Grievance Policy

Types of Grievance

Any member of the faculty, staff or student body may formally grieve any matter that he/she feels hinders the ability to perform his/her duties effectively, including but not limited to:

  • grievances against faculty members;
  • grievances against staff members;
  • grievances against students;
  • dissatisfaction with administrative decisions or policies, not including grading decisions;
  • grievances regarding facilities, offices, services;
  • grievances involving student misconduct;
  • policy or procedure of Regis College contravened.

Grievance Committee

The Regis College Grievance Committee is composed of four members appointed to three-year overlapping terms by the President of Regis College, with the new member being appointed each academic year; the President shall inform the Academic Council and the Board of Governors of the nomination at their September meetings. A quorum of three of the four members is necessary to hear a case. Should one of the committee members or the Chair be either the grievor or the one being grieved against, an alternate will be appointed. The Committee consists of a Chair and representatives from faculty, administration and staff. Each member of the Committee would be asked to attend a training session in mediation skills prior to sitting on the Committee.


Informal Complaint

Before a formal grievance procedure is initiated, every effort should be made to resolve the dispute through an informal discussion with an immediate Supervisor or Department Head. The complaint should be discussed within 15 working days of the incident or circumstances giving rise to the complaint and a response, either orally or in writing, shall be made to both parties within one week of the discussions. If the grievance is not settled satisfactorily at the informal grievance stage then a formal grievance may be filed.


Formal Grievance Stage

The first stage in any formal grievance procedure is to complete a Regis College Grievance Form, available at the President's Office. This sets out the details of the grievance, a statement of the matters in dispute, the provision or interpretation of the policy that has been violated, efforts made to resolve and redress the grievance, and the remedy sought. The form must be signed by the grievor and presented to the Chair of the Grievance Committee (or his/her alternate if the Chair is the one being grieved against).

The person grieved against must (a) be given immediate notice of the grievance and presented with a copy of the grievance form, (b) be given the right to representation, and (c) be allowed and encouraged to participate fully in the mediation process. A meeting of the Grievance Committee is to be called within 14 days following receipt of the formal grievance. Copies of all written or pertinent evidence are to be submitted to Committee members before the hearing.

At the hearing, a detailed statement of the grievance will be presented to the Committee, after which affidavits of the circumstances of the grievance will be considered and any witnesses heard and interviewed.

Parties to the grievance may be accompanied by a colleague or advocate. Both sides may present witnesses, who must have first-hand knowledge of the alleged grievance. Although parties to the grievance and their advocates must be present throughout the proceedings, witnesses will appear only while giving evidence.
The hearing is to be conducted by the Chair of the Committee, unless the Chair is the person against whom the grievance has been lodged, in which case an alternate must chair the meeting. Within two weeks of hearing the formal grievance, the Committee will make its recommendations as to any remedy, penalty or action to be taken. These recommendations will then be forwarded to the President of the College for his endorsement. If the President of the College is the one being grieved against, the recommendations shall be forwarded to the Chair of the Board of Governors of the College. All agreements settled at the formal complaint stage shall be in writing and signed by the parties concerned.

If an employee chooses not to grieve a particular situation, or withdraws a grievance at any stage, such action or lack of action shall not prejudice other grievances. Any decision of the Grievance Committee shall not set a precedent for settling future or pending grievances. Confidentiality shall be maintained at all stages of the grievance process.


Appeals Process

Should either party to the grievance wish to appeal the disposition of the complaint, a written appeal should be presented to the Chair of the Committee who will in turn present it to the Executive Committee of the Board of Governors for their final adjudication of the matter. The Executive Committee of the Board of Governors is composed of four members. A quorum of three is required to hear an appeal and seek resolution. If a member of the Executive Committee is either the one who instituted the grievance or the one being grieved against, another member of the Board would replace him/her.

Those not employed by or registered as students at Regis College are not covered by this grievance policy.

Copies of this procedure are available from the President's office, and the Regis College library, and can be found in the Faculty/Staff Handbook.

PROCEDURAL NORMS

  • Hearings shall be conducted in an informal manner, in accordance with the principles of natural justice, and the Grievance Committee shall not be bound to observe strict legal procedures. Procedural defects will not invalidate the proceedings unless there has been a substantial wrong or denial of natural justice.
  • Hearings shall be open to members of the College unless the Chair of the Grievance Committee decides there is sufficient cause to provide otherwise.
  • The Grievance Committee is not bound to conduct the hearing according to strict rules of evidence. Evidence may be received in written or oral form.
  • The Grievance Committee may take note of matters generally within the knowledge of members of the College community.
  • The accused may waive the right to a hearing under these procedures, in which case the members of the Grievance Committee will rule on whether the accused has committed the offence alleged and impose sanctions.
  • The onus of proof is on the complainant who must show, on clear and convincing evidence, that the accused has committed the offence alleged.
  • Any penalty or remedy shall be stayed pending the outcome of any appeal.