Full-time/Part-time Unit



The purpose of our contract grievance procedure is to establish a fair and agreed-upon method of resolving disputes arising over the interpretation or application of particular clauses in our collective bargaining Agreement and/or college/university policy. A fair grievance procedure is the historically proven method of avoiding protracted and mutually ruinous conflicts between employees and their employer.



Our Agreement defines a grievance as “a breach, misinterpretation or improper application of terms” of the Agreement itself or “an arbitrary or discriminatory application of, or failure to act pursuant to, the applicable policies or rules of a Board of Trustees, or applicable regulations or statutes which establish terms and conditions of employment.” (Article VII.B) In short, any violation of our contract, of the law, of the policies of the individual college/university Boards of Trustees, or of the normal practices and procedures at your college/university are subject to our grievance procedure.



Experience has shown that certain problems occur often. Everyone must be evaluated for tenure, promotion, and retention. Criteria and procedures for evaluation must be provided in writing. A copy of any document placed in an employee's personnel file must also be transmitted to the employee. Policies and practices concerning teaching credit cannot be changed unilaterally by the administration. Employees may not be compelled to accept overload.


In general, you are likely to have a grievance if you are being treated in a manner that appears to be at variance from the normal pattern applied to your colleagues.



If you believe you may have a grievance you should immediately contact your Department Representative, Grievance Chairperson, or Local President, or call the Council office (908-964-8476). Do not delay; there are time limits within which a grievance must be formally filed. For any alleged violation by a peer promotion or retention committee you must notify the college/university's president in writing within 14 days (Article VII.G.5). The time limit for all other grievances is 45 days from the date you “should reasonably have known of its occurrence” (Article VII.G.1). Unfortunately, many grievances have been lost because of an individual's reluctance to seek resolution through the formal grievance procedure before the time limits have passed. Thus, be sure to contact the Union as soon as possible for assistance in writing a “14 day letter” or determining if you have a valid grievance and how to go about defining and resolving it.



A representative of the Union will answer your inquiries and investigate your complaint. If you desire, the Union will assist you in filing a grievance. Once filed, a grievance can be held in abeyance by mutual consent in order to resolve it informally, but a grievance not filed before the expiration of the time limits is irrevocably lost. If you decide to pursue the grievance, the Union will represent you and present your case through the formal steps of the grievance procedure (Article VII.D). On each campus the Union has developed specialists in processing grievances, and also has three full-time staff representatives available for assistance. The cumulative experience of these individuals means that your grievance will receive prompt, thorough, and expert attention.



Although anyone can file and process a grievance through the initial steps, only the Union has the legal authority to pursue a grievance to arbitration. At any point prior to arbitration the parties can mutually agree to a settlement of the dispute and end the process. If, however, the college and State refuse to settle, the Union 's Grievance Committee, comprised of representatives from all nine campuses, must review the case and vote on its merits for submission to arbitration. Since 1973, the Union has taken hundreds of cases to arbitration at a cost in arbitrators' fees of over $100,000.



A strong grievance procedure vigorously enforced by the Union is necessary to insure equitable treatment under the contract. We recommend that all unit members periodically review Article VII along with the rest of the Agreement and become familiar with their rights. If you feel that you may have received inequitable treatment, you should contact the Union immediately.

Through the grievance procedure, we have been successful in protecting employee rights. To cite just a few examples, back pay has been obtained for many individuals, irregularities in reappointment and promotion procedures have been corrected, and, on one occasion, additional pay for all unit members was gained by correcting the State's “mistake” in calculating salary increases. With your continued support, the Union can improve the grievance procedure in negotiations and continue to apply it with fairness and for the benefit of all.


Contract enforcement is the most demanding, time-consuming, and expensive task that the Union performs for you. Without vigorous enforcement, a contract is worthless. We must maintain constant vigilance, especially in these days of attacks on due process, to insure that our hard-won gains are not eroded by management. Your Union prides itself on having built a strong grievance machinery which operates democratically for all unit members. But we need your help to make it work.


For more information on grievances and related information see:


Grievance Processing Policies


You Should Contact Your Local Union If:  

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