Grievance Process

Filing Procedures

A grievance shall be presented within six months after the circumstances prompting the grievance have taken place or after the academic professional becomes aware of the grounds for the grievance. Only in unusual cases will grievances be considered if filing is delayed more than six months.

  • The grievance must be presented in writing to a member of the CAP.
  • The main body of the grievance should not exceed five pages in length; supporting data and documents should be placed in an appendix.
  • 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 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.

Processing Procedures

Typically, CAP will consider a newly submitted grievance at its next regularly scheduled meeting, which generally occurs on the first Thursday of each month. During closed session, CAP will determine whether the grievance is within its purview and merits investigation. If so, CAP will instruct its Chair to attempt to resolve the matter with appropriate University authorities or appoint another CAP member to do so, or to appoint a committee to review the grievance and make recommendations to CAP based on the committee’s findings and conclusions. If a grievance is accepted, a grievance committee may be appointed. The grievance committee is appointed by CAP and consists of the Grievance Officer and two other CAP members (although one of the committee members may be an academic professional who is not a member of the CAP). Grievance committee members may not have any personal connection with parties involved in the grievance and may not be from the grievant’s district.

The grievant will receive notification from CAP as to whether or not his/her grievance has been accepted. If accepted, the notification letter will indicate the names of the Chair and other committee members appointed to investigate the grievance. The Chancellor or the President and the appropriate unit executive officer will be copied on this letter.

If accepted, a separate letter will be sent to the appropriate unit executive officer advising him/her that a grievance has been filed. This letter will include the name of the grievant and bullet points summarizing the allegations. No details of the allegations will be offered in this letter. The grievant will be copied on this letter.

Investigative Procedures

Any grievance material and statements coming before the committee and CAP will be held fully confidential by all members to the extent allowed by law and University policy. Any public statement by CAP concerning a grievance shall be made only by the Chair or the Chair’s designee and shall have prior approval by a majority of the Council.

The grievance committee investigates the grievance, typically by:

  1. Requesting permission of the grievant to review the appropriate personnel files, and
  2. Interviewing the grievant and any others who may be expected to inform the committee about the grievant’s employment situation.

NOTE: The committee’s investigation is impartial and non-legalistic in approach, with the goal of collecting information rather than providing a forum for confrontation and rebuttal. In this spirit, the committee normally conducts interviews with individuals in a closed-door setting. Any witness who chooses to attend with someone else in support needs to inform the committee chair of that intent and receive approval from the committee chair.

The University strictly prohibits and will not tolerate reprisals or retaliation against any person due to participation in a grievance investigation.

Reporting Procedures

Preliminary Report: Following appropriate investigation, the committee will report, in closed session, to CAP. CAP will then propose an appropriate remedy or remedies. Among its possible actions, CAP may:

  1. dismiss the matter,
  2. direct the Chair or the committee to conduct further investigations,
  3. direct the Chair or the committee to attempt to resolve the matter,
  4. communicate its conclusions and recommendations to the grievant, and as appropriate, to others involved in the case or officially concerned with its outcome.

CAP recommendations are not restricted to the grievant’s requested remedy. CAP recommendations may include but are not limited to specific suggestions related to the grievant’s requested remedy, suggestions for changes or review of University policies and procedures related to the grievance, or a suggestion that no further action be taken.

Upon the recommendation of CAP, affected parties shall be provided a copy of the written report and shall have 14 working days from the date notification is received to inform the grievance committee, in writing, of additional relevant information or of errors of fact that may have influenced the committee’s recommendations. The committee will consider such additional information before making its final recommendation to the full Council.

Final Report: Upon formal acceptance of the committee’s report, CAP will communicate its conclusions and recommendations, in writing, to the grievant, the Chancellor or President and, as appropriate, to others officially involved in the case or concerned with its outcome.

Decision Process: The Chancellor or the President makes all final decisions in grievance cases. The grievant may appeal the decision to the Chancellor or the President directly. There is no formal appeal process.

The Chancellor or the President shall inform the CAP Chair and grievant in writing of the final disposition of the case when the decision has been reached. If the Chancellor or President chooses not to endorse a CAP recommendation, CAP may request a meeting.

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).