The Employer and the Association mutually agree that all grievances be processed free of coercion, discrimination, or reprisal. Informal settlements at any stage shall bind the immediate parties to the settlement but shall not constitute a precedent with regard to any grievances that may later be filed.

A. A grievance is defined as an allegation by the Association or a member or members of the bargaining unit of misinterpretation, misapplication, or discriminatory application of a specific term, condition, or provision of this agreement by the Employer.

B. The grievance procedure shall be as follows:
Step One . Prior to the filing of any written grievance the grievant (the Association and concerned individual) will attempt to resolve the grievance informally with the immediate administrative supervisor.

If a grievance has unit-wide application, the immediate supervisor shall be the Executive Director of Human Resources. Written filing of a grievance at Step 1 will be with the Executive Director of Human Resources or his/her designee and will be no later than thirty (30) calendar days following the date on which the act or omission giving rise to the grievance occurred or the date on which the grievant first knew or reasonably should have known of such act or omission if that date is later. The Executive Director of Human Resources or his/her designee may request the grievant to meet in an effort to resolve the grievance. The Executive Director of Human Resources or his/her designee shall reply to the grievant, in writing, within fifteen (15) calendar days following his/her receipt of the grievance.

Step Two . An appeal from an unsatisfactory decision at Step 1 shall be presented in writing to the office of the President by the grievant within seven (7) calendar days of receipt of the Step 1 determination. The President or his/her designee may, within seven (7) calendar days of receipt of such appeal, schedule a Step 2 review to be held within fourteen (14) calendar days thereof, and may designate a Hearing Officer to preside thereat. In the event a review is held and presided over by a Hearing Officer, a record shall be prepared and forwarded to the President or his/her designee within seven (7) calendar days of the completion of the review and shall include the Hearing Officer’s findings of fact and recommendation, if any. The President or his/her designee shall issue his/her determination within seven (7) calendar days of receipt of the appeal, or of receipt of the record if a review has been held.

Step Three . An appeal in arbitration from an unsatisfactory decision at Step 2 may be made by submission in writing to the Cornell Alternative Dispute Resolution(ADR) Arbitration and Mediation Program or to the American Arbitration Association with copy to the President within ten (10) calendar days of receipt of the Step 2 determination. The Voluntary Labor Arbitration Rules of the American Arbitration Association shall apply in the selection of an arbitrator and all proceedings relating to the arbitration of the grievance. The President or his/her designee may initiate a contract grievance at this Step 3 and proceed directly to arbitration.

C. The arbitrator shall have no power to add to or subtract from, modify, or expand the provisions of this agreement in arriving at the determination; shall confine the decision solely to the interpretation of this agreement; and shall not require either party to do or refrain from doing an act beyond his/her, its, or their powers, as provided by law or otherwise.

The arbitrator shall consider only the precise issue submitted for arbitration, and shall have no authority to determine any other issue or question not so submitted, nor include in the decision observations or declarations of opinion not essential to the reaching of the determination.

A record of the proceedings shall be made if requested by the Employer or the Association. All fees and expenses of the arbitrator and the record shall be equally divided between the parties, except that each party shall bear the cost of preparing and presenting its own case.

D. The award of the arbitrator shall be in writing, shall be signed by the arbitrator, and shall be final and binding on the parties and be subject only to the provisions of Article 75 of the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules.

E. All forms required hereunder for the presentation of grievances and appeals shall be supplied by the Employer.

F. The parties may mutually agree, in writing, to extend the time limits herein specified.