In Chapter III of its Rules, the Board of Supervisors mandates that “each institution shall develop and promulgate an internal grievance procedure for employees (classified and unclassified).” This procedure shall be approved by the Board. An employee must exhaust all administrative procedures at the institutional level before an appeal can be made to the Board.
In the interest of the individual staff member and the University Community, problems and concerns should be brought into the open and resolved. An effort will be made to process these concerns in a timely fashion.
The following unclassified non–faculty grievance procedures were approved by the President’s Cabinet on November 15, 1991.
3.9.1 General Information
The steps described below are the levels through which employees may take their grievances. It is understood that a grievance may be resolved at any of the levels prior to the petitioning of the Unclassified Non–Faculty Grievance Committee and that the other steps would be unnecessary.
In the interest of the unclassified non–faculty staff and the University, grievances should be discussed and resolved at the lowest possible level.
It is the purpose of the Nicholls State University Unclassified Non–Faculty Grievances Committee to hear grievances beyond the departmental levels. Grievances which are legitimately the province of the Committee are those presented by an unclassified non–faculty employee (defined below).
In keeping with its concern for the welfare of these unclassified, non–faculty employees, an effort will be made to hear grievances in a timely fashion; however, the Committee recognizes that, in most cases, grievances can be resolved most expeditiously at the departmental level.
- The term “unclassified non faculty” (hereinafter referred to as employee) shall include all full–time unclassified personnel. Staff holding dual responsibilities, faculty and administrative in nature, will follow the procedure offered all faculty for faculty/teaching grievances. Grievances related to administrative/staff functions will be pursued in accordance with procedures listed in this document.
- The term “grievance” shall include employment circumstances or conditions alleged to be grounds for a complaint. Excluded from the scope of this definition are (a) non–renewal of term contracts, (b) terminations, (c) matters involving salaries, (d) disciplinary matters, and (e) work assignments.
- The term “days” shall be working days. Extensions of time frames may be granted in appropriate cases to the party showing good cause for such extension to the Chair of the Committee.
Described below are two procedures for resolving a grievance: informal and formal. Ideally, grievances should be resolved at the departmental level through a cooperative effort of the supervisor and the employee, but when this is proved impossible, the procedures below are available.
The essential differences between the informal and formal procedures are these: in the informal process, meetings between the employee and immediate supervisor are mandated In the formal process, such meetings are not required but may be included; second, filing of grievance and response forms is not required in the informal process. Everyone must go through the informal procedure before using the formal procedures.
3.9.4 Informal Grievance
The grievance must be presented within ten days of the occurrence. An employee shall discuss a grievance with his or her department head, director, or immediate supervisor.
If the issue remains unresolved, the next highest ranking supervisor should be consulted next within ten days. If the grievance still remains unresolved, the appropriate Vice President in charge of this unit should be consulted within ten days.
If following these steps does not yield satisfactory results, all covered employees are entitled to follow the formal procedure below within 30 days.
3.9.5 Formal Grievance
In order to file a grievance under this procedure, after exhausting the informal procedures, the employee must submit within 30 days a Grievance form (see V Drive) is available from the immediate supervisor. On that form the employee must describe the problem, provide evidence supporting the allegations, and present the specific redress requested. The forms must be dated and signed. Once dated and filed with proper officials, the grievance may not be expanded.
- The completed Grievance form will be submitted by the employee to the immediate supervisor, who shall respond to the employee on a Grievance Response form in no more than ten days.
- The original Grievance form and the Grievance Response form are submitted by the employee, if appropriate, to the next person in the employee’s chain of command, who shall respond on a Grievance Response form in no more than ten days.
- The original Grievance form and accompanying Grievance Response form are submitted by the employee, if necessary, to the appropriate Administrator, who shall respond on a Grievance Response form in no more than ten days.
- The employee may then petition the Unclassified Non–Faculty Grievance Committee for a hearing by forwarding the original Grievance form and all Grievance Response forms along with a written request for a hearing. After hearing the case, the Unclassified Non–Faculty Grievance Committee sends its findings and recommendations to the President, using a Grievance Response form attached to all previous forms.
- The President will make his or final disposition of the case and notify all parties on a Grievance Response form within 20 days following receipt of the Grievance Committee’s recommendations.
- The employee is required to complete or exhaust the formal grievance procedure prior to appealing to the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System. This appeal must comply with the rules and procedures of that board.
The steps described are the levels through which employees may take their grievance. It is understood that a grievance may be resolved at any of the levels prior to the petitioning of the Unclassified Non–Faculty Grievance Committee and that the other steps would be unnecessary.
