This policy provides an overview of the grievance process for non-Senate academic employees, general provisions of the process, and step by step procedures for filing an informal or formal grievance.
This policy provides non-represented non-Senate academic appointees the opportunity to present grievances. The use of this policy shall not be discouraged by the University by any means, either direct or indirect.
The campus procedures as set out in the Academic Personnel Procedures (APP) Section 4-14 are intended to complement and supplement the University policy in the Academic Personnel Manual (APM) Section 140, Non-Senate Academic Appointees/Grievances. This section, APP-4-14, must always be used with APM 140.
A grievance is defined as:
- A complaint/appeal by a non-Senate academic appointee that a specific administrative act was arbitrary or capricious and adversely affects the appointee’s existing terms or conditions of employment; or
- A claim by a non-Senate academic appointee of a violation of a provision of applicable University rules, regulations or Academic Personnel policies which adversely affects the appointee’s existing terms or conditions of employment.
An academic appointee is defined as:
an individual employed under any of the established academic positions and title codes listed in the Academic Personnel Manual or contained in the Academic Salary Scales, or otherwise approved by the Office of the President.
This policy applies to all non-senate academic appointees who are not covered by a memorandum of understanding (MOU). Under this policy, non-represented student academic appointees are only be eligible to grieve matters related to their academic appointment. This policy does not apply to non-represented Postdoctoral Scholars who are covered by a separate grievance policy APP 4-15. For represented non-senate academic appointees, please refer to their respective MOU.
Non-Senate faculty members (e.g. Clinical faculty, Adjunct faculty, Visiting titles in the Professor series) are covered by the Standing Order of the Regents 103.9. In an early termination case, the non-Senate faculty member is entitled to elect either the procedures described in this policy or the procedures described by Appendix III, Section II of the Irvine Division of the Academic Senate manual. In selecting one of these two options, the appointee waives the right to use the other for a review of the same grievance.
The Chancellor has designated the Office of Academic Personnel as the grievance liaison for this policy. Normally, the Director of Academic Employee Relations and Faculty Development will serve as the grievance liaison. The Vice Provost for Academic Personnel will normally be designated by the Executive Vice Chancellor to act on his behalf and render the final decision for a grievance appealed to Step 3.
- A formal grievance (Step 2) must be filed in writing with the grievance liaison within thirty (30) calendar days from the date on which the appointee knew, or could reasonably be expected to know, of the event or act which gave rise to the grievance, or within thirty (30) calendar days after the date of separation, whichever is earlier.
- A formal grievance appeal (Step 3) must be filed in writing with the grievance liaison within fifteen (15) calendar days from the date on which the Step 2 response is issued.
- Filing deadlines shall apply unless a written extension has been granted by the grievance liaison. Either party may submit a written request for an extension to a filing deadline. It is the responsibility of the grievant to file a Step 2 formal grievance or a Step 3 formal grievance appeal by the filing deadline or to file a written request for an extension before the filing deadline.
- Step 1 of the grievance process is an attempt at informal resolution. Every effort should be made to resolve grievances through informal discussions between individuals and the supervisor/department chair/dean/director (hereafter referred to as a “Responsible Administrator”) whose action is being grieved. Attempts at informal resolution do not extend the time limits for filing a grievance unless a written extension is granted by the grievance liaison.
- A grievant may ask the grievance liaison to assist in resolving the grievance if informal resolution with the immediate supervisor or responsible administrator has been unsuccessful.
- A grievant may also request that the grievance liaison arrange to have the campus Mediation Services assist in resolving the grievance. Both parties must agree to this resolution process.
- When a grievance alleges sexual harassment, the grievant may elect to substitute for Step 1 the informal resolution procedure “Procedures for Early Resolution,” provided in the Guidelines For Sexual Complaint Resolution (Section 700-17, D.3). If a grievant selects this mechanism and the complaint is not resolved to the grievant’s satisfaction, he or she may file a Step 2 formal grievance in writing with the Grievance Liaison within fifteen (15) calendar days from the date a decision is issued or within forty-five (45) calendar days from the date the grievant filed the sexual harassment complaint, whichever is earlier.
- A grievance that is not resolved to the satisfaction of the grievant at Step 1 may be presented by the grievant for formal review (Step 2). The request for formal Step 2 grievance review must be filed in writing with the grievance liaison no later than the expiration of the thirty (30) calendar day period specified in section E above, even if the informal review has not been completed, unless a written exception is granted by the grievance liaison. Attempts at informal resolution may continue after a formal grievance has been filed, but are not required.
