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Article 7: Grievance Procedure

Collective Bargaining Agreement for Instructional Support

Instructional Support CBA

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7.1 Purpose

The purpose of this grievance procedure is to secure, at the lowest possible administrative level, equitable solutions to problems that arise and are subject to this procedure. To the extent allowed by law, the Union and the employees agree that this grievance procedure shall be the exclusive forum for challenging any alleged violation of any provision of this Agreement. 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. There shall be no other grievance or appeal procedure for members of the bargaining unit other than that contained in this Article.

7.2 Definitions

7.2.1

A grievance shall be defined as an allegation that a violation of any provision of this Agreement has occurred. This definition shall not be interpreted in such a manner as to make an issue grievable or arbitrable simply because an allegation has been made regarding that issue.

7.2.2

A grievant shall be any employee, group of employees or the Union.

7.2.3

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

7.3 Procedures

7.3.1

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.

7.3.2

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

7.3.3

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.

7.3.4

If the grievant fails to comply with the grievant's time limit or procedural requirements, as set forth under any of the procedures steps, the grievance shall be considered null and void. At this point the College shall have no obligation to schedule any grievance meetings or arbitration.

7.3.5

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

7.3.6

A grievance shall not be considered unless the grievant initiates the grievance in writing no later than fifteen (15) days after the grievant knew or reasonably should have known of the action, which precipitated the grievance.

7.3.7

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

7.3.8

A grievant may be accompanied and represented by the Union (this provision does not authorize representation by any party other than a Union representative) and the charged party may be represented by a person of the party's choice at any hearing or meeting conducted under this procedure.

7.3.9

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 notified by the grievant of the hearing in advance and afforded the opportunity to be present and make its views known. CNM shall have no responsibility to notify the Union if the employee does not comply with this requirement. Any adjustment made by the College shall be consistent with the provisions of this Agreement.

7.3.10

If a grievance affects a group of two or more employees and involves a decision or action by the College, which has a departmental or College-wide impact, the Union must notify the Executive Director of Human Resources of the Union’s intent to submit the grievance on behalf of the affected employees at Level 2 of this procedure. Such notification must be in writing and must include the provision(s) of the Agreement allegedly violated, a description of the facts which led the grievant to believe there has been a violation of the Agreement, the dates and times of the incident that the grievant believes precipitated the grievance, all known witnesses, and the relief requested. Grievances which do not contain this information shall be considered null and void. The Executive Director of Human Resources shall identify the level of the grievance procedure at which the grievance may be submitted. However, grievances alleging contract violations made by the Dean, the immediate supervisor, or their designees, must be submitted at level 1. An individual employee cannot file a grievance to assert a Union right.

7.3.11

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

7.3.12

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

7.3.13

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.

7.3.14

Grievances shall be filed on forms approved by the parties. Emails shall be considered "in writing" for the purposes outlined in this Article.

7.3.15

The parties shall maintain confidentiality for all grievance proceedings and for documents required by law to be kept confidential. If a grievant or the Union violates this provision, this action will be a waiver by the grievant and/or Union of any confidentiality right the grievant or the Union may have which is related to the grievance.

7.3.16

The parties may agree to facilitate an investigation in order to expedite the grievance process. Such investigation may include the sharing of relevant documents, facts, records and data in the possession of either party.

7.3.17

Upon agreement between the College's Executive Director of Human Resources and the Union President, leave with pay may be granted to an employee to participate in a grievance meeting.

7.3.18

At any stage of the procedure, the parties may initiate a settlement proceeding as an attempt to resolve a grievance. If the proceeding is initiated, the grievance time limits will be placed on hold in writing. The proceeding shall be conducted by a representative appointed by the Union and one appointed by the College. If either party determines that the proceeding should be terminated, that party may end the settlement proceeding by submitting a notification in writing to the other party of its intent to terminate the proceeding and reinstate the time limits. The time limits shall be reinstated upon service to the other party of such reinstatement and shall include any portion of the time limits that expired prior to the parties agreement to tool the time limits.

