Contract & Grievances
The Collective Bargaining Agreement
What is a Grievance?
A grievance is an allegation that there has been a violation of a specific term of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. More informally, a grievance is generally a work-related problem that has arisen in a department which cannot be resolved or a department or university policy that has been violated. Not all problems or situations are grievances, of course, but knowing what is or is not a grievance can be a specialized skill. If you think you have a grievance, please do not hesitate to click on the icon above and contact our office. We can also often help with situations that are unfair or unjust. If you need help in the workplace, please contact us.
Representatives, stewards, and members, if you have identified a potential grievance, you can use the Grievance Intake form to start the process of collecting information.
The Grievance & Contract Administration Committee
The Grievance and Contract Administration Committee is charged, through the UA Constitution and Bylaws with many duties:
- Fields requests by UA members to investigation suspected violations of the CBA by the University of Oregon
- Connects members with stewards who can represent members and investigate suspected violations of the CBA
- Helps members secure due process in CBA-related investigations and a fair and impartial hearing by relevant University personnel
- Interprets the CBA with respect to cases that come before the Committee
- Recommends next steps in the grievance process based on a review of the case
- Proposes amendments to the CBA to better serve members with grievance and contract administration
Meet the Chair of GCAC
Chair of the Grievances & Contract Administration Committee
Nathan Whalen is a Senior Instructor II of Spanish, in the Department of Romance Languages, and has worked at the University of Oregon since 2001. He is interested in and teaches courses dealing with cultural geography, social and political change, and artistic manifestations in Latin America.
Nathan has served as a Humanities Representative and sat on the Organizing and Membership Committees and is now Chair of the Grievance and Contract Administration Committee.
When not around campus teaching, grading, and engaged in moderate syndicalist rabble-rousing, Nathan enjoys traveling and attempting to grow and process more fruits and vegetables than is frankly necessary.
The Grievance Procedure
Bargaining unit faculty members have the right to file a grievance on their own or have the assistance of United Academics. Either way, the procedure described below is the standard procedure for filing a grievance.
- A statement describing the nature of the grievance, the approximate date of the events giving rise to the grievance, and the names of identifiable persons involved;
- The provision of this Agreement that the grievant believes to have been violated and a description of how it was violated;
- Whether an informal process may be appropriate; and
- The relief sought.
Grievances can be filed at the administration’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Faculty members filing a grievance can choose to attempt to have their grievance settled informally. If the grievant indicates that they believe the grievance can be settled informally, the administration will contact all parties involved to decide on the best course of action. Although the informal process is relatively new, it usually involves a mediated conversation between the grievant and their supervisor. If issues are resolved at this stage, then the grievance is resolved. If the grievant does not believe that the informal process has resolved the issues, then they can file for a formal grievance within 14 business days of the conclusion of the informal process.
The formal grievance process takes place either after a unsuccessful informal process or when the faculty member indicates that they do know believe an informal process would be helpful when they file the grievance.
Within 15 business days of the grievance filing, the grievant and their union representative (if they choose to have one) will meet with a representative of the Provost’s Office. There is usually a discussion of the facts of the grievance at this meeting. Within 21 business days go this meeting, the Provost’s Office will make issue a decision.
If the Provost’s Office upholds the grievance, they will recommend an appropriate remedy. If the Provost’s Office finds no violation, then the grievant can proceed to the arbitration process.
Grievances Alleging Discrimination:
If the grievances alleges a violation of Article 14 or the university’s discrimination policies, the grievances is investigated by the Office of Investigations and Civil Rights Compliance. The OICRC will meet with the grievant and union representative (if they choose to have one) and determine whether an investigation is warranted. If an investigation is determined to not be warranted, the grievant will be denied.
If an investigation proceeds, the OICRC will meet with all relevant parties to determine if there has been a violation. The OICRC investigation can last up to 60 business days. If the OICRC finds there was a violation, the grievance will be upheld and referred to the Provost’s Office for a decision on the remedy. If the OICRC finds no violation, then the grievant can proceed to the arbitration process.
If you are unsatisfied with the Provost’s decision, you should contact the Chair of the Grievance and Contract Administration Committee (you can click the green circle at the top of the page). By Oregon law, individuals cannot take an issue to arbitration and it needs to be a decision of the union. Working with the Grievance Committee, the Executive Council will hear about the grievance and make a decision whether or not to file for arbitration.
All members of United Academics have the Weingarten Right. If your supervisor asks you into a meeting that is about discipline or could lead to discipline, you can invoke your right to have a union representative present.
If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined or terminated, or affect my personal working conditions, I respectfully request that my union representative, officer, or steward be present at this meeting. Until my representative arrives, I choose not to participate in this discussion.
Our Current Collective Bargaining Agreement
The Collective Bargaining Agreement is the contract between the University of Oregon and United Academics. This version of the CBA is the most up-to-date version, incorporating several Memoranda of Understanding and copy-edited through a mutual process. This agreement was extended to June 2021 through an MOU signed the spring 2020.
Have a question about the CBA?
Ask the person who bargained it!
David Cecil has worked in the labor movement for the last 15 years, most of those years with the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation. Before his union career, he attended graduate school here at the UO, earning a MA in History, before discovering that he loved bargaining contracts more than he loved 19th-cenutry American medical-legal history. He does love bargaining contracts.
He currently serves on the Board of Advisors of the National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education.
In his spare time, he drinks beer on the patio with his wife, tends to his blossoming record collection, and sleeps.
Memoranda of Understanding
Between semi-annual bargaining sessions, as issues arise the Collective Bargaining Agreement is supplemented with Memoranda of Understanding between United Academics and the university. These MOUs incorporate guidance on how the CBA is to be implemented and/or layout policies and procedures supplementing or augmenting those existent in the CBA.