Dispute Resolution

Employee Handbook Section 10

It is natural that disputes may occasionally arise as we interact with others, despite our best intentions. Western Michigan University recognizes this and encourages employees to use the free dispute resolution services offered on campus when reasonable agreements cannot be reached by other means.

Campus Employee Dispute Resolution Services

Campus Employee Dispute Resolution Services is a free, private conflict resolution service that offers mediation and community conferencing to assist University employees with resolving interpersonal disputes and generalized conflict. This voluntary and confidential program can help with conflicts between individuals, as well as discord involving multiple parties or entire workgroups. Campus Employee Dispute Resolution Services provides trained neutral persons who facilitate a structured meeting that allows conflicting parties to discuss what has happened, discover how everyone has been affected, explore what needs to be done to make things better and reach a solution that is comfortable for everyone.

University Ombudsman

The University ombuds is an intervention agent and impartial person who helps students, faculty and staff resolve academic and nonacademic concerns. The ombuds listens to you and discusses your question or concern, provides information that answers your question or helps you locate someone who can assist you, and explains the University's policies and procedures and how they may affect you.

Grievance procedure

The University recognizes that in any work situation some disagreements will occur and has established a procedure to assist with resolution of general employment grievances. This grievance procedure is available to all non-bargaining unit employees, including student employees. (Bargaining unit employees have a grievance procedure prescribed by their contract that they must follow.) Emphasis is placed on resolving grievances at the lowest administrative level possible.

  • A complaint is the first step in the grievance procedure. A complaint is any oral, unwritten accusation, allegation or charge against the University regarding one's employment conditions. It