18.1 Definition. A grievance, within the meaning of this Agreement, shall be defined as any alleged misapplication or misinterpretation of the terms of this Agreement.
A grievant, within the meaning of this Agreement, shall be defined as an RN covered by this Agreement, who alleges a grievance, or the Association alleging a grievance, under the terms and conditions of this Agreement.
18.2 Noninterference. Employees shall be free from restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination or reprisal in seeking resolution of their grievance when processed in accordance with this procedure.
18.3 Application of the Grievance Procedure. This grievance procedure shall be available to all RNs in the bargaining unit subject to the following: Concerns regarding performance evaluations may be filed as a grievance and processed only through Step 3.
18.4 Area Representatives. The Employer recognizes the right of the Association Local Unit Officers to designate area representatives who shall be authorized to take up employee or group grievances through the grievance procedure.
A Local Unit Officer or an area representative who is a bargaining unit employee and is processing a grievance in accordance with the Grievance Procedure shall be permitted a reasonable time to assist in the resolution of legitimate employee grievances on the Employer’s property without loss of pay. Such time off for processing grievances shall be granted by supervision following a request, but in consideration of any job responsibilities. If permission for time off cannot be immediately granted, the supervisor may arrange for time off at the earliest time off thereafter or the parties may arrange for another union representative to assist in the grievance process.
The Employer will provide the bargaining unit up to sixty (60) hours of additional straight time pay per fiscal year (July 1 to June 30) to be shared among Association Representatives who engage in representational meetings during their non-scheduled hours. Cumulative hours used will be tracked by Association representatives and may be reviewed by the Conference Committee.
18.5 Time Limits. An extension of the time limitations, as stipulated in the respective steps below, may be obtained by mutual consent of the parties. Failure of the Employer to comply with the time limitations due to negligence shall establish the right of the grievant to process the grievance to the next step or to submit the grievance directly to Step 4. Failure of the employee to comply with the time limitations due to negligence on his/her part shall constitute withdrawal of the grievance. A grievance may be withdrawn at any time, in writing to the Employer, by the grievant or the Association representative. Withdrawal of a grievance shall close the matter, and it shall not be resubmitted.
18.6 Pay Status. The time that a single aggrieved nurse spends in a grievance meeting, grievance mediation, and/or arbitration will be considered work time and will be paid at the regular rate of pay.
18.7 Employee Representation. The Association, as exclusive representative of bargaining unit employees, is the responsible representative of said employees in grievance matters.
18.8 Procedure. It is the desire of both the Employer and the Association that grievances be adjusted informally whenever possible and at the lowest possible level of supervision. However, all grievances involving Final Disciplinary Counseling, Demotion, and Dismissal shall begin at the third step of the grievance process.
Step One. If any nurse has any claim or complaint, it is recommended that he/she first talk it over with the supervisor and, if necessary, with the Department Manager. The grievance must be identified as such and presented to the Department Manager within thirty (30) calendar days from the date the nurse is aware that a grievance exists. The written grievance shall contain a complete description of the alleged grievance, the date it occurred, and what corrective action the grievant is requesting. The Manager will then meet with the grievant and, if the grievant chooses, an Association representative. Management shall respond to the grievance within fourteen (14) calendar days of presentation.
Step Two. If a satisfactory settlement is not reached within fourteen (14) calendar days following the date of presentation to supervision in Step One, and the grievant wishes to pursue the matter further, said grievance shall be put into writing. The written grievance shall contain a complete description of the alleged grievance, the date it occurred, and what corrective action the grievant is requesting. The grievance shall be given to the Nursing Director or equivalent within fourteen (14) calendar days after the decision at Step 1. The parties shall meet and attempt to resolve the grievance and the Nursing Director or equivalent will respond within fourteen (14) calendar days of the meeting. At this step the Association or the employee designee agree to cite the sections of the Agreement that allegedly have been violated.
Step Three. The Association may submit the written grievance to the Chief Nursing Executive within fourteen (14) calendar days after the decision at Step 2. The third step meeting shall include the grievant, the representative, Chief Nursing Executive, or designee, and the Director of Labor Relations, or designee.
If the grievance is not resolved within fourteen (14) calendar days, the grievance may proceed to Step 4.
Step Four. Mediation - Within fourteen (14) calendar days after the Step Three response, either party may request mediation. If mediation is agreed to, the requesting party will contact the PERC for the assignment of a mediator.
Step Five. Arbitration - Within thirty (30) calendar days following a mediation impasse or a written declination of mediation, the Association may submit the grievance to arbitration by submitting a written request to the Director of Labor Relations. If the parties fail to agree on an arbitrator, a list of a minimum of seven (7) arbitrators shall be requested from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. The parties shall thereupon alternate in striking a name from the list until one name remains.
The arbitrator shall have no power to render a decision that adds to, subtracts from alters or modifies in any way the terms and conditions of the Agreement. The decision of the arbitrator shall be final and binding. The cost of the arbitration shall be borne equally and each party shall bear the full cost of presenting its own case. The arbitrator’s decision will be made in writing and the arbitrator will be encouraged to render a decision within thirty (30) calendar days of the close of the arbitration.