- The formal written grievance should be filed using AP Form UCI-AP-140A and must include the following information:
- Identify the specific administrative act(s) to be reviewed;
- The name(s) of the person(s) alleged to have carried out the administrative act(s) and the date(s) the alleged act(s) occurred;
- Specify in what regard, if any, the administrative act(s) were arbitrary or capricious;
- If the grievant alleges a violation of University rules, regulations or Academic Personnel policy occurred, list the section(s) and specific provision(s) alleged to have been violated and how they were violated;
- Provide date(s) of attempts at informal resolution and identity of persons contacted;
- State how the alleged act(s) and/or violation(s) adversely affected the grievant’s then existing terms and conditions of appointment;
- Specify the remedy requested.
- Upon receipt of the formal written grievance, the grievance liaison shall complete an initial review of the grievance and determine whether the grievance is complete, timely, within the jurisdiction of APM 140, and contains sufficient facts which support the allegations made in the grievance. Within ten (10) calendar days, the grievance liaison shall notify the grievant in writing of the acceptance of the grievance. If the grievance is not accepted, the reasons shall be specified as follows:
- If the grievance liaison determines that the grievance is incomplete or factually insufficient, the grievant will have ten (10) calendar days from the date of the written notice to provide information to make the grievance complete. He/she may include additional facts. If the grievant fails to make the grievance complete or provide sufficient facts, the grievance will be dismissed.
- If the grievance liaison determines the grievance is untimely or outside the jurisdiction of APM 140, the grievance will be dismissed.
- If the grievant raises multiple issues, the grievance liaison will make a determination described above with regard to each issue. The grievance liaison may accept some issues and dismiss others pursuant to this review process.
- If all or part of the grievance is dismissed at this stage, the grievance liaison will provide the grievant with written explanation of the basis for dismissal.
- When a formal written grievance is accepted, as part of the fact finding process, the grievance liaison shall forward the grievance and any supportive materials to the appropriate supervisor for comment and any supporting documentation s/he may wish to provide. Once the supervisor’s response is received by the grievance liaison, the grievance and the supervisor’s response will be forwarded to the Responsible Administrator for review and written decision. Generally, the Responsible Administrator will be the department or unit head. However, if the department or unit head took the action which is being grieved, the grievance liaison may exercise discretion and designate another individual to be the Responsible Administrator as the Step 2 reviewer.
- The Step 2 reviewer and the grievant will be notified of the date the Step 2 response is due.
- If a grievance raises allegations of discrimination, harassment or retaliation in violation with APM 035, the grievance liaison shall forward a copy of the grievance to the appropriate campus compliance office for review. The results of any related grievances or investigations shall be provided to the grievance liaison. At the discretion of the grievance liaison, information regarding related grievances or investigations may be forwarded to the Step 2 reviewer for consideration in making a decision.
- The Step 2 reviewer shall review the grievance and, if appropriate, shall investigate and/or meet with the parties. Within thirty (30) calendar days from the date of receipt of the formal grievance, the Step 2 reviewer shall send a written response to the grievance liaison who will then transmit it to the grievant. The response will include a statement that the grievance is denied or upheld in whole or in part and that the grievant has the right to appeal the decision to Step 3 of the grievance process.
A grievance not resolved to the satisfaction of the grievant at Step 2, may be appealed for resolution in writing to Step 3 with the grievance liaison within fifteen (15) calendar days from the date on which the Step 2 response was issued.
The Step 3 appeal must set forth the unresolved issue(s) and the remedy issued. Except by written mutual agreement of the parties, no issues shall be introduced in the appeal that were not included in the original grievance.
All formal grievance appeals will be subject to the Step 3a administrative consideration (use Form UCI-AP-140B), unless there is a written request for Step 3b hearing consideration (use Form UCI-AP-140C) and the issues appealed are subject to Step 3b hearing consideration.
- Step 3a Administrative Consideration
- Except when otherwise eligible for hearing consideration, within seven (7) calendar days from receipt of a formal grievance, appeal, the grievance liaison shall forward the appeal, the Step 2 formal grievance and decision to the Vice Provost for Academic Personnel for review and written decision. The appeal must specify the unresolved issue(s) and the remedy requested.
- Based on the record, the Vice Provost for Academic Personnel shall determine whether the Step 2 formal grievance was properly reviewed and whether the decision made at Step 2 shall be upheld, rejected or modified.
- The Vice Provost for Academic Personnel shall provide a final written decision to the grievant within thirty (30) calendar days following receipt of the formal grievance appeal. The written decision shall include the reasons if the decision of Step 2 reviewer is rejected or modified in whole or in part and a statement that the decision is final.
