Sample Grievance

This example contains the elements required from the Council of Academic Professional Grievance Procedures and Guidelines for potential academic professional grievants.

The grievance shall be organized in the following way:

  1. Brief opening statement: Summarize the issue(s) at hand and the remedy (remedies) sought.
  2. Complete Description: State the grievance with explanatory or descriptive material. Convey facts in chronological order with names, dates, and places where appropriate.
  3. List all informal efforts undertaken to resolve the grievance and the results.
  4. If different from #1 above, state precisely the remedy (remedies) sought.

DATE: December 4, 2020
TO: Council of Academic Professionals
FROM: John Doe
REGARDING: Request to hear a grievance against Jane Smith

I allege that my supervisor, Jane Smith, terminated my appointment without sufficient documented justification. She did not inform me of any problems with my work or attitude. The notice of nonreappointment letter (attached, dated November 20, 2020) states that the reasons for the termination were:

“Your performance has been problematic since my appointment as Director of Handling. There have been numerous complaints about your attitude from both our customers and other staff. A discussion of these problems two months ago failed to result in any positive changes in your job performance and attitude. Your performance and attitude show no sign of improvement and continue to impact our ability to satisfy our customers in a friendly and supportive fashion.”

If there were problems, I was not presented with the opportunity to correct them. The last (and only) performance evaluation I received from Ms. Smith was six months ago (attached) and was uniformly positive – note the overall rating of Satisfactory. Nor did Ms. Smith discuss any problems with me at that review.

After receiving the notice of nonreappointment, I met with Ms. Smith on Nov. 26, 2020, and asked her to explain why the reasons given for the termination in the notice of nonreappointment were never brought up in my performance evaluation. She stated that the complaints had occurred after the performance evaluation. I asked why she had stated that a discussion of these problems had taken place two months ago. My remembrance of that meeting was that we discussed some issues that could improve my performance, but not that there had been any complaints or any problems with my performance. She stated that we obviously had completely different impressions of what took place at that meeting. She then refused to answer any of myother questions, or continue the discussion. I attempted to meet with her about this again, but she refused to schedule a meeting.

I have been employed at the University for fifteen years, and for the last seven have been the Assistant Director of Handling. I am very good at what I do, as my history of performance evaluations will show.

My requested remedies are:

  1. Reinstatement in my position and withdrawal of the terminal contract.
  2. An apology from my supervisor, Ms. Smith, for the hardship in my personal and professional life the termination has caused.

I am asking the Council of Academic Professionals to hear my grievance and investigate my termination. I know that a fair and equitable response from CAP will allow me to get my life back on track as soon as possible. Thank you in advance for your advice and help.

John Doe
Assistant Director of Handling

The Council of Academic Professionals (CAP) is an elected assembly serving the interests of full-time, part-time, and retired academic professionals at Illinois. We provide direct and concerted communication between academic professional staff and administrative officers of the University. We are the voice of Academic Professionals (APs).