5:033 Support Staff Grievance
|Austin Peay State
|Support Staff Grievance
||February 2, 2017
||Vice President for Finance and Administration
It is the policy of Austin Peay State University to provide an effective procedure
for resolution of problems arising from the employment relationship or environment.
The purpose of this policy is to establish the process regarding support staff grievances
and/or complaints at APSU in compliance with T.C.A. § 49-8-117.
-Responsibility for Implementation
-Maintenance of Records
-APSU Employee Grievance Form
Employees who are not faculty, executive, administrative or professional staff. Student
workers and graduate assistants are not included in the definition of employee.
A complaint about one (1) or more of the following matters:
- Demotion, suspension without pay or termination for cause; or
- Work assignments or conditions of work which violate statute or policy and result
in punitive action being taken against the employee. Any grievance by support staff
employees that does not involve punitive action taken against the employee will be
processed under APSU Policy 1:017.
Any action described under Grievance
- Time for Filing
- A grievance must be initiated within fifteen (15) workdays after the employee receives
notice or becomes aware of the action which is the basis for the grievance.
- The administrator considering the grievance at each step shall issue a written decision
with specific reasons stated for the decision.
- If the employee is not satisfied with the decision at any step, he/she must carry
the grievance forward to the next step within fifteen (15) workdays after receiving
the written decision.
- If the employee does not carry the grievance forward within fifteen (15) workdays,
the grievance procedure shall be terminated and the grievance disposed of in accordance
with the last written decision.
- For purposes of this procedure, the term “workdays” refers to Monday through Friday.
- Any party involved in the grievance proceeding may request an extension of any deadline
set forth in the policy. The University shall establish procedures for consideration
of extension requests.
- Once a grievance is initiated, the grievant may not later present the same grievance
again in an attempt to gain a more favorable outcome.
- Testimony, Witnesses and Representation
- At every step, the employee may testify and present witnesses and materials in support
of his/her position.
- The testimony of an employee, given either on his/her own behalf or as a witness for
another employee, will not subject an employee to retaliatory action.
- At every step, the employee may be accompanied by a representative as defined by the
University, which may also specify the parameters of participation by the representative
during the hearing process.
- At the discretion of the panel chair, additional employees from the unit may be allowed
to attend the employee panel hearing conducted as the final step.
- Steps of Review
- Step 1-- Supervisor or Administrator Instituting Employment Action:
- Within fifteen (15) workdays after the employee receives notice or becomes aware of
the action which is the basis for the grievance, the employee completes a Grievance
Form (which may be obtained from Human Resources), submits it to Human Resources and
provides a copy to his/her supervisor or the administrator instituting employment
action. While a particular form is not required to file a grievance, the employee
must make it clear that she/he intends to utilize the grievance procedures for resolution
of the employment action.
- Within fifteen (15) workdays after receipt of the grievance, the supervisor or administrator
initiating the employment action and the employee meet and discuss the grievance in
a face-to-face meeting.
- If the supervisor or administrator was not the one who recommended the original employment
action, the supervisor or administrator will make a recommendation to the administrator
who made the original employment action.
- Any changes from the original employment action must be approved by the President,
as appropriate, before being communicated to the employee.
- Within fifteen (15) workdays after the face-to-face meeting, the supervisor or administrator
must communicate the decision in writing to the grievant with specific reasons stated
for the decision.
- If the supervisor or administrator fails to respond or if the decision is not satisfactory
to the employee, the employee may carry the grievance forward to Step 2.
- Step 2--Next Higher Level of Management:
- Within fifteen (15) workdays after receiving the written decision at Step 1, if the
employee is not satisfied with the result of Step 1, the employee must notify Human
Resources that he/she wants further review.
- Human Resources schedules a face-to-face meeting to occur within fifteen (15) workdays
after receiving notice that the employee wants further review of the next level administrator.
- Within fifteen (15) workdays after the face-to-face meeting, the next level administrator
issues a written decision that includes specific reasons for the decision.
- Any changes from the original employment action must be approved by the President
before being communicated to the employee.
- Step 3--Hearing:
- Within fifteen (15) workdays after receiving the written decision at Step 2, the employee
can request a grievance hearing before a panel of employees.
- The employee must notify Human Resources in writing whether he/she wants a hearing
before an employee panel.
- Alternatively, the employee may request a hearing under APSU Policy 1:010 (Cases Subject to UAPA), if applicable.
- If the employee requests a hearing before an employee panel, the President selects
the panel members, convenes the hearing and arranges for the grievance to be heard.
- The employee grievance panel may include non-exempt staff employees, exempt staff
employees, or a combination of both exempt and non-exempt employees.
- The panel members representing the unit where the employee works may not serve on
the grievance panel.
- Every effort should be made to include minorities, i.e. ethnic minorities and women,
in the composition of the committee.
- The grievance panel shall hear the grievance within fifteen (15) workdays, if practicable,
after the date on which the employee submits his/her written request to Human Resources.
- The written recommendation of the institutional panel or commission is subject to
review by the President.
- Step 4–Review by the President:
- The written recommendation of the grievance panel will be forwarded to the President.
- Within fifteen (15) work days, if practicable, the President or a designee will notify
the grievant of the final decision.
- Grievances which are processed through the grievance committee and upon which the
President has made a decision are appealable to the Board of Trustees only where the
grievance falls within the parameters set out in APSU Policy 1:010.
- No employee shall retaliate or discriminate against another employee because of the
latter employee’s filing of a grievance or complaint.
- In addition, no employee shall coerce another employee or interfere with the action
of another employee in the latter employee’s attempt to file a grievance or complaint.
- Administrative, academic and supervisory personnel should also be informed that they
are responsible for ensuring that the employee is free from retaliation, coercion
and/or discrimination arising from the employee’s filing of or intent to file a grievance
Responsibility for Implementation
- The President, as appropriate, or his/her designee has ultimate responsibility for
implementation of the grievance and complaint procedures.
- Administrative, academic, and supervisory personnel are responsible for insuring that
they inform and make available to all employees information concerning their right
to file a grievance or complaint and their right to be protected from retaliation.
- Copies of written grievances, and accompanying responses and documentation should
be maintained in the Office of Human Resources for at least two years after the date
of the employment decision.
- If a finding adverse to the grievant is made, the finding shall be maintained in the
grievant’s personnel file.
- The institution shall provide an annual report summarizing grievance activities of
the previous year to the Board of Trustees.
- The University shall include information regarding the grievance procedure in employee
APSU Policy 5:033 (previously 5:059) – Rev.: February 2, 2017
APSU Policy 5:033 – Rev.: November 18, 2015
APSU Policy 5:033 – Rev.: May 2, 2006
APSU Policy 5:033 – Rev.: October 31, 2003
APSU Policy 5:033 – Issued: July 11, 2002
President: signature on file