SEIU Article 18. Grievance and Arbitration

ARTICLE 18: GRIEVANCE AND ARBITRATION PROCEDURE

Section 1.  Grievances are defined as acts, omissions, applications or interpretations alleged to be violations of the terms or conditions of this Agreement.

Grievances shall be filed within thirty (30) calendar days of the date the grievant or the Union knows or by reasonable diligence should have known of the alleged grievance, or in the case of discipline, within thirty (30) calendar days of the effective date of the action.  In the event that a deadline for filing a grievance, submitting a grievance response, or appealing a grievance response falls on a Saturday, Sunday or university holiday, such action will be considered timely

if it is taken by 5:00 p.m. on the following business day (Monday – Friday).

Grievances shall be reduced to writing, and shall be signed by the grievant(s), stating the specific Article(s) alleged to have been violated and clear explanation of the alleged violation, sufficient to allow processing of the grievance.  In the case of group grievances, the grievance shall specifically enumerate, by name, the affected employees, when known.  Otherwise, the affected employees will be generically described (i.e., work location, classification, approximate number of employees) in the grievance. Grievances shall be filed at all steps of this procedure on the form identified as the Official Statement of Grievance Form.  Once filed, the Union shall not expand upon the original elements and substance of the written grievance.

All grievances shall be processed in accordance with this Article and it shall be the sole and exclusive method of resolving grievances. However, grievances arising under Article 19 - No Discrimination and Article 53 - Reclassification Upward/Downward shall be subject to the alternative procedures specifically outlined in their respective Articles.

At the request of either party, a meeting between the Union and the Employer representatives will take place at any step of the grievance procedure within thirty (30) calendar days from the date of the request.  If a meeting is held at the request of the grievant and/or the Union, any time limit for the Employer’s response set forth below shall run from the date of the meeting.

Section 2.  Time limits specified in this and the above-referenced Articles shall be strictly observed, unless either party requests a specific extension of time, which if agreed to, must be stipulated in writing and shall become part of the grievance record. “Filed” for purposes of all grievances shall mean postmarked (dated by meter or U.S. Post Office), or faxed, emailed or hand-delivered by the close of the business day (5:00 p.m.) to the appropriate office identified in Appendix I of this Agreement.

If at any step of the grievance procedure, the Employer fails to issue a response within the specified time limits, the grievance may be advanced to the next step of the grievance procedure.  If the grievant or Union fails to meet the specified time limits, at any step of the grievance and arbitration procedure, the grievance will be considered withdrawn and it cannot be resubmitted.

Grievance steps referred to in this Article may be waived by mutual agreement in writing.

Such written agreements shall become part of the grievance file.

Section 3.  When required by the Employer to investigate the grievance, any time spent by employee(s) to attend meetings during regular working hours, shall be considered as work time.

Section 4.  Multi-Supervisor and Multi-University Grievances. Where there are grievances in universities/colleges involving two (2) or more supervisors, such grievances shall be filed and processed in accordance with Step 2 of the grievance procedure. When a grievance involves employees in more than one (1) university, such grievance shall be filed and processed

in accordance with Step 3 of this Article. The grievance shall specifically enumerate, by name, the affected employees, when known. Otherwise, the affected employees will be generically described (i.e., work location, classification, approximate number of employees) in the grievance.

Section 5. Grievance Procedure. Grievances shall be processed as per Appendix I (Grievance Filing and Timeline Chart).

  1. Step 1.  The grievant(s), or the Union on behalf of the grievant(s), shall file the grievance consistent with the requirements of Section 1 with his/her immediate excluded supervisor, except in the case of grievances described in paragraph B of this Section. The supervisor shall respond in writing to the grievant(s) within thirty (30) calendar days from the receipt of the grievance.

The parties agree that all Step 1 grievance settlements are non-precedential and shall not be cited by either party or their agents or members in any arbitration or fact-finding proceedings now or in the future. Step 1 grievance settlements shall be reduced to writing and signed by the grievant and the immediate excluded supervisor.

The settlement shall include the statement:

“Step 1 grievance settlements are non-precedential and may not be cited by either party or their agents or members in any arbitration or fact finding proceedings now or in the future.”

Actions taken pursuant to Step 1 settlement agreements shall not be deemed to establish or change practices under this Agreement, including but not limited to Article 5 – Complete Agreement/Past Practices, or ORS Chapter 243 and shall not give rise to any bargaining or other consequential obligations.

Step 2.  When the response at Step 1 does not resolve the grievance, the grievance must be filed by the Union within thirty (30) calendar days after the Step 1 response is due or received, whichever occurs first. The appeal shall be filed in writing to the university President or designee, who shall respond in writing within thirty (30) calendar days after receipt of the Step 2 appeal.