3.9.6 Bylaws of the Grievance Committee
126.96.36.199 Composition and Purpose
- The Unclassified Non–Faculty Grievance Committee shall be composed of eight representatives. Two representatives are to be elected from each of the following: Administrative Affairs, Finance and Administration, and Student Affairs and Enrollment Services plus there will be two at–large members appointed by the University President. The terms of committee members will be alternating three–year terms, that procedure being established immediately upon the implementation of these bylaws.
- The Chair and the Secretary shall be elected by the members.
- The committee serves as a hearing and a recommending body reporting its findings to the University President.
- All hearings shall be conducted with a quorum which must include the Chair.
- The Committee shall conduct no ex parte proceedings, i.e., without all parties present. Reasonable nonappearance of parties may be allowed. The committee may grant the parties a continuance of a hearing upon showing a good cause. Nonappearance of the employee thereafter or without obtaining a continuance may cause the appeal to be abandoned.
- All Committee proceedings are closed and confidential; there is no right to a public hearing. All documents, testimony, and memoranda pertaining to the proceedings are strictly confidential, and all parties must keep them so. The Committee, the employee, and the University may each have an attorney, but due notice must be given to the appropriate Vice President, the employee, and the Chair of the Committee if attorneys will be present.
- All Committee proceedings are recorded and complete transcripts maintained, except for executive sessions. A copy of the transcript may be purchased by the employee.
- Neither the employee presenting the grievance nor persons purporting to represent them shall approach Committee members on the employee’s behalf except during properly constituted meetings.
188.8.131.52 General Information
184.108.40.206 Procedures of the Committee
- Employees shall petition the Committee through its Chair only after compliance with the steps outlined previously in the informal and formal procedures.
- Upon receipt of the written grievance, the Chair will set a meeting date for no more than twenty days from the date of receipt of that grievance.
- The Chair will notify the employee and other affected parties named in the grievance at least ten days in advance of the hearing and will do so by certified U.S. mail.
- Committee findings will be submitted in writing to the parties, i.e., the employee and the University administration, through the office of the President.
- The Chair will ensure that the hearing room is properly equipped for recording proceedings. This equipment will be operated and monitored by professional personnel of the Media Center.
- The Chair will convene and organize the Committee, parties to the hearing remaining outside the hearing room until summoned. Witnesses will be sequestered. Each party to the grievance may exercise one peremptory challenge and one challenge for cause to members of the Committee. Any committee member may recuse himself/herself from hearing a particular matter, by notifying the Chair prior to the hearing date.
- After the parties to the grievance are summoned into the hearing room, the Chair shall declare the hearing in session and ask the employee to present his or her case (30 minutes maximum). The employee may be advised in his or her presentation by legal counsel whose role is advisory only. The Chair will not entertain questions by the Committee until the employee has completed his or her presentation (which may include witnesses).
- Legal rules of evidence do not apply. The Committee may accept and give probative effect to evidence that possesses probative value and is commonly accepted by reasonable persons. The Committee may restrict evidence that is unduly repetitious. The Committee shall give effect to the rules of privilege recognized by law. The Chair will rule on all objections to evidence.
- Appearances by witnesses are strictly voluntary. Witnesses who are University employees will be allowed time off to attend hearings but must notify their supervisors in advance so that adequate preparations may be made.
- Members of the Committee will be recognized individually by the Chair (10 minutes maximum each).
- The chair will recognize a designated administrative officer appointed by the University President, who will make the oral presentation for the University (30 minutes maximum).
- Members of the Committee may question the University representative, following the time limitations of #6 above.
- The employee shall make a final oral rebuttal and closing statement (not to exceed 10 minutes).
- The defendant shall make a final rebuttal and closing statement (not to exceed 10 minutes).
- During the period of the Committee’s final deliberations, the Chair may require the parties to the grievance to leave the hearing room; however, the employee and his or her counsel may await the decision of the Committee in the nearest convenient room.
- The chair will recall the Committee to session to take its final vote on findings and/or recommendations.
- The Chair will announce the Committee’s findings to the employee after adjournment. The first announcement will be oral, with the written findings to follow within ten days.
- The written findings and/or recommendations of the Committee shall be transmitted to the University President, who shall render his or her written decision, which shall include notice of the employee’s right to appeal to the governing board of the University.
220.127.116.11 Conduct of Hearings
18.104.22.168 Grievance Forms
A copy of the official grievance forms (Grievance and Response) for unclassified non–faculty employees can be found in the V Drive materials corresponding to this Manual.
Changes to Section of Manual
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