- Step 3b Hearing ConsiderationOnly the following issues may be appealed for a Step 3b hearing consideration:
- Non-reappointment (see APM 137-30-c);
- Layoff or involuntary reduction in time (see APM 145);
- Corrective action: written censure, suspension, reduction in salary, or demotion (see APM 150);
- Dismissal (see APM 150);
- Allegations of discrimination in violation of APM 035 involving non-reappointment, layoff, involuntary reduction in time, corrective action, or dismissal;
- Allegations that procedures in a personnel review were not in consonance with the applicable rules and requirements of the University and/or that the challenged decision was reached on the basis of impermissible criteria, including (but not limited to) race, sex, or political conviction.
- Within seven (7) calendar days from receipt of a written request for hearing consideration, the grievance liaison shall determine whether the grievant has identified an issue eligible to be appealed for hearing consideration.If the grievance liaison determines that the appeal does not qualify for hearing consideration, the grievance liaison shall notify the grievant and submit the appeal for determination under Step 3a, administrative consideration. When an appeal is eligible for hearing consideration, the grievance liaison shall coordinate a hearing consistent with the procedures outlined in Section IX.
|Steps||Timing of Steps in Grievance Procedure|
|STEP 1 - Informal Review||Attempt to resolve grievance informally through discussion between grievant and administrator whose action is being grieved.||Within 30 calendar days of action being grieved|
|STEP 2 - Formal Review||Attempt to resolve grievance formally by filing written complaint and requesting review.||Complaint filed within 30 calendar days of action being grieved.|
|Results in written decision by dean or comparable authority.||Within 30 calendar days of receipt of grievance|
|STEP 3a - Administrative Consideration||Grievant files written appeal for administrative consideration.||Grievant files written appeal for administrative consideration.|
|Results in final decision||Within 30 calendar days following receipt of appeal to Step 3a.|
|STEP 3b - Hearing||Grievant files written appeal for hearing consideration||Within 15 calendar days of the date of Step 2 decision|
|Report of hearing officer or hearing committee||Within 30 days of close of hearing|
|Final decision by Executive Vice Chancellor or designee||Within 30 calendar days of receipt of hearing report|
The grievant may elect to have the grievance heard by a University Hearing Officer or a non-University Hearing Officer. Election by the grievant shall be writing and shall be final.
- Selection of a University Hearing Officer
- The grievance liaison shall appoint the University Hearing Officer.
- The grievance liaison shall maintain a current list of academic appointees who have agreed to serve as Hearing Officers.
- If the grievant selects a non-University hearing officer, the grievance liaison will contact JAMs and follow its procedure to select the hearing officer.
- Whenever possible, within forty-five (45) calendar days from the receipt of the election, of a hearing officer shall be selected. Within sixty (60) days thereafter, a hearing date shall be scheduled. The hearing officer shall coordinate the hearing process through the grievance liaison.
- Conduct of the Hearing
- The hearing officer shall convene a hearing in which each party shall have the opportunity to present evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and submit rebuttal evidence. The evidence may be oral or in documentary form. Issues regarding the admissibility and weight of the evidence shall be decided by the hearing officer. The hearing officer shall not have the authority to issue subpoenas. The hearing officer shall handle all procedural issues which arise before and during the hearing.
- At least ten (10) calendar days prior to the hearing, each party shall provide the other with copies of materials to be introduced at the hearing and names of witnesses who will testify on the party’s behalf in its case. This information will be sent to the grievance liaison for distribution.
- In cases alleging a violation of the Term Appointment procedures (APM 137-30c), Layoff or Involuntary Reduction in Time (APM 145) or Corrective Action or Dismissal (APM 150), the University’s representative shall proceed first in presenting the University’s case at the hearing. In all other cases, the grievant shall proceed first in presenting his or her case at the hearing.
- The hearing shall be closed and deemed confidential unless the grievant and the Vice Provost for Academic Personnel agree in writing to the presence of additional persons. In the absence of such an agreement, the hearing shall be closed to all persons other than the principal parties to the grievance (i.e., the supervisor, department or unit head, the supervisor’s, department or unit head’s representative, the grievant, the grievant’s representative, and the grievance liaison.)
- In a closed hearing, all materials, reports and other evidence introduced into the hearing and recorded by tape, stenographic services, or by other means shall be considered confidential to the extent allowed by law and University policy.