Step 3.  Failing to settle a grievance in accordance with Step 2 (other than an Article 19 - Discrimination grievance which is appealed to BOLI/EEOC) the appeal, if

pursued, must be filed by the Union and received by the University Shared Services Enterprise’s (“USSE”) Director of Labor Relations, or his/her successor, within thirty (30) calendar days after the Step 2 response is received.  The appeal must include the response being appealed and indicate whether a meeting is requested.  Failure to include the response being appealed shall not void the appeal.  A copy of the appeal must be sent concurrently to the University’s Human Resources Office.  Within five (5) business days of receipt of the appeal, the Director of Labor Relations or his/her successor may request that a meeting be held.  The Director of Labor Relations or his/her successor shall respond in writing within thirty (30) calendar days from the

receipt of the Step 3 appeal or conclusion of the meeting, if one is requested by the grievant or Union. A copy of the Step 3 response shall be sent concurrently to the Union representative filing the Step 3 appeal, the Union’s Legal Department, and the Union’s Member Resource Center.

Assignment Process

The Director of Labor Relations or his/her successor will assign a University Chief Human Resource Officer, who may appoint a designee, to conduct a Step 3 meeting, or to review the record where no meeting is requested, and render a written response that provides a rationale for the denial or acceptance of the grievance or appeal within the time limits proscribed in this Article.

Assignment of a University Chief Human Resource Officer will be on the following rotating basis: Eastern Oregon University, Oregon Institute of Technology, Oregon State University, Portland State University, Southern Oregon University, University of Oregon, and Western Oregon University.  No University Chief Human Resource Officer will be assigned to process a Step 3 appeal or grievance involving his or her University and, therefore, he or she will be skipped over in the event that he or she would have been assigned based on the rotating assignment above.

Step 3 meetings will occur by teleconference. Where available, and when requested and mutually agreed upon, Step 3 meetings may occur by videoconference.  If the teleconference method is used, the grievant may choose to participate by phone in a room separate from management, or in the same room as management if the option is offered.

The Director of Labor Relations or his/her successor will forward the University Chief Human Resource Officer’s Step 3 written response to insure compliance with this Article’s time limits and service.

Step 4.  Grievances that are not satisfactorily resolved at Step 3 may be appealed to arbitration, in accordance with Section 6 of this Article.

(B)Exceptions to Initial Filing at Step 1
  1. Grievances Filed Initially at Step 2

The following types of grievances shall be filed initially with the university President or designee (Step 2), in accordance with the procedures specified in Sections 1and 5(A) of this Article:

  1. Discipline grievances above a letter of reprimand other than dismissal;
  1. Discrimination grievances (Article 19);
  1. Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)/Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA)

grievances;

  1. Layoff and recall grievances (Article 48);
  1. Reclassification downward (Article 53, Section 4);
  1. IT Competency Levels (Article 66, Section 4, B, C, and D);
  1. Multi-supervisor grievances (grievances in a university involving two or more supervisors in a university—Article 18, Section 4).
  1. Grievances alleging a violation of Article 2 – Recognition, Section 5 regarding temporary appointments.
(2)Grievances Filed Initially At Step 3.

The following types of grievances shall be filed initially with the USSE’s Director of Labor Relations or his/her successor (Step 3) in accordance with the procedures specified in Sections 1 and 4 of this Article:

  1. Dismissal Grievances;
  1. Reclassification upward grievances (Article 53, Section 4(A);
  1. Multi-university grievances (grievances involving employees in more than one University—Article 18, Section 4).
  1. Family Medical Leave Act/Oregon Family Leave Act Grievances.  Any grievances alleging a violation of Article 40 – Sick Leave, Section 9, Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) will be submitted in writing within thirty (30) calendar days of the date the grievant or the Union knows or by reasonable diligence should have known of the alleged grievance, directly to the university President or designee as defined or used in this Section. A copy of the grievance shall be sent concurrently to the USSE’s Director of Labor Relations, or his/her successor. The university President or designee shall respond within thirty (30) calendar days after receipt of the grievance. All unresolved FMLA grievances may be submitted by the Union or the grievant to the U. S. Department of Labor if not already so filed.  All unresolved OFLA grievances may be submitted by the Union or the grievant to the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) if not already so filed.  However, such grievances shall not be subject to arbitration under this Agreement.  Nothing in this Article shall preclude an employee from filing a complaint with BOLI or the U.S. Department of Labor at any time.
Section 6. Arbitration
  1. Filing for Arbitration. For disputes other than dismissals, the Union must file a Notice of Intent to Arbitrate with the appropriate panel arbitrator within fifty-five (55) calendar days of receipt of the Step 3 response by the Union’s Legal Department.  For dismissals, the Union must file such notice within twenty (20) calendar days of receipt of the Step 3 response by

the Union’s Legal Department.

The Union may request, and the University may agree, to an additional thirty (30) calendar days in which to file a request to select an arbitrator. However, any additional time agreed to will not be used in calculating the University’s liability for any remedy awarded by an arbitrator.

