What is a Grievance?

Grievances are formal complaints about contract violations. 

Some grievances are more common than you might think.

If you find yourself concerned about any of these scenarios, please fill out this Confidential Grievance Report and WOUFT will communicate with you. You can also skip the report and contact the president of WOUFT directly or contact your department Steward. Help protect and enforce your rights!

Common Grievances

  • Workload. Your workload should be outlined in the CBA as part of the tenure process, or in your contract if you are not on the tenure track. It’s a good practice to keep track of your work hours to understand how you balance your time and if the demands on your time fit your contract. 
  • Work Space. Employees are guaranteed work space and equipment to perform their duties. 
  • Improper Discipline. The contract spells out a formal discipline procedure; informal discipline and threats are a violation of the collective bargaining agreement.
  • Bullying. While this may not constitute a specific contract violation, no  employee should be abused by their supervisor. If you feel you are, contact WOUFT, and we’ll help you find a solution—through the grievance procedure or other means.

How the Grievance Procedure Works

Filing a grievance simply involves contacting administrators to discuss and resolve workplace issues. WOUFT officers will hear you out, help you decide whether and how to proceed with your grievance, and will attend and help represent you at meetings at each stage of the process. Grievances typically progress through the following steps:

  • Step 0. Informal meeting with the supervisor and/or other involved parties to try to resolve the issue. Issues are very commonly resolved at this step, without requiring the formal grievance process, but this is optional. A grievant can elect to bypass this step and go straight to the formal grievance procedure.
  • Step 1. Filing of a formal grievance with the head of the employing unit (Chair, Head, Director, Dean, etc.). The written grievance is prepared by the WOUFT Grievance Officer, with assistance from WOUFT Executive Council and the grievant. 
  • Step 2. Advancement of the grievance to the University General Counsel.  The grievance advances if there is no response or an unsatisfactory response to the Step 1 grievance.
  • Arbitration.  The grievance is advanced to binding, third party arbitration if there is no response or an unsatisfactory response to the Step 3 grievance.

Not Sure You Have A Grievance?

Contact the President of WOUFT or your department Steward to discuss ANY potential problem.

Sometimes you just want someone to hear you out, and that’s OK. We’re here for that too.

Sometimes the issue isn’t purely employment related, and that’s OK. We’re here to help you navigate the academic grievance process too.

Sometimes the issue doesn’t constitute a formal contract violation, and that’s OK. We’re here to help you figure out remedies outside of the grievance procedure as well.