- The provisions of APM 160-20-d(2) pertaining to the Academic Senate Committee on Privilege and Tenure, regarding access to records and evaluation of academic qualifications or professional competence, apply to hearings conducted under this policy.
- An audio recording will be made by the University unless the parties agree in advance to share the costs of making a stenographic record. The grievant shall be permitted to arrange for a stenographic recording at the grievant’s expense if the University does not agree to share the cost. The parties will be made aware that an audio recording is being made, who will have the custody of the recording, and how many copies may be obtained.
- Hearing Officer’s Authority
- Within thirty (30) calendar days of the hearing, the hearing officer shall provide the parties in the case and the Vice Provost for Academic Personnel with a written statement of findings and recommendation(s). In cases alleging a violation of APM 145 or 150, the hearing officer shall determine whether the University has established by a preponderance of evidence that it had good cause to take such an action.In cases alleging a violation of APM 137-30-c, the hearing officer shall determine whether the University has established by a preponderance of evidence that it met the standard set forth in APM 137-30-c.In all other cases, the hearing officer shall determine whether the grievant has established that (1) a specific administrative act was arbitrary or capricious (see APM 140-4-b) and adversely the appointee’s then existing terms and conditions of appointment; and/or (2) a violation of applicable University rules, regulations, or Academic Personnel policies occurred which adversely affected the appointee’s then-existing terms or conditions of appointment.The hearing officer shall make findings of fact based upon the evidence presented at the hearing. The hearing officer shall not recommend adding to, deleting from, or otherwise modifying the provisions of University rules, regulations, or Academic Personnel policies.
- No evidence other than that presented at the hearing shall be considered by the hearing officer or have weight, except that notice may be taken of any facts that are commonly known and accepted by the parties. The hearing officer shall not substitute his or her judgment for the academic judgment of a peer review committee or administrative officer, nor shall she or he be empowered to evaluate the academic qualifications or competence of academic appointees.
- The Vice Provost for Academic Personnel shall review the hearing officer’s findings and recommendation(s) and issue a final decision within thirty (30) calendar days. If the hearing officer’s recommendation(s) is rejected or modified, the Vice Provost for Academic Personnel shall issue the grievant a statement of reasons. If a decision is based on facts different from those found by the hearing officer, those findings must be based on materials in the record.
There shall be no cost to the grievant for a University hearing officer. For a non-University hearing office, the hearing officer’s fees shall be borne equally by the University and the grievant if the Vice Provost for Academic Personnel accepts the hearing officer’s recommendation(s). The fee shall be borne entirely by the University if the Vice Provost for Academic Personnel rejects or modifies the recommendation(s) of the non-University hearing officer.
Grievants may represent themselves or be represented by another person at any stage of the process. The University shall be represented as the Vice Provost for Academic Personnel deems appropriate. The University may be provided with representation by the Office of the General Counsel.
Either party may request an extension prior to the expiration of a time limit.
If the grievant fails to meet a deadline, the grievance will be considered resolved on the basis of the last University response.
If the University fails to meet a deadline, the grievant may move the grievance to the next Step 1n the process.
Time limits which expire on days which are not business days shall be automatically extended to the next University business day.
The grievant and the grievant’s representative, if employed by the University, shall be granted leave with pay based on their regular pay status to attend hearings and meetings convened by the University .
Time spent by the grievant or the grievant’s representative in investigation and preparation of a grievance shall not be on pay status.
Time spent by University employee-witnesses in meetings and hearings convened by the University shall be taken as leave with pay based on their regular pay status.
If the grievance is sustained in whole or in part, the remedy shall not exceed restoring to the grievant the pay, benefits, or rights lost either as a result of the violation of University rules, regulations or Academic Personnel policies, or as a result of an arbitrary or capricious administrative action, less any income earned from any other employment.
If the hearing officer’s finds and recommendation(s) include a remedy for back pay, the amount of the back pay shall be determined by the administration. Disputes over the amount of the back pay may be referred back to the hearing officer for a separate recommendation. Any claim of back pay by a grievant must be supported by appropriate documentation.
Payment of attorney’s fees shall not be part of the remedy.
Unless specifically authorized by the grievance liaison, compensation shall not be paid for any period that is a result of extension(s) of time requested on behalf of the grievant.
Consolidation of Grievances
The grievance liaison may decide whether grievances will be consolidated. The following may be consolidated in one review:
- Grievances of two or more academic appointees, where the grievances are related and consolidation is appropriate under the circumstances;
- Two or more grievances filed by the same grievant which are based on the same incident, issues, or act;
- Two or more grievances filed by the same grievant which are based on the same pattern of conduct.