Montana State University
Office of the Provost > Collective Bargaining Agreement > Non Tenure Track Faculty

Article 15 : Grievance and Arbitration

SECTION CONTENTS

15.01 Definition
15.02 Grievance Procedure
   15.02.01 Informal Procedure
   15.02.02 Formal Procedure
15.03 Arbitration

15.01 DEFINITION

A grievance is any dispute regarding the misapplication and/or misrepresentation or violation of a provision of this agreement by the University administration alleged by a bargaining unit member and/or group of bargaining unit members and/or by the AFMSU on its own behalf.

15.02 GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

The Commissioner, the University administration and the Association agree that they will use their best efforts to encourage the informal and prompt settlement of grievances that may arise among the Association, its members, the University administration and/or the Commissioner. The orderly process hereinafter set forth will be the method used for the resolution of all grievances. However, faculty members who file complaints alleging unlawful discrimination or other unlawful conduct under administrative, state or federal complaint procedures may not also utilize this method to resolve grievances over the same matter(s) and the University administration and Commissioner shall be under no obligation to process any such grievances that may be filed.

The University administration and the Association shall each appoint one official grievance officer and shall notify the other party of the appointment within one (1) month of the date of final ratification of the Agreement.

15.02.01 INFORMAL PROCEDURE

Any faculty member may present and discuss his/her grievance with the University administration with or without a representative of the Association. Similarly, a representative of the Association may present and discuss a grievance with the University administration on behalf of any faculty member or group of faculty members. Any settlement, withdrawal or disposition of a grievance at this informal stage shall not constitute a binding precedent in the settlement of similar grievances.

15.02.02 FORMAL PROCEDURE

A grievance must be filed by a faculty member or the Association within thirty (30) days from the date the grievable event was determined. Any grievance not processed in accordance with the time limit specified herein shall for the purposes of this Agreement be deemed null and without further recourse.

  1. Step One. The grievance must be stated in writing setting forth the specific complaint including the sections of this Agreement allegedly violated and the remedy requested. All grievances shall be filed with the designated Grievance Officers. Within twenty (20) days of the receipt of the grievance, both grievance officers shall meet jointly with the grievant and, if they wish, a representative of their choosing for the purpose of discussing the grievance. The Administration grievance officer shall within twenty (20) days after the grievance meeting issue a decision with reasons in writing to the grievant and the Association.
  2. Step Two. If the grievance has not been settled at Step One, the grievant or the Association may submit the grievance in writing to the President together with a copy of the decision of the grievance officer no later than ten (10) days after receipt of the written decision of the grievance officer or the expiration of the time limits for making such decision,. The President shall issue a decision with reasons in writing to the grievant and the Association within twenty (20) days after the receipt of the grievance.
  3. Step Three. If the grievance has not been settled at Step Two, the grievant or the Association may submit the grievance in writing to the Commissioner together with a copy of the decision of the President no later than ten (10) days after the receipt of the written decision of the President, The Commissioner or his/her designee shall issue a decision with reasons in writing to the grievant and the Association within twenty (20) days after the receipt of the grievance.
  4. Step Four. If the grievance has not been settled at Step Three, , the Association may request arbitration by giving written notice to that effect to the Commissioner no later than ten (10) days after the receipt of the written decision of the Commissioner. Upon receipt of the request for arbitration, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service shall be requested to provide a list of five names. The Association's representative and the Commissioner or his/her designee shall alternately strike the name of an arbitrator until one name remains; that person shall be designated the arbitrator. The determination of which party shall strike the first name shall be made by agreement of the parties, or if no agreement is reached, by the flip of a coin. The parties may select a person to serve as arbitrator in a different manner if mutually agreed upon.

15.03 ARBITRATION

In no event shall the arbitrator have authority to add to, subtract from, modify or amend the provisions of the Agreement. The arbitrator shall not have any authority to order any remedy that directly or indirectly grants tenure. The arbitrator shall not have any authority to order any remedy that directly or indirectly awards a promotion, except where all faculty committees plus the Provost recommend promotion. The final decision or award of the arbitrator shall be made within thirty (30) days after the closing of the hearing. Such decision or award shall be binding upon the Association, the Commissioner, the University administration and the affected faculty member(s). Each party will bear its own costs and the costs of the arbitration proceedings will be shared equally.

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