing of his/her decision as promptly as possible but within 10 workdays following the receipt of the Hearing Panel recommendation.

Step 5.  Further appeal may be made in accordance with Article VI, Section 2, of the Bylaws of the Board of Trustees.

Steps in a Grievance Procedure for a Grievance against Labor and Employee Relations.

Step 1.  If the grievance is against Labor and Employee Relations, such as the misapplication or misinterpretation of this Grievance Procedure, the employee must submit the issue of grievance in writing to the Director of Labor and Employee Relations, within 10 workdays from the time in which the employee was aware of the alleged violation which gives rise to the grievance.  The Director of Labor and Employee Relations or his/her designee shall arrange for a fact finding and resolution meeting with the employee(s) who filed the grievance and Labor and Employee Relations employees involved.  This meeting should be held within 10 workdays of the receipt of the grievance submitted to the director of Labor and Employee Relations.  The purpose of the meeting is for the Director of Labor and Employee Relations or his/her designee to collect the facts and information necessary to review the grieveable issue(s) and attempt to reach a resolution with the parties involved.  The Director of Labor and Employee Relations or his/her designee will have up to 5 workdays from the date of the meeting to render a written decision and present an acceptable written resolution to the parties involved.

Step 2.  If the matter is not satisfactorily resolved, the employee may submit the grievance in writing to the Vice Chancellor for the Labor and Employee Relations reporting line.  This must be done within 5 workdays after the receipt of the decision of the Director of Labor and Employee Relations as issued in step 1, above.  The written grievance must be signed by the aggrieved and must include:

  1. a statement of facts as presented in step 1 (above)  and the written decision as issued by the Director of Labor and Employee Relations or his/her designee in step 1. 
  2. the specific university policy, regulation, or procedure pertaining to an individual’s term or conditions of employment which is alleged to have been violated, and
  3. the resolution sought.

The Vice Chancellor for the Labor and Employee Relations reporting line shall review the facts and render a decision and reasons for the decision in writing to the employee within 5 workdays after the receipt of the grievance.

If the grievance is not resolved, the employee may pursue resolution through a hearing panel.  See step 3 below. 

Step 3.   It is preferred that the grievance be resolved through the steps described above.  But, if the grievance is not resolved at steps 1or 2, the employee may submit a request in writing to the Director of Labor and Employee Relations or designee, with a copy to the Chancellor of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, that the Labor and Employee Relations Office coordinate the formation of a hearing panel to review the grievance and the Hearing Panel will make a written recommendation to the Chancellor. This request must be made within 5 workdays after a decision is reached at step 2. 

Hearing Panel Members and Selection.

The hearing panel, if requested, shall consist of three members:

  1. one SIUC employee selected by the grievant
  2. one SIUC employee selected by the university, and
  3. one SIUC employee mutually selected by the above two panel members

Panel members (1) and (2) shall be designated within 5 workdays of the submission of the request for a Hearing Panel, and they shall select the third panel member within an additional 5 workdays. The grievant and the responding party may challenge the selection of the other party's panel selection for cause within 3 workdays. The Director of Labor and Employee Relations or designee will decide whether the selected individual should be excused from service. Such an individual will be replaced using the same procedure as the initial selection. 

Hearing panel members must be SIUC employees. The following individuals may not be selected to serve on a panel:

  1. an individual employed in the same department as either party to the grievance
  2. members of the family or household of any party to the grievance  
  3. staff members of Human Resources, Labor and Employee Relations or General Counsel 
  4. individuals who participated in the decision which led to the grievance or in the supervisor's chain of command 
  5. individuals with a personal or financial interest in the outcome of the grievance
  6. the grievant's union steward or business agent
  7. other individuals whose participation on the panel may constitute a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest.

The mutually selected panel member shall chair the committee. The hearing panel shall have no independent internal investigatory powers.  The hearing panel shall conduct the hearing and render its written recommendation to the Chancellor within 15 workdays of its formation. See Hearing Panel Procedures, Hearing Procedures and Hearing Panel Recommendation sections below.

