Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)

Community College of Allegheny County

AFT - Article IV: Grievance Procedure

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ARTICLE IV:

GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

 

A.       The following procedure shall be followed in resolving grievances.  A grievance is:

1.       An allegation that there has been a violation, misinterpretation or improper application of the terms and conditions of this Agreement, or

2.       A complaint involving the work situation or that there has been an alleged breach, violation, misinterpretation, inequitable or otherwise improper application of, or a deviation from, any policy, practice, or procedure which relates to wages, hours or working conditions.

STEP 1:  

Any aggrieved Employee, either directly or through the Federation representative, and the appropriate administrator, or other administrator of like authority who may be appropriate to the grievance, shall make every effort to resolve a grievance informally, provided, however, that no grievance may be processed unless done so within thirty (30) days after the act or condition giving rise to the grievance or within thirty (30) days after the date on which the grievant knew, or reasonably should have known, of such act or condition, whichever is later.  Nothing herein shall restrict the right of any Employee that is provided in Section 606 of Act 195.

STEP 2:  

If the grievance is not resolved within seven (7) days after discussions are initiated in Step 1 above, the Federation may, within seven (7) days thereafter, submit it on the appropriate form to the administrator with whom it was discussed.  The administrator shall, within seven (7) days after receipt of the grievance, meet with the Employee, if any, and the Federation in an effort to adjust the matter to the satisfaction of all concerned.  The administrator shall make a decision and communicate it in writing to the Employee, if any, and the Federation within seven (7) days after the meeting.

STEP 3:  

The decision of the administrator may be appealed by the Federation on the appropriate form to the  Campus’s chief executive officer within seven (7) days after its receipt.  The Campus’s chief executive officer, or her/his authorized designee shall, within seven (7) days after receipt of the grievance, meet with the Employee, if any, and the Federation in an effort to adjust the matter to the satisfaction of all concerned.  The Campus’s chief executive officer  or her/his authorized designee shall make a decision and communicate it in writing to the Employee, if any, and the Federation within seven (7) days after the meeting.

STEP 4:  

The decision of the Campus’s chief executive officer or her/his authorized designee may be appealed by the Federation on the appropriate form to the College’s chief executive officer within seven (7) days after its receipt.  The College’s chief executive officer or her/his authorized designee shall, within seven (7) days after the receipt of the appeal, meet with the Employee, if any, and the Federation in an effort to adjust the matter to the satisfaction of all concerned.

The College's chief executive officer or his/her designee shall make a decision and communicate it in writing to the Employee, if any, and the Federation within twenty (20) days after the meeting.

STEP 5:     

a.  Within twenty (20) days after the receipt of the decision of the College’s chief executive officer or her/his authorized designee, if the grievance is a matter arising under A.1. above (except for certain grievances relating to personnel actions where the procedure for disposition is set forth in specific articles in this Agreement), the decision may be appealed from only by the President of the Federation or her/his previously specified designee.  The Federation shall advance the grievance to arbitration by notifying the College of its intent to arbitrate.  Representatives of the Federation and the College shall select an arbitrator from a panel of permanent arbitrators.  In the event either party refuses to proceed to arbitration as aforesaid, the other party shall have the right to request a panel of seven (7) arbitrators from the American Arbitration Association and to proceed to arbitration under its rules, provided, however, neither party by agreeing to the aforesaid waives its right to seek a court order enjoining the arbitration hearing schedules by the American Arbitration Association.  The arbitrator shall hold a hearing promptly and issue her/his decision within thirty (30) days, but failure to do so shall not void the award.  Seven (7) days notice shall be given all parties of the time and place of the hearing. The decision, including awards of the arbitrator, shall be final and binding on the parties, but he/she shall have no authority to add to, subtract from, or modify this Agreement or make any decision which requires the commission of an act prohibited by law.

The arbitrator's fees and those of the American Arbitration Association shall be shared by the Federation and the College, but each shall bear its own costs of presenting its case to the arbitrator.

b.  If the grievance is a matter arising under A.2. above, within twenty (20) days after the receipt of the decision of the College’s chief executive officer or her/his designee, the decision may be appealed from only by the President of the Federation or the Federation President's previously specified designee.  The Federation shall advance the decision to advisory arbitration by notifying the College of its intent to arbitrate.  The procedure for advisory arbitration shall be as specified in A.1., except that the decision of the arbitrator will not be binding upon the parties.

Should the College fail to implement the decision of the arbitrator, or reach a suitable compromise, the Federation may appeal the matter to the Board of Trustees, or an appropriate sub-committee, which shall hold a hearing on the appeal at its next regularly scheduled meeting.  The Chairman of the Board shall reply in writing to the Federation within seven (7) days after the Board's next regularly scheduled meeting. The decision of the Board shall be final and implemented immediately.

B.       GENERAL PROVISIONS

1.       A grievance based on the action of authority higher than the appropriate administrator, or other administrator of like authority, shall be initiated at that step of the grievance procedure.  The general procedures relating to that step shall apply to the presentation and adjustment of the grievance, including the right of appeal.

2.       The Federation may initiate or appeal a grievance at any step of this procedure. Only the Federation may advance a grievance to arbitration pursuant to Step 5.

3.       Failure to communicate a decision at any step of this grievance procedure within the specified time limits shall permit it to be advanced to the next step, except that in STEP 4, failure of the College to respond within twenty (20) days shall result in the acceptance of the grievance and its proposed remedy.  Failure to file or appeal a grievance within the specified time limits shall constitute acceptance of the decision last made.  The aforesaid shall not apply if the time limits are extended by mutual agreement in writing.

4.       Attendance at conferences, meetings, and hearings held under this grievance procedure shall be limited to those persons specified in the procedure, witnesses and/or resource people required by either party, and counsel for either party.

5.       Conferences, meetings, and hearings held under this grievance procedure shall be scheduled at a time and place which will afford a fair and reasonable opportunity for all persons entitled to be present to attend.

6.       No Employee entitled to be present shall suffer loss of pay or any other penalty because of use of, or participation in, this grievance procedure.

7.       No party shall use any visual or sound recording devices at any stage or step of this grievance procedure without the prior written approval of the other party.  In the event one party desires to utilize the service of a court reporter in an arbitration hearing, that party shall first seek approval of the other.  In the event the parties cannot agree, the requesting party shall inform the arbitrator of its desire for a court reporter and the reasons therefore.  The arbitrator shall decide prior to the hearing of the case whether that party may utilize the services of a court reporter or the arbitrator on her/his motion may determine that the use of a court reporter would be appropriate.

8.       "Days" as used in this Article shall be defined so as to mean calendar days, including weekends and holidays.

9.       If either or both parties wish to submit a brief to the arbitrator, such brief must be forwarded to the arbitrator within thirty (30) days after the hearing.

10.    Arbitration hearings shall be held at a mutually agreeable site.

11.    The use of the word "grievance" herein refers to both grievances appealable to arbitration and other complaints, appealable to advisory arbitration, as set forth in A.1. and A.2 above.

12.     Any settlement, withdrawal, or disposition of a grievance at any step below STEP 5 shall not constitute a binding precedent for the settlement of similar grievances in the future.