What is SB 1212?
Senate Bill 1212 creates a second “track” for the faculty grievance process. It is a grievance process that parallels and expands our prior grievance process.
Why was this second “track” created?
SB 1212 expands the definition of what constitutes the grounds for a grievance. Prior to the passage of SB 1212, potential grievances were required to show a violation of the faculty Collective Bargaining Agreement (what we will now refer to as a “Contractual Grievance”). Now, a potential grievance may claim violation of a statutory right “ . . . in conjunction with job classification, benefits, working conditions, appointment, reappointment, tenure, promotion, reassignment, or the like.” (This is what we will now refer to as a “Statutory Grievance.”)
What will be different about this second process?
SB 1212 mandates the election of a large “panel” of faculty on each CSU campus who will serve as a pool from which we will randomly select Hearing Committees. These Hearing Committees will listen to grievance cases (and their rebuttals), then write a recommendation to the President as to a proposed remedy.
If I think I’ve got a grievance, how will I decide which “track” to follow?
The Office of Faculty Affairs strongly advises you to seek assistance from your CFA representatives. They are in the best position to counsel you strategically on your options. Please keep in mind that, in all situations, you can still employ the “Contractual” grievance process (and be represented by the CFA).
Why the sudden flurry of activity regarding SB 1212?
Because it relates to your employment rights, SB 1212 needed to be incorporated into the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement, which was not ratified until last May. Now, with the start of the Academic Year, we must begin local implementation of this process. The first step will be to hold elections in each department (or equivalent unit) to identify the panel for our Hearing Committees.
How big is the panel? Who is eligible to serve? To Vote?
The CFA Contract stipulates a panel (or pool) of at least 25% of our FTEF. Locally, that translates into roughly 104 people. All full-time faculty (including FT Lecturers) are eligible to serve. The term of service is two yearsthough (like jury pools) an individual might not get randomly selected to sit on a specific hearing committee. All current faculty, coaches, librarians, and counselors may vote in panel elections. People holding appointments of 50% or more get a whole (1.0) vote; people with appointments of less than 50% get a half (.50) vote.
When will these elections be held?
On our campus, departments/units will vote during the week of Sep. 17-21. The Office of Faculty Affairs will be distributing information concerning voter eligibility, FTEF, and related matters to the campus as soon as possible.
My department is expected to elect a large number to serve on the Panel, but we have relatively few full-time people. Why is this?
The Contract stipulates 25% of Full-time Equivalent Faculty (i.e., everyone in your department, both full- and part-time). It may be that you have lots of part-timers, raising your overall FTEF. Remember: only full-time faculty may serve on the Panel, but all members of your unit are eligible to vote.
If I have a grievance, do I still need to fill out the Grievance Form?
Yes. But please be aware that the form has changed slightlyas you will now be required to indicate which grievance process you wish to employ. The Grievance Form is available from your CFA Rights Representative or on-line at the Faculty Affairs Web site. (Grievance Form)
If I am elected to the Panel, and then randomly selected to serve on a Hearing Committee, may I refuse? What if I personally know the grievant?
The CFA Contract instructs that service on the Hearing Committees “ . . . is a normal obligation of each full-time member of Unit 3 during the periods of the year when required to render services. . . . “ Obviously, the success or failure of this program will depend on the willingness of all faculty, counselors, librarians, and coaches to actively participate in it. Service should not be unduly onerous, as the Contract stipulates that hearings may not last longer than one day. Of course, we realize that there will be legitimate reasons why a person might ask to be excused (e.g., a close personal relationship with a grievant), and those will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
What are the other specific obligations of the Hearing Committees?
The Committees (comprised of three randomly selected members and one alternate) are expected to run their hearings as they see fit. However, they do have some contractual constraints: the choice of an open or closed hearing is up to the grievant; both sides in the hearing must be given equal time to present their case; and the Committee’s written recommendation to the President must be delivered within 14 days after the hearing. Hearings will also be recorded, and the recording will be available to all relevant parties.
Once I serve on a Hearing Committee, am I excused from further service?
Yes, your name will be removed from the campus-wide Panel until we have drawn 70% of its membership for service on Hearing Committees during its two-year term of office. Once we have used 70% of the Panel membership, all names will once again go into the “pool” for the next random selection.
What if I have further questions about SB 1212 that are not answered here?
Feel free to contact either the CFA or Dennis Shimek, Associate Vice President for Faculty and Staff Affairs (Phone: x3392 or E-mail: DShimek@csustan.edu).