Conflict Resolution Process for Personnel

SCOPE

The purpose of this policy is to establish an internal process for the good faith review and resolution of work-related conflicts at the College. The conflict resolution process shall be available to personnel of the College.

STATEMENT OF POLICY

The College encourages open and honest communication between supervisees and their supervisors. Most conflicts and differences of opinion can be resolved between the involved parties by directly addressing issues and jointly exploring alternatives. In addition, there are a variety of individuals who may be called upon to assist in informal conflict resolution. In cases where conflicts cannot be mutually resolved, the College has established formal grievance procedures.

GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES

  1. Grievance petition: A grievant can formally file a grievance petition with the Judicial Committee. A grievance petition must state (1) a misinterpretation, misapplication, or other violation of a law or College policy or procedure and (2) a resulting adverse effect on the staff member’s professional standing. The complaint generally must be filed within three months of the adverse event.
  2. Preliminary investigation: Upon receipt of the petition, the Judicial Committee shall conduct a preliminary investigation to determine whether it will hear the matter. Grounds for declining to hear a grievance case include (1) failure to identify a cognizable grievance, (2) untimeliness, (3) an incomplete petition, (4) a petition based on the same facts submitted in a prior petition, or (5) existence of a related pending outside proceeding. Dismissal of a grievance case is not appealable, and cannot serve as the basis for filing a new grievance. In conducting its preliminary investigation, the Judicial Committee may meet with the grievant and may obtain information from any source and in any manner it determines to be necessary or useful in reaching a decision.
  3. Recommended action: If the Judicial Committee decides to hear the case, it will schedule a meeting with the involved parties as soon as is feasible, typically within three weeks. Based on the meeting and documents provided by the parties, the Judicial Committee makes a written advisory determination and recommended action as soon as is feasible, typically within three weeks of the meeting. At this time, the committee will provide all parties with a written copy of its recommendation.
  4. Presidential review – As soon as is feasible, but no later than one month after issuance of the Committee’s recommendation, the College President shall issue a decision adopting, rejecting, modifying, or remanding the Committee’s recommendation.
  5. Discretionary appeal – Within ten working days after issuance of the decision, the parties may appeal to the Board of Trustees. If the Board declines to accept the appeal, the decision of the President shall become final. If the appeal is accepted, the Board shall receive written statements and evidence from the appealing party. After review of the materials, the Board shall either render a decision based on the written materials or schedule a hearing on the matter at which the parties may present arguments in support of or opposition to the appeal. The Board then makes a final decision to (1) uphold the decision and deny the appeal, (2) uphold the appeal and reverse or amend the decision, or (3) return the matter to the President for further findings or clarification of the initial decision. The decision on appeal is final and shall not be subject to further review.

NON-RETALIATION

Since personnel are encouraged to use the College grievance procedures when they believe that they have been unfairly treated, there must be no retaliation taken against any individual who gives information or appears before the Judicial Committee. Retaliation will not be tolerated and will subject an individual to College disciplinary procedures.