Best Practices Guide for AFSCME Step 1 Grievance Meetings

AFSCME Contract Grievance Procedure
Developed by University of Iowa Labor Management Committee
July 2013

This best practice guide was developed by representatives of the University of Iowa (UI) and AFSCME to help guide supervisors, stewards and staff members in the first step of the AFSCME grievance process.

  1. If an AFSCME Step 1 grievance is filed with a department, a UI Human Resources (HR) Representative, supervisor or any appointed authority or designee within that department will sign and date the grievance form. The signature acknowledges that the department received the grievance and initiates the timeline for the process. The department upon receipt will immediately notify the departmental HR Representative of the grievance and begin the scheduling process.
  2. Within 14 days of receipt of the grievance the department will hold a grievance meeting and issue the written answer.
    • Those that may be included in the meeting: grievant, steward, supervisor, HR Rep
    • Hold the meeting at a mutually agreed upon time.
    • The grievant’s supervisor/HR Rep should contact (preferably by email) the supervisor of the steward and the steward listed on the grievance form to find a mutually agreed upon time for the grievance meeting
    • Please keep in mind that the supervisor does not select the union steward.
      • If difficulty in getting steward scheduled, the supervisor/HR rep should contact AFSCME union hall at 338-1212 or Andy Cooper at 319-331-9624.
      • AFSCME Steward list is provided on the web.
    • The union steward will contact the grievant with the date and time of the grievance meeting. It is the responsibility of the grievant to contact their supervisor to get released for the grievance meeting.
      • Grievant may request a reasonable amount of time prior to the Step 1 grievance meeting to meet with the union steward. Grievant may also need travel time.
  3. If department receives an information request, the department is to gather the information and get it to the steward within a reasonable amount of time. Follow-up with the steward to make arrangements for pick up or delivery of information. Be mindful to keep all information confidential.
  4. Grievance meeting will begin with stating of the grievance number, what it is regarding (ex: written reprimand), do introductions and state each participant’s role. If it is a language issue the union will present first, if disciplinary then department will present first.
    • Iowa law allows for grievance meetings to be tape recorded.
    • Both parties shall have opportunity to speak at the meeting.
    • All parties need to be respectful and professional.
  5. At the end of the meeting the department should clarify with the steward where the steward would like the answer sent and include the original traveling grievance form.
  6. If the department is unable to schedule the grievance and/or issue a written response within fourteen days of the grievance being filed, the department will contact the steward and coordinate an extension date that both parties mutually agree upon in writing.
  7. If you have questions regarding the processing of a Step 1 grievance, please feel free to contact University Employee and Labor Relations at 335-0052, UIHC Employee and Labor Relations at 353-5783, AFSCME Local 12 at 338-1212 or 338-1391 if after 10 am on weekdays, or reference Article IV of the AFSCME contract.