Article 14 – Grievance Procedure

  1. A grievance is defined as a claimed violation of any provision of this Agreement or of any Rutgers policy relating to mandatorily negotiable wages, hours or terms and conditions of employment which has been filed pursuant to this Article. The procedure set forth herein is the sole and exclusive right and remedy for any and all claims that could be brought under this grievance procedure.

All grievances must specifically cite which provision of this Agreement and/or Rutgers policy is alleged to have been violated; must set forth who is alleged to have committed the violation; and must set forth when and where the alleged violation occurred.

2. A grievance shall be handled in the following manner:

Step 1

Prior to filing a written grievance, the aggrieved party may attempt to resolve the matter at issue informally with their supervisor. Such efforts at informal resolution shall not suspend the timeliness requirements for filing a grievance as set forth below. Any agreements reached during an informal meeting shall not be precedential but shall be binding for the current matter only.

Step 2

If the grievance is not resolved at Step 1, the grievance will be presented in writing to the level of supervision above the one that took the action which gave rise to the grievance within twenty-one (21) calendar days after the action occurred or from the date the employee or the URA-AFT knew of or should have known of the action. Within twenty-one (21) calendar days of receipt of the written grievance, this next level of supervision, or their designee, will arrange for and hold a meeting with the grievant. The grievant may have URA-AFT representation at the meeting if they desire. This next level of supervision, or their designee, will send their written answer within fourteen (14) calendar days after the meeting to the employee, to the URA- AFT representative present, if any, to the Office of University Labor Relations, and to the URA-AFT.

Step 3

If the URA-AFT is not satisfied with the Step 2 answer, the URA-AFT may request a Step 3 meeting by the Office of University Labor Relations by forwarding the grievance to the Office of University Labor Relations within fourteen (14) calendar days of receipt of the Step 2 answer. Within twenty- one (21) calendar days, the Office of University Labor Relations will arrange for and hold the meeting. The grievant may be accompanied at the meeting by a URA-AFT representative. Within fourteen (14) calendar days after the meeting, the Office of University Labor Relations will send a written answer to the employee, to the URA-AFT representative present, if any, and to the URA-AFT.

Step 4

If the URA-AFT is not satisfied with the Step 3 answer, the URA-AFT, within twenty-one (21) calendar days of receipt of that answer, may submit the grievance to arbitration in accordance with paragraph three (3) below.

3. If the URA-AFT submits a grievance to arbitration, the URA-AFT will submit to the Office of University Labor Relations a copy of its submission. The arbitrator will be chosen jointly from a panel to be provided by the Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) in accordance with the rules and procedures of PERC.

The appointed arbitrator will submit, within thirty (30) calendar days of the close of the hearing, a written decision.

No arbitrator functioning under the provisions of this grievance procedure shall have the authority to amend, modify, or delete any provision of this Agreement. The award of the arbitrator shall be binding upon the University and the URA-AFT, and the grievant, to the extent permitted by and in accordance with applicable law and this Agreement.

Costs and expenses incurred by each party will be paid by the party incurring such costs except that the fees of the arbitrator and PERC will be divided equally between the parties.

4. When an employee chooses to have a representative present at any of the above Grievance Steps prior to arbitration, that representative must be identified as a URA-AFT representative under Article 49.

5. The time limits above may be extended by mutual agreement of the parties to the grievance in writing.

6. Any written decision or written answer to a grievance made at any step which is not appealed to the succeeding step within the time limits provided, or such additional period of time as may be mutually agreed upon in writing, shall be considered final. If Rutgers should exceed the time limits in replying to any grievance at any step in the grievance procedure, the grievance may be advanced to the next step within the time limitations for advancing a grievance as set forth above.

7. An employee will not lose pay for the time spent during their regular working hours at the foregoing steps of the grievance procedure. In the event that it is necessary to require the attendance of another employee as a witness during regular working hours, such employee shall not lose pay for such time. However, this allowance of time off without loss of pay does not apply to preparation of the grievance, the grievant, or any witnesses.

8. Unless mutually agreed upon, no more than four(4)URA-AFT representatives may attend any grievance hearing.

9. Grievances alleging a violation of Article 26 (Non-Discrimination) shall be concluded at step 3 as set forth above in Section two (2); which will be the final and binding decision for the grievance.

10.The filing of a grievance under the provisions of this Article shall not prevent the University from taking the action complained of, subject however to the final decision on the grievance. Pending final disposition of the grievance, the grievant shall fulfill their professional responsibilities as assigned.

11.Disciplinary actions that do not result in suspension without pay, demotion or discharge shall not be advanced beyond step 3.

12. Rutgers and the URA-AFT agree to process a grievance over a discharge in an expeditious manner.

13.When an employee’s record is free from any disciplinary action for a period of one (1) year, any letters of reprimand or documents which express dissatisfaction with the employee’s work performance or conduct in the employee’s record shall be deemed to be removed. When an employee’s record is free from any disciplinary action for a period of three (3) years, any letters of suspension contained in the employee’s record shall be deemed to be removed.

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