Staff Grievance Resolution Process
We are a community governed by honor and one that values dialogue within an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect. Direct dialogue between parties in conflict is often the most effective way to bring resolution and begin to repair harm. This process is intended to resolve grievances between staff.
There are many informal options for addressing conflicts at work. You may wish to use one or more of these options.
- Direct dialogue with the other person/s
- Seeking the advice and assistance of your supervisor
- Seeking the advice and assistance of the other person’s supervisor
- Seeking the advice and assistance of human resources (HR)
- Seeking the advice of someone you trust about how best to resolve the matter
- Seeking the advice of a counselor with our employee assistance program
- Mediation with the other person/s
When parties in conflict believe that direct dialogue has failed to lead to a resolution, the formal grievance process is available. In general, a grievance is a complaint involving alleged professional misconduct, violation of the honor principle, or violation of college policy, however other complaints may also be addressed through this process. As with direct dialogue and other suggested informal options, the formal grievance process is intended to bring resolution and begin to repair harm. The grievance process is restorative in nature, rather than judicial or punitive.
This grievance process should not be utilized to address Title IX concerns relating to discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity, which includes sexual misconduct. For information about Title IX, as well as options for filing a Title IX report or complaint, please see the college’s Title IX website. For information about matters of discrimination that don’t fall under Title IX, such as harassment on the basis of race or nationality, please see the college’s bias incidents and discriminatory harassment resource guide.
Formal Grievance Process
If you are unable to resolve a conflict through one or more of the above means, you may file a written grievance with human resources and/or the Vice President/dean you believe can best resolve the matter.
- Your written grievance can be organized in any fashion, but must provide specific information about the conflict and the names of involved parties. If you would like assistance, HR can help you to write your grievance. If you file your grievance with a VP/Dean, you must also provide a copy to human resources so that they can support this process. It is the role of the person with whom you filed the grievance to assist you and the person with whom you have the conflict in exploring options for compromise, accommodation or other resolutions.
- You can expect timely acknowledgment from the person with whom you filed your grievance, typically within five (5) working days. You can also expect that the person with whom you have the conflict will be notified shortly thereafter.
- After you submit your written grievance, you and the person with whom you filed it (human resources and/or a VP/dean) are expected to make a good faith effort to find resolution with the other person(s) involved in the conflict. The person with whom you filed the grievance will communicate with you and the other person(s) involved in the conflict regarding next steps to find resolution and will serve as a resource for all involved parties during this process. Specific steps toward resolution will vary, depending on the nature of the grievance.
- If your good faith effort is unsuccessful, you may appeal to the president of the college to request resolution. The president may appoint a hearing board that will make an inquiry into the alleged grievance and make a written recommendation of specific action for its resolution, typically within 30 working days of being convened. In cases where the president has appointed a hearing board, the president shall review the hearing board’s recommendation and have final authority to resolve the matter.
- All involved parties will be notified of the resolution of the grievance.
If the college president is the subject of your grievance, you may file your written grievance with human resources or the college treasurer. The treasurer will consult with the chair of the board of trustees on proper resolution of the matter. If a staff member from human resources is the subject of your grievance, you may file your written grievance with the college treasurer, and you are not obligated to provide a copy to human resources. The treasurer will consult with the president on proper resolution of the matter.
To the extent possible, your grievance will be kept private and only shared with those who have a need to know because they are likely to take part in its resolution; however grievances are by their nature not anonymous. The person with whom you have a grievance has a right to know of your grievance and to participate in its resolution. It is expected that all parties will conduct themselves honorably and take into account the feelings and dignity of the other involved parties when considering discussing these matters outside of this formal process.
Retaliation against any staff member who attempts to resolve a conflict or files a grievance is prohibited. Actions that could be considered retaliatory may include, but are not limited to, engaging in bullying behavior, making derogatory or offensive comments to or about the staff member, making false allegations, or any other actions that are intended or reasonably likely to cause distress. If you feel that you have been the target of retaliatory behavior, contact human resources or the person with whom you filed your grievance.
This conflict resolution and grievance process is to be implemented on July 1, 2016. After one year, starting on July 1, 2017, a formal review will take place. The formal review will incorporate broad staff input. Staff are encouraged to provide ongoing feedback about the process to human resources.