Article 9 -- Grievance Procedure 2017-19 contract

Section 1. Intent. The purpose of this procedure is to secure, in the easiest and most efficient manner, resolution of grievances. For the purpose of this Agreement, a grievance shall be defined as a dispute or disagreement as to the interpretation or application of any term or terms of this Agreement.

Section 2. Operating Terms, Time Limits, and General Principles.

A. Operating Terms:

  1. The term "days" shall mean calendar days, unless otherwise specified.
     

  2. The term "employee" shall mean an individual or group of employees, or the Association, as long as the individual or group of employees are members of the bargaining unit.
     

  3. The term "Association Steward" shall mean those individuals designated by the Association in accordance with Section 2C of this Article and in Article 7, Association Rights, Sections 7A and 7C.

B. Time Limits:

  1. If a grievance is not presented on behalf of the employee within a time limit set forth in this Article, it shall be considered waived. If a grievance is not appealed to the next step within the specified time limit, or agreed extension thereof, it shall be considered as settled on the basis of the Appointing Authority or designee's last answer.
     

  2. It is expected that the Appointing Authority shall respond to the grievance in a timely manner. However, if no response is received, then the Association may move the grievance to the next level.
     

  3. The time limits in each step may be extended by mutual written agreement of the Appointing Authority or designee and the Association at each step.
     

  4. By the mutual agreement of the Association and the Appointing Authority, the parties may waive Steps 1 and/or 2.

C. General Principles:

1. Grievance Files. Grievance files shall be maintained separately from official personnel files.

2. Non-Precedence. Upon mutual written agreement, a grievance may be withdrawn at any step without establishing a precedent.

3. Disclosure. Upon request, both the Association and the Appointing Authority agree to disclose all documents and information which a party intends to introduce at the hearing, which may include all investigative data on employees after the investigation is completed, and a listing of possible witnesses, to each other, prior to arbitration. Any costs involved in reproducing documents shall be borne by the party requesting disclosure.

4. Meetings. Meetings at all grievance steps will be established by mutual agreement between the Association and the Appointing Authority.

5. Release Time. The Association Steward(s) and the grieving employee(s) as specified in 6 below shall be allowed a reasonable amount of time without loss of pay during working hours to investigate and present the employee's grievance(s) to the Appointing Authority. However, reasonable time off without loss of pay shall not include travel time if the travel time to and from exceeds thirty (30) minutes. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Chief Association Steward and the Chief designee in each greater Minnesota Region shall be allowed up to one hour and thirty minutes travel time for the purposes described herein. The Association Steward(s) involved and the grieving employee shall not leave work or disrupt departmental routine to investigate and present grievances without first requesting permission from their immediate supervisor(s), which shall not be unreasonably withheld.

Regardless of the step, any Association steward who is participating as a steward in training must secure time off to participate by use of vacation, compensatory time or leave without pay. Refer to letter dated August 20, 1999 located in the letters section of this contract, letter number 2.

6. Association Stewards. The Association may designate bargaining unit employees to function as Association Stewards for departments represented within each Region. Association Steward(s) shall have the authority to carry grievances within the Region, provided such representation is consistent with the security, rehabilitation and confidentiality needs of the Appointing Authority.

The following individuals may participate in Steps 1 and 2:

Step 1: Up to two (2) Association Stewards with or without the grieving employee.

Step 2: Up to three (3) Association Stewards with or without the grieving employee.

An Association staff person or officer shall be authorized to carry grievances in concert with or as substitute for the Association Steward.

7. Fees and Expenses. The fees and expenses for the Arbitrator's services and proceedings shall be borne by the losing party. In the event of a split decision, the charges to the parties shall be determined by the Arbitrator. However, each party shall be responsible for its own witnesses’ and representatives’ compensation, expenses and fees. If either party desires a verbatim record of the proceedings, it may cause such a record to be made, provided it pays for the record. If both parties desire a verbatim record of the proceedings, the cost shall be shared equally.

8. Implementation. Within a reasonable period of time after the grievance settlement or arbitration award, the settlement or award shall be implemented.

9. Grievances. Grievances arising under Article 16 (Vacancies, Filling of Positions) shall be filed with the Appointing Authority in which the vacancy occurred.

Section 3. Procedure.

Informal. An employee who has a grievance may bring it to his/her supervisor's attention orally, indicating that it is a grievance. The employee may discuss the grievance with his/her supervisor in an attempt to reach a satisfactory resolution.