7.4 Level 1:

7.4.1

The grievant and/or the Union shall submit the grievance in writing to the immediate supervisor during an informal meeting. To be considered, the grievance must be filed in accordance with the fifteen (15) day time limit set forth in Section 7.3.6 of this article and as a minimum contain the provision(s) of the Agreement allegedly violated, a description of the facts which led the grievant to believe there has been a violation of the Agreement, the dates and times of the incident that the grievant believes precipitated the grievance, all known witnesses, and the relief requested. Grievances which do not contain this information shall be considered null and void. For bargaining unit employees in the Academic Schools a copy of the grievance will be filed with the Dean and for all other bargaining unit employees a copy of the grievance will be filed with the Department Director.

7.5 Level 2:

7.5.1

If, after ten (10) days the grievance is not resolved at the informal meeting, the grievant or the Union may submit the grievance in writing to the Dean or designee for bargaining unit employees in the Academic Schools. Bargaining unit employees in the Assistance Centers for Education shall submit to the Vice President for Academic Affairs or designee and Reader/Writers shall submit to the Vice President for Student Services or designee.

7.5.2

No later than ten (10) days following receipt of the grievants written grievance, the appropriate authority outlined in Article 7.5.1 shall submit a written response to the grievance. The response shall be submitted to the grievant and the Union.

7.5.3

In recognition of the fact that grievances may be related to decisions made outside of the grievant’s department, a grievant who believes the appropriate authority outlined in Article 7.5.1 may not be authorized to resolve the grievance, the grievant or the Union must so state to the appropriate authority outlined in Article 7.5.1, and with their written acknowledgment may initiate the grievance with the Human Resource’s Executive Director at Level 3. However, grievances alleging contract violations made by the Dean, the immediate supervisor, or their designees, must be submitted at level 1. Grievances approved for submission at level 3, must include as a minimum, the provision(s) of the Agreement allegedly violated, a description of the facts which led the grievant to believe there has been a violation of the Agreement, the dates and times of the incident that the grievant believes precipitated the grievance, all known witnesses, and the relief requested. Grievances which do not contain this information shall be considered null and void. All of the procedures set forth in Levels 1 and 2 shall be followed if this alternative is used. The grievant is responsible for the preparation of all paperwork necessary to utilize this alternative.

7.6 Level 3

7.6.1

If the grievant is not satisfied with the written disposition from the Level 2 response, or the grievant has not received a response, the grievant or the Union may appeal the grievance in writing to the Human Resources Executive Director or designee no later than ten (10) days after the grievant received the Deans response or the date the response was due.

7.6.2

No later than ten (10) days following receipt of the grievants appeal, the Human Resources Executive Director or designee shall schedule a meeting in an attempt to resolve the grievance. Unless mutually agreed otherwise, the meeting shall be conducted within 20 days of the receipt's appeal. 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. The Human Resources Executive Director or designee may record the meeting.

7.6.3

No later than ten (10) days following the close of the meeting set forth under section 7.6.2 of this article, the Human Resources Executive Director or the Human Resources Executive Director's designee shall submit a written decision on the grievance to the grievant and the Union.

7.7 Arbitration

7.7.1

If the grievant and the Union are not satisfied with the Level 3 disposition, the Union may appeal the grievance to arbitration no later than ten (10) days following receipt of the Level 3 disposition by the grievant. After the ten (10) days the grievance shall be considered null and void and the College shall have no obligation to schedule grievance meetings or arbitration.

7.7.2

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. The request for an arbitration panel can not include any special requirements. 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. 

7.7.3

The parties shall alternatively strike names on the list until there is one name remaining who shall be the arbitrator. The party to strike the first name shall be determined by the toss of a coin.

7.7.4

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

7.7.5

Issues related to the arbitrability of a grievance shall be decided by the arbitrator. 

7.7.6

The arbitrators decision shall be submitted to the College and the Union as soon as possible after the conclusion of the hearing.

7.7.7

The arbitrators decision shall be in writing and shall include the arbitrators 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. The arbitrator shall consider and decide only the question of fact as to whether there has been a violation of the specific provisions of this Agreement. The arbitrator shall have no authority to make a recommendation on any other issue. The arbitrator shall not in any way limit or interfere with the powers, duties and responsibilities of the College under this Agreement.

7.7.8

The arbitrators 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).

7.7.9

The arbitrators fees and costs shall be shared equally by the parties. All other expenses shall be assumed by the party incurring the costs, including the cost of witnesses. Unless the grievant is represented by the Union, the College may require that the grievant post the grievant's share of the expenses in advance of the hearing.

7.7.10

Upon demand of either party, or at the discretion of the arbitrator witnesses shall be required to testify under oath or affirmation.