As a service to staff member, personnel are available to advise and assist the staff member who have a question, problem, or complaint about working conditions. Most concerns can be resolved by informal discussions between the parties involved. The Director of Human Resources Unit is available to counsel any staff members who have grievances. Fair and prompt consideration will be offered to any personal concern or dissatisfaction about employment. The Human Resources Unit should be contacted if a person feels there has been employment discrimination due to race, color, origin, religion, gender or qualified disability. The following steps are suggested to resolve questions of employment dissatisfaction:
A formal complaint is defined as the dissatisfaction that occurs when a staff member believes that any condition of his/her employment is unjust, inequitable, a hindrance to effective operation, is creating a problem or is leading to denial of promotion. Suspensions, demotions, or discharge from employment shall be considered as formal complaints but shall be considered as basis for appeal. Salary increases, job classifications, and fringe benefits are matters determined during budget deliberations and are not considered items for formal complaint. The formal complaint procedure does not apply to action taken during the staff member’s probationary period or to action taken under the Reduction of Work Force Policy or the non-renewal of an individual’s appointment.
Meetings and investigations shall be conducted during the staff member’s regular working hours whenever possible. At any step or level of the review procedures, the Director of Human Resources Unit may elect to arbitrate a decision to resolve the situation or make a recommendation to the President. In addition, the Human Resources Unit shall serve in the capacity of an information gathering and advisory person. Each step or level should occur in a timely manner to be determined by the Director of Human Resources Unit. The director may choose to appoint a committee to make recommendations to him/her regarding individual complaints.
The staff member shall present the facts in writing to his/her supervisor, sending a copy to the Human Resources Unit. A formal complaint must be in writing and contain the following:
At any time, the staff member receives an unsatisfactory reply or fails to receive a reply, he/she has the right to submit the complaint to the next level from the previous supervisor. The supervisor at this level shall review all the facts of the case and the decision rendered by the previous supervisor, and then renders a decision in writing to the staff member. At each level, a copy of the reply to the complaint must be forwarded to the Human Resources Unit. This procedure shall be followed when applicable through the levels of progression. The decision of the Director of Human Resources Unit shall be final at this time unless, the Director of Human Resources Unit opts at his/her discretion to make a recommendation to the President for decision, in which case, the President’s decision shall be final. An appeal’s provision must be made beyond the Director of Human Resources Unit’s Decision and prior to the President’s final decision. Staff members may contact the Human Resources Unit for additional information regarding grievance procedures.
AFU acknowledges that the staff members have the right to raise concerns and have them addressed promptly and appropriately. Complaints are handled objectively and with sensitivity. The most desirable outcome in cases of complaints is the determination about whether there has been any unsatisfactory or inappropriate practice or action. This determination must be done as early as possible and in the fairest and most objective manner possible. This analysis of complaints aims at the implementation of any necessary changes designed to bring about better educational or administrative outcomes, as appropriate, the achievement of reconciliation between the parties and the establishment of a renewed confidence in the staff member. This procedure identifies the means of handling, in a fair, equitable and effective manner, the actions that are to be taken when any staff member files a complaint.
Complaints and appeals will be settled, in a fair, equitable and effective manner using the procedures listed below. AFU ensures that each complaint or appeal and its outcome is recorded in writing; each appeal is heard by an independent person or panel; and each appellant has an opportunity to formally present his or her case; and is given a written statement of the appeal outcomes, including reasons for the decision. It acts upon the subject of any complaint found to be substantiated. It is the policy of AFU that receipt of complaints, whether received from within AFU or externally, will be handled promptly and effectively and the complainant will receive a response within a reasonable timeline.
Note: It is essential that accurate records be maintained throughout each stage of the process.