If a complaint is not resolved through informal processes, an University Support Staff member may elect to transition to a formal grievance.
This part of the procedure is available to any employee upon having successfully completed the initial probationary period of service at Wichita State University. The Personnel Relations Committee reserves the right to accept a grievance from an employee who has not completed the probationary period when some unusual or unforeseen circumstance exists.
To request a formal hearing a complaint must be written, giving full details and must be mailed or presented to the Associate Director of Human Resources within 5 working days of the latest informal attempt to resolve the problem. Every effort consistent with normal operating schedule will be made to conduct a hearing at the earliest practical time and at a place established by the hearing chairperson. Both time and place of the hearing will be reasonable.
The Associate Director of Human Resources will offer any help available to assist the employee in preparing the grievance form or in having it typed and sent to the Steering Committee. The employee may obtain assistance from any source. Assistance will normally be limited to one individual. The employee and/or employee’s university representative shall be granted a reasonable amount of time for the preparation of the case during regular working hours. At this level the Associate Director of Human Resources will act in an advisory capacity to all concerned and will have full access to meetings, records and any other information available to assist in the preparation for the hearing.
The USS Senate shall appoint six members from the WSU USS employee constituency in classification not represented by AFT (formerly KAPE) to serve as the Grievance Steering Committee. Only three members so appointed will sit on any one grievance at the Steering Committee level.
Members of the Steering Committee shall be reviewed, confirmed or replaced at the beginning of each calendar year.
Information regarding the need for such replacement(s) and name(s) will be provided to the AFT Chapter President.
Service on the Steering Committee is voluntary. Maximum service on the Steering Committee shall be limited to three consecutive one-year appointments; after serving for three consecutive years, a member shall be ineligible for reappointment to the Steering Committee for two calendar years.
Steering Committee members may be replaced upon the conclusion of a one-year term or within a term at the discretion of the USS Senate based on the member’s request or upon a majority vote of the senators.
If unable to resolve using above methods, a formal grievance process is available. The employee must have been through probationary period (not permanent status) at WSU.
The Associate Director of Human Resources would refer the matter to the grievance committee within 5 working days after the grievant appealed to Human Resources. If requested, the Associate Director of Human Resources will assist in notifying members of the Committee and the parties involved. The committee is to meet and review the matter within 5 working days.
The grievant is allowed to present first his/her reasons for the grievance. The respondent is then allowed the opportunity to describe his/her response to the grievance issues. The committee is allowed to ask questions. After the initial explanation and questioning, witnesses for both parties may be called with cross examination of witnesses allowed. After all questions and testimony has been given, the grievant and respondent are allowed a closing statement.
The grievance committee recommendation would then be submitted to the Associate Director of Human Resources, with copies to be given to the respondent and grievant no later than 2 working days.
In no later than 5 working days, final written recommendations of the grievance committee will be given to the Associate Director of Human Resources as the facilitator of that decision. The Associate Director will provide a written, final resolution to the respondent and grievant within 5 working days. The Associate Director of Human Resources may consult with university administration if deemed necessary.
Within 6 months, the Associate Director of Human Resources will follow up with the grievant to determine if a long term resolution has been achieved.
Grievance Committee Selection
An overall grievance committee consisting of 20 members will randomly be selected by tech analysis, with each separate grievance having a committee member of 13 pooled from the overall 20 members. Members of the committee will be selected by the Associate Director of Human Resources. The length of term shall not exceed three (3) years. Staff may participate in two successive terms; additional terms may be served after a one year absence from the committee.
Members are to consist of USS staff. Members may not serve if their current status falls into any of the following categories:
Training and Appointment of Grievance Committee
(Per Personnel Relations Committee Handbook)
The Grievance Committee is to be comprised of 13 members:
After each election, the Vice President of Administration and Finance will review the cultural composition of the committee and appoint accordingly.
All parties of the committee would need to sign off on a form saying that they could participate in a manner that would be fair and impartial. No member with a conflict of interest shall serve on the committee.
The process shall be conducted free of any threats or reprisals toward any participant.
The Chairperson shall be accountable for arranging for a fair and impartial hearing and may appoint a hearing officer who shall have full authority for the physical arrangements, the assembling of records and data, conducting the hearing and the call of witnesses.
The Associate Director of Human Resources will confirm the appointment of the committee members to the grievant, respondent and committee members. The notice will include the date, time, location of the hearing a deadline for submitting copies of relevant documentation and a dead line for affirming or amending the witness list. The deadline shall be no more the 5 working days after the notice of appointment of the grievance committee. Prior to the hearing, the Director may conduct a meeting to review the hearing process with the committee members. The purpose of such a meeting will be to provide technical assistance and documents to the committee.
Appeals may be made at this time to the Vice President of the University within 10 working days. The Vice President’s decision is final and will be communicated to all parties within 20 working days.
The University’s policy and procedures for Unclassified Professionals, University Support Staff, Faculty, and students outlines the formal process in full to address these situations once they reach the grievance level. University Support Staff may also refer to Kansas Administrative Regulations, Article 12, for more information regarding greivances.
Reviewed 5/13/14 MJ