37. Grievance Procedures

37.1 Introduction

37.1.1 Development of Procedures

The University has developed procedures for the resolution of complaints, grievances, or problems, raised by employees related to human resource management and employment related matters. These procedures emphasise a collegial approach to grievance resolution through informal facilitation and mediation, and are designed to lead to a prompt resolution of difficult problems. The University and employee/s concerned are entitled to fair treatment in relation to these procedures.

37.1.2 General Provisions

37.1.2.1 These grievance procedures are governed by the following principles:

  • Grievance procedures will not be used to challenge decisions of the Council, or procedures required by industrial legislation or regulations;
  • Where a grievance arises as a result of a University decision, the University will, where possible, refrain from the activity, during the period taken up by discussion under these procedures which will be completed within 21 days, where practicable. Additionally, the status quo of the employee concerned will, where possible, remain unchanged in all other aspects.
  • Where the employee or their nominated representative, and the Executive Director agree, the time-limits set out in these provisions may be extended and/or the grievance process may begin at the Second Level of these procedures;
  • Where two or more employees believe they have an identical or common problem, they may take action together and the matter will be dealt with as a single grievance;
  • A matter raised within these procedures may be withdrawn by the employee or their nominated representative, at any stage during these procedures by notice in writing, to the Executive Director;
  • Offers of compromise as well as agreements reached during these grievance procedures will not constitute precedents in regard to similar grievances, and are without prejudice to positions taken in similar circumstances or more general issues.

37.1.3 Procedures

37.1.3.1 First Level: Facilitation

(a) When an employee wishes to raise a grievance with the University within these procedures, that employee must initially attempt to resolve the grievance through discussions with the other party or parties involved in the grievance process.

(b) The employee must also verbally advise the employee’s immediate supervisor of the situation. However, where the employee claims to have been aggrieved by the employee’s immediate supervisor, the employee may instead inform the supervisor’s immediate superior, if the employee feels unable to approach the immediate supervisor on the grievance issue.

(c) The person with whom the grievance is raised will make a full verbal response to the employee no later than five working days, where practicable, from the date the matter is raised.

(d) The relevant supervisor must ensure the matter proceeds in accordance with the time frames stated in these procedures. The employee may be assisted by a nominated representative in preparing for, and participating in, these procedures.

37.1.3.2 Second Level: Mediation

(a) If the employee is dissatisfied with the reply (or if there was not a timely reply at the First Level), the employee, or their nominated representative, must advise the Executive Director of the unresolved grievance.

(b) At the request of the parties involved in the grievance process or at the discretion of the Executive Director, the Executive Director will arrange a mediation of the grievance with the aggrieved person or persons by independent and neutral mediators within five (5) working days where practicable.

(c) The Executive Director will ensure that all parties involved are fully informed of the grievance including the provision of any related written material(s).

37.1.3.3 Third Level: Referral to FWA

(a) Where the grievance remains unresolved after five (5) working days, or as soon as practicable, following the conclusion of the mediation either party to the grievance process may refer the matter to FWA.

(b) All recommendations made by FWA will be binding on the parties involved in the grievance process and will constitute a settlement of the matter.