Formal
Step 1.
If the Association wishes to initiate a formal grievance, it shall be reduced to writing, setting forth the nature of the grievance, the facts upon which it is based, the section(s) of the Agreement allegedly violated, and the relief requested, and filed with the immediate supervisor’s supervisor. All grievance(s) shall be filed within twenty-one (21) calendar days after the occurrence of the event giving rise to the grievance or within twenty-one (21) calendar days after the grievant, through the use of reasonable diligence, should have had knowledge of the event.

Within ten (10) calendar days after receiving the written grievance, the grievant's immediate supervisor’s supervisor or designated Appointing Authority Representative and the Association Steward(s) shall arrange a meeting with or without the grievant, and attempt to resolve the grievance. The immediate supervisor’s supervisor or designated Appointing Authority Representative shall give his/her written answer to the designated Association Steward within ten (10) calendar days of the meeting. The Association may appeal the grievance in writing to Step 2 within ten (10) calendar days after the written answer is given or due.

Step 2. Within ten (10) calendar days following the receipt of a grievance appealed in writing from Step 1, the Appointing Authority or designee shall arrange a meeting with the Association's Steward(s) in an attempt to resolve the grievance.

Within ten (10) calendar days following this meeting, the Appointing Authority or designee shall respond in writing to the designated Association Steward stating the Appointing Authority or designee's answer concerning the grievance. If, as a result of the written response, the grievance remains unresolved, the Association may appeal the grievance in writing and within thirty (30) calendar days after the Appointing Authority or designee's written answer is given or due to arbitration by written notice to the Assistant Commissioner of Minnesota Management & Budget (State Labor Negotiator). Any grievance not referred in writing by the Association to arbitration within thirty (30) calendar days after the Appointing Authority or designee's written answer is given or due shall be waived. The Arbitrator shall hear the grievance at a scheduled meeting subject to the availability of the Employer and the Association Steward.

Arbitration Panel. The arbitration proceeding shall be conducted by an Arbitrator to be selected by lot from a permanent panel of six (6) Arbitrators. Prior to October 1 of each even numbered year of the contract, the State Negotiator and the Association may, by mutual agreement, select the members to serve on the permanent panel. If the parties fail to agree, they shall prepare a list of fifteen (15) Arbitrators selected from a list of available Arbitrators supplied by the Bureau of Mediation Services. The members of the permanent panel shall be selected from the list by the following method: the Association and the State Negotiator shall each strike a name from the list. The parties shall continue to strike names until the six (6) members of the permanent panel have been selected. If a vacancy on the permanent panel occurs during the life of this Agreement, the vacancy shall be filled by mutual agreement of the State Negotiator and the Association. If the parties fail to agree, the vacancy shall be filled from among the remaining names on the original list by the same method of selection detailed above.

Section 4. Arbitrator's Authority. The Arbitrator shall have no right to amend, modify, nullify, ignore, add to, or subtract from the provisions of the Agreement. The Arbitrator shall consider and decide only the specific issue submitted in writing by the Employer and the Association and shall have no authority to make a decision on any other issue not so submitted to him/her.

The Arbitrator shall be without power to make decisions contrary to or inconsistent with or modifying or varying in any way the application of laws, rules, or regulations having the force and effect of law. Except as indicated in Section 5 below, the Arbitrator shall submit his/her decision in writing within thirty (30) days following the close of the hearing or the submission of briefs by the parties, whichever is later, unless the parties agree to an extension. The decision shall be based solely on the Arbitrator's interpretation or application of the expressed terms of this Agreement and the facts of the grievance presented. The decision of the Arbitrator shall be final and binding on the Employer, the Association and the employee(s).

Section 5. Expedited Arbitration for Written Reprimands and Suspensions of One (1) to Five (5) Days.

A. Grievances Eligible.

  1. All written reprimands properly appealed to arbitration shall be subject to the expedited procedure of this section.
     

  2. Suspensions ranging from one (1) to five (5) days and properly appealed to arbitration may be submitted to the expedited procedure of this section upon the mutual agreement of the parties.

B. Expedited Arbitration Panel. The permanent panel of six (6) arbitrators shall be used. The selection of an arbitrator shall be made randomly.

C. Miscellaneous.

  1. All decisions are final and binding on the parties, but shall not be considered as precedential in any other proceeding or matter.
     
  2. Fees and expenses of the arbitrator shall be borne by the losing party.
     
  3. The hearing shall last no more than three (3) hours unless mutually agreed to by the parties.
     
  4. The expenses for witnesses for either side shall be borne by the party producing such witnesses.

Section 6. Veterans Arbitration Option. If an employee/former employee pursues an appeal procedure under Minn. Stat. 197.46 (or other applicable Veterans’ Preference Law), the employee/former employee shall be precluded from making an appeal under the arbitration provisions of this agreement.