The member understands that the Program has a grievance procedure to resolve disputes concerning the member's suspension, dismissal, service evaluation or proposed service assignment. The member understands that, as a participant of the program, he/she may file a grievance in accordance with the Program's grievance procedure. In the event that informal efforts to resolve disputes are unsuccessful, AmeriCorps members, labor unions, and other interested individuals may seek resolution through the following grievance procedures. These procedures are intended to apply to service-related issues, such as assignments, evaluations, suspensions, or release for cause, as well as issues related to non-selection of members, and displacement of employees, or duplication of activities by AmeriCorps.
- Optional Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
- ADR is available, but must be selected within 45 days of the underlying dispute. If an aggrieved party chooses ADR as a first option, a neutral party designated by Campus Compact will attempt to facilitate a mutually agreeable resolution. The neutral party must not have participated in any previous decisions concerning the issue in dispute. ADR is confidential, non-binding, and informal. No communications or proceedings of ADR may be referred to at the grievance hearing or arbitration stages. The neutral party may not participate in subsequent proceedings.
- If ADR is chosen by the aggrieved party, the deadlines for convening a hearing and of a hearing decision, 30 and 60 days respectively, are held in abeyance until the conclusion of ADR. At the initial session of ADR, the neutral party must provide written notice to the aggrieved party of his or her right to request a hearing. If ADR does not resolve the matter within 30 calendar days, the neutral party must again notify the aggrieved party of his or her right to request a hearing. At any time, the aggrieved party may decline ADR and proceed directly to the hearing process.
- Grievance Hearing
- An aggrieved party may request a grievance hearing without participating in ADR or, if ADR is selected, if it fails to result in a mutually agreeable resolution. The aggrieved party should make a written request for a hearing to the designated program supervisor or director. A request for a hearing must be made within one year after the date of the alleged occurrence. At the time a request for a hearing is made, the program should make available to the aggrieved party information that it relied upon in its disciplinary decision.
- Campus Compact will arrange for one or more pre-hearing conferences at a time mutually convenient to the parties. Pre-hearing conferences are not a substitute for a hearing. They are intended to facilitate a mutually agreeable resolution of the matter to make a hearing unnecessary or to narrow the issues to be decided at the hearing. The format of the pre-hearing conference may be flexible, involving meetings with one party at a time and/or with both parties together. Pre-hearing conferences are conducted by the program supervisor/director.
- The hearing will be conducted by the program supervisor/director. The person conducting the hearing may not have participated in any previous decisions concerning the issue in dispute. (Note: To ensure impartiality in the hearing, Campus Compact may choose to designate someone other than the program director to approve disciplinary actions regarding members, leaving the director available to conduct grievance hearings.) A hearing must be held no later than 30 calendar days after the filing of the grievance, and a written decision must be made no later than 60 calendar days after filing.
- Binding Arbitration
- An aggrieved party may request binding arbitration if a grievance hearing decision is adverse or if no decision is made within 60 days of the filing of the grievance. The arbitrator must be independent and selected by agreement of the parties. If the parties cannot agree on an arbitrator, the Corporation's Chief Executive Officer will appoint one within 15 calendar days after receiving a request from one of the parties.
- An arbitration proceeding will be held no later than 45 calendar days after the request for arbitration, or no later than 30 calendar days after the appointment of an arbitrator by the Corporation's CEO. An arbitration decision will be made no later than 30 calendar days after the commencement of the arbitration proceeding.
- The cost of arbitration will be divided evenly between the parties, unless the aggrieved party prevails, in which case the program will pay the total cost of the proceeding as well as the prevailing party's attorneys' fees.