File Code: ADM.COAP.POL
Approval Date: 3/30/2005
Revision Date: 10/7/2011
Approved By: President
Council of Administrative Personnel Grievance Committee and Procedure
Grievance Committee Guidelines
Purpose of Committee
The purpose of the Council of Administrative Personnel (COAP) Grievance Committee (the Committee) is to determine if there is a violation in the application of Western Illinois University Policy and/or Board of Trustees Regulations. The Committee will conduct the review, investigate and make a recommendation for resolution of grievances in accordance with established informal and formal grievance procedures as outlined in "Grievance Procedure of Non-Negotiated Employees".
The Committee will consist of the COAP Vice President and the Area Representative from the WIU-Quad Cities and two individuals covered under this procedure elected at the annual spring meeting by COAP membership. The Committee will select the chair.
Committee Membership Terms and Vacancies:
The two elected individuals will serve two-year renewable terms for a maximum of two consecutive terms. In order to maintain continuity, membership will be staggered two-year terms.
If a conflict of interest is determined regarding a committee member and the grievance, a substitute Committee member will be appointed by the COAP Executive Board.
In the event a Committee member is unable to serve, the COAP Executive Board will appoint another member to complete that term.
- The grievant will send the "Grievance Form" to the chairperson who in turn will complete the information needed on the form and distribute to the other Committee members.
- Correspondence requiring a response from the Committee will be acknowledged by the chairperson within ten working days.
- The chairperson will arrange meetings/interviews with parties involved as necessary.
- The chairperson will ensure minutes are kept.
- The chairperson will take any suggestions regarding policy changes to the appropriate parties.
- The chairperson will prepare a final report and distribute to the grievant, respondent, and appropriate Vice President. (If respondent is the reporting Vice President, the report will be sent to the President.)
- The chairperson will maintain a file of records to give to next chairperson.
- In the event that an appeal is filed, the chairperson will provide the information to the President.
Committee Member Responsibilities
- Attend meetings as arranged.
- Assist with minutes and submit to chairperson, as requested.
- If necessary, vote on issues. A general consensus must be reached.
- Notify COAP Executive Board of any conflict of interest.
- Display impartiality and objectivity.
- Maintain confidentiality.
- Attain familiarity with Board of Trustees and other University regulations and policies.
- The COAP Vice President and Quad Cities Area Representative will serve as liaisons between the Grievance Committee and the COAP Executive Board.
Meetings will be arranged as needed by the chairperson.
All documents and correspondence, including the minutes of the meeting, will be kept by a designated Committee member and submitted to the chairperson when complete.
Grievance Procedure for Non-Negotiated Employees
The purpose of the Council of Administrative Personnel (COAP) Grievance Procedure for non-negotiated employees is to provide a mechanism to resolve disputes regarding the application of Western Illinois University Policy and/or Board of Trustees Regulations.
- COAP Executive Board: The COAP Executive Board includes the COAP President, Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer, and Immediate Past President, one Area Representative from each University Vice Presidential area, one Area Representative from University Technology, one Area Representative from the University President's staff, and one Area Representative from WIU-Quad Cities. (Constitution of the Western Illinois University Council of Administrative Personnel - Article IV - Officers and Area Representatives, Section 1.)
- Grievance: A grievance shall be defined as an allegation that the application or interpretation of general policies that apply to University employees as outlined in the University Policy Manual, and/or any Board of Trustees Regulations (as outlined in Section II: Employees, Subsection A: General and Subsection B: Faculty and Administrative Employees) have been violated.
- Grievance Committee (the Committee): A four member committee assigned the responsibility of reviewing, investigating and recommending a resolution to a grievance.
- Grievant: The employee filing the complaint.
- Non-negotiated employees: These procedures apply to non-negotiated employees defined as administrative personnel not represented under a collective bargaining agreement or the State Universities Civil Service System.
- Respondent: The person against whom the complaint is filed.
- The parties agree that, whenever possible, disputes should be resolved informally at the lowest administrative level. To that end, all employees and administrators are encouraged to communicate candidly and freely regarding differences or concerns.
- While encouraging and providing for informal regulation, these guidelines apply primarily to those cases where a more formal grievance procedure is necessary. Individuals may file a grievance under this procedure if they believe action has been taken that violates the above referenced procedures/policies.
- These procedures do not apply to complaints of discrimination or harassment, which are filed with the WIU Equal Opportunity and Access Office. The COAP Grievance Committee shall consult with the EOA Office to determine if the grievance constitutes a charge of discrimination.
- No retaliation may be taken against any employee of the University who seeks redress under this procedure or who supports individuals in seeking redress.
- All information obtained in the review of a grievance will be confidential to the extent possible.
- The employee has a right to appeal determinations made under these procedures to the President.
- All grievances must be submitted in writing on the COAP Grievance Form and shall be signed by the grievant.
Procedure for Handling Grievances
- Before a formal grievance is filed with the Committee, it is recommended that the dispute must first be discussed by the parties directly involved. The purpose of this discussion is to seek informal resolution of the matter. If the issue is not resolved or, due to extenuating circumstances the grievant is unable to discuss the dispute with the immediate supervisor, a formal complaint may be filed.
- A grievance shall be filed with the COAP Grievance Committee within ten working days following the date of the act causing the dispute.
- The appropriate Vice President shall be notified within 5 working days of the filing of a formal complaint. With the concurrence of all parties, the Vice President has 10 working days to seek resolution of the grievance.
- The grievance must cite the specific BOT Regulation(s) or University policy that has been violated.
- The COAP Grievance Committee shall conduct a meeting with the grievant as soon as possible and no more than 20 working days following receipt of the COAP Grievance Form. The grievant will be notified of any delays affecting the timeline of this process. The purpose of this meeting is to determine if a means for informal resolution is possible, and to determine if the matter causing the dispute is warranted.
- If the Committee determines that the dispute is unwarranted, formal notice of this determination will be sent to the grievant. This notice will indicate why the dispute is unwarranted and, therefore, not covered under these procedures.
- If the Committee determines that the dispute is warranted, it will conduct an interview with the respondent. The respondent will be provided with a copy of the grievance prior to this interview.
- Either party may submit additional information to the Committee for consideration in determining whether a violation has occurred.
- Once all information has been submitted and reviewed, the COAP Grievance Committee will forward a determination to both parties.
- If it is found that a policy or regulation has been violated or applied inappropriately, the finding will include a recommendation for resolution of the dispute.
- Recommendations for resolution will be forwarded to the appropriate Vice President.
- The Vice President will determine what action will be taken and notify both parties of the decision and the appropriate action.
- Either party may appeal this finding to the President. The President's decision is final.