Hearing Panel Procedures

  1. Prior to the hearing, the Director of Labor and Employee Relations or designee will meet with the members of the panel. Copies of documentation related to the grievance, including the written grievance and the written responses to the grievance made at each step in the grievance procedure, will be distributed to panel members. The Director of Labor and Employee Relations or designee will review the hearing procedures to assure that all aspects of the procedures are clearly understood.
  2. Labor and Employee Relations Office will provide space, audio tapes, and tape recording equipment for the hearing.  The panel chair will be responsible for scheduling meetings, making meeting arrangements with Labor and Employee Relations, conducting the hearing in accordance with applicable rules, and preparing and submitting the panel's written recommendations.
  3. The date and time set for the hearing shall be acceptable to all parties and shall allow time for the panel to deliberate and reach a decision within the required time frame.
  4. The parties to the grievance will provide the panel chair with the names of potential witnesses at least 2 full workdays in advance of the hearing. Witnesses should be limited to individuals with direct knowledge that has a bearing on the grievance. The panel chair will provide the parties to the grievance a complete list of potential witnesses and copies of all documents submitted at least 24 hours in advance of the hearing.
    1. Each party to the grievance will be responsible for notifying his/her representative and  witnesses of the location of the hearing and for arranging for their presence at the appropriate time, in accordance with direction from the panel chair.
    2. Any individual scheduled to make a statement may present relevant documents for the consideration of the hearing panel. Such documents must be submitted to the panel chair at least 2 full workdays in advance of the hearing.

Hearing Procedures

  1. The hearing shall be closed to the public. The parties to the grievance and their respective representatives may be present for the entire hearing. The employee will serve as his or her own spokesperson in presenting information in support of the grievance, unless a spokesperson other than the employee is requested by the employee and approved by the Hearing Panel. The grievant may choose to retain general counsel at his/ her own expense. Such general counsel’s participation during the hearing will be limited to advising the employee.  Witnesses are permitted to be present only when providing information or answering questions from either party or the panel.
  2. A tape recording of the hearing shall be made of the entire proceedings. The recording is for the reference of the hearing panel members in their consideration of the information presented. No transcript of the recording will be produced unless requested by either party to the grievance. The party making the request will pay the cost of producing the transcript. At the conclusion of the hearing, Labor and Employee Relations will retain the tape in a sealed envelope until all subsequent actions involving the grievance are concluded and all time for appeal under the applicable university policy has expired. The tape will then be destroyed, unless either party to the grievance submits a specific written request to the Director of Labor and Employee Relations to retain the tape. 
  3. The chair of the panel shall direct the conduct of the hearing process. The hearing shall normally begin with brief opening statements by each party. Opening statements normally should not exceed 30 minutes each. The grievant then shall present his /her case first, including witnesses, followed by the respondent and the respondent's witnesses.
    1. Each individual testifying will have the opportunity to make a statement.
    2. The statement will normally be followed by (a) questioning by the panel, then (b) questioning by the other party or parties to the complaint.
    3. Finally the grievant may make a closing statement, followed by a closing statement by the respondent.

    The panel chair has the authority to alter the order of testimony, if needed, in the interest of the orderly and timely processing of the grievance.

  4. Only information relevant to the grievance shall be introduced. Complaints or concerns that were not raised in the original grievance are to be referred back to step 1of the grievance process, to proceed only if that complaint is timely. The panel chair shall:  
    1. resolve questions of relevancy
    2. have the authority to limit statements that are duplicative or irrelevant, and
    3. determine the appropriateness of any question raised. Any procedural questions that cannot be resolved by the panel chair shall be directed to the Director of Labor and Employee Relations.

Hearing Panel Recommendation

The decision of the panel shall normally be reached by consensus. If no consensus can be reached, majority shall rule. The panel chair will forward a report of the panel's findings and recommendations to the Chancellor, with a copy to the Director of Labor and Employee Relations. The report shall include the following information:

  1. a brief summary of the hearing, including the issues considered
  2. the panel's findings and conclusions 
  3. the panel's recommendations for corrective action, if any
  4. any additional recommendations thought to be in the interest of sound university-employee relations.

The Chancellor shall review the grievance and the Hearing Panel recommendation and make a decision regarding the grievance filed by the employee.  The Chancellor shall notify the parties to the grievance, the appropriate vice chancellor/provost, and the Director of Labor and Employee Relations in writing of his/her decision as promptly as possible but within 10 workdays following the receipt of the Hearing Panel recommendation.

Step 4.   Further appeal may be made in accordance with Article VI, Section 2, of the Bylaws of the Board of Trustees.