Notices of Intent to Arbitrate must concurrently be sent to the USSE’s Director of Labor Relations, or his/her successor, and the University’s Human Resources Office.

In the event the Union fails to submit the Notice of Intent to Arbitrate to the Director of Labor Relations or his/her successor within the time limits proscribed above, the grievance shall be considered withdrawn and it cannot be resubmitted.

  1. Panel.  The parties agree that the following arbitrators will serve on a rotating basis, based on the filing date of the arbitration:

Richard L. Ahearn Katrina I. Boedecker David Stiteler

The rotation of the arbitrators commenced March 2014 and is ongoing.  In the event that Arbitrator Boedecker elects to no longer participate in the panel rotation, the Union shall submit the names of three Oregon/Washington-based arbitrators to the USSE Director of Labor Relations, or his/her successor, and he/she shall choose one to serve as her replacement.  In the event that Arbitrator Stiteler elects to no longer participate in the panel rotation, the USSE’s Director of Labor Relations, or his/her successor, shall submit the names of three Oregon/Washington-based arbitrators to the Union and the Union shall choose one to serve as his replacement.  Either party may reject the entire list of arbitrators until an agreement is reached.

In the event Arbitrator Ahearn elects to no longer participate in the panel rotation, the parties shall attempt to reach agreement on his replacement. Until an agreement is reached on Arbitrator Ahearn’s replacement, the parties will use the remaining two panel arbitrators.

  1. The arbitration will be handled in accordance with the rules of FMCS. The arbitrator shall have the authority to hear and rule on all issues that arise over substantive or procedural arbitrability.  Such issues, if raised, must be heard prior to hearing the merits of any appeal to arbitration.  Upon motion by either party to bifurcate the hearing on procedural or substantive arbitrability issues, the arbitrator will make the determination on bifurcation.  Should the arbitrator choose to take the arbitrability issue under advisement and proceed with the merits, he/she shall issue a written decision on the arbitrability issue only, should the issue be found to be nonarbitrable.
  1. The Parties agree that the decision or award of the arbitrator shall be final and binding on each of the parties. The arbitrator shall issue his/her decision or award within thirty
  1. calendar days of the closing of the hearing record. The arbitrator shall have no authority to rule contrary to, to amend, add to, subtract from, change or eliminate any of the terms of this

Agreement, and shall be confined to the application and interpretation of this Agreement. The arbitrator shall not make any decision that limits or interferes with the authority of the Employer, except as modified by this Agreement.

  1. The Parties shall split the arbitrator’s charges equally. Should a grievance be withdrawn after the selection of an arbitrator, all charges by the arbitrator shall be paid by the withdrawing party unless the grievance is withdrawn pursuant to a settlement of the grievance. All other expenses shall be borne exclusively by the party requiring the service or item for which payment is to be made.

Section 7.  A grievant and the Steward of record shall be granted leave with pay for appearance in arbitration proceedings, including the time required going and returning to his/her headquarters. NOTE: See Article 43 - Leaves With Pay, Section 3.

Section 8.  No reprisals shall be taken against any employee for exercise of his/her rights under the provisions of this Article.

Section 9. Grievance Committees. A committee of the Union Stewards for each university as listed below shall be appointed by the Union to act as a grievance committee. The committee shall discuss employee grievances for the purpose of achieving resolutions at the lowest possible level of the grievance procedure.  The Union Stewards appointed to this committee shall be allowed one (1) hour on duty per month for committee meetings, without loss of pay and benefits provided time off is prescheduled with the supervisor and activity is reported to the supervisor pursuant to Article 10 - Union Rights, Section 9.  The university shall suffer no overtime obligation as a result of this Article. The employees in each university shall be allowed not more than the following:

Oregon State University                    Five (5) Union Stewards
University of Oregon                          Three (3) Union Stewards
Portland State University                  Three (3) Union Stewards
Western Oregon University               Two (2) Union Stewards
Oregon Institute of Technology        Two (2) Union Stewards
Eastern Oregon University                Two (2) Union Stewards
Southern Oregon University             Two (2) Union Stewards

Section 10. Monthly Meetings. The Chief Steward or Steward designated by the Union and the university’s chief human resources officer or designee shall schedule monthly meetings to review pending grievances and contractual issues and to make good faith efforts to resolve such grievances and issues.  The Chief Steward or Steward designated by the Union and the university’s chief human resources officer or designee shall mutually agree on the participation of other Union and Employer representatives at these meetings on a case-by-case basis.  Such meetings shall take place during regular working hours.  Bargaining unit employees authorized to attend these meetings shall be considered to be on work time.

Section 11. Upon the Union’s written request in support of a specific grievance, the University, within a reasonable period of time, will provide a listed summary of redacted

Employer-issued disciplinary actions. Such requests will not extend beyond the statutory records retention requirement and the cost for preparing the summary will be borne by the Union.