Link to the Grievance Committee Contact Page.
If your contractual rights have been violated, you may be able to pursue redress by filing a grievance. A “grievance” is a formal complaint that the contract (the Collective Bargaining Agreement) was violated. Grievances can include mishandling of annual evaluations, or tenure or promotion applications; inappropriate assignments; incorrect pay; violations of academic freedom (including the right to govern one’s own class, to participate in faculty governance, to write or speak on subjects in one’s own discipline); and retribution. Unfortunately, simple stupidity or malice is not in itself grievable (it has to be an identifiable violation of the contract), but grievable actions can arise out of stupidity or malice.
Four important things:
- A grievance must be filed within thirty (30) days of the time that the grievant knew or should have known of the violation, so do not delay; a desire to handle things quietly and amicably is not a good reason for delay, for in fact, filing a grievance is often a good way to quietly prod the administration into behaving reasonably.
- A grievance is a formal complaint that the contract has been violated. Unjust or incompetent action by a supervisor or by the Administration is not in itself grounds for a grievance: there must be a particular clause in the Collective Bargaining Agreement that was violated. It would be helpful to identify the violated clause.
- Document everything. If the success of a grievance depends on potentially disputed facts of the case, documentation is critical. Keep a journal to record events. Keep copies of hardcopy documents and emails (and do not trust state computers to store emails).
- The United Faculty of Florida will not represent a grievant who was not a member of UFF at the time of the violation. UFF is not a charity; it is an organization that provides support and assistance to its members.
If you believe that you were or may have been a victim of a violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, contact your local Grievance Committee representative without delay: go to the Grievance Committee Contact Page to send a message to your grievance representatives.
Remember, the Collective Bargaining Agreement will not protect your rights unless you stand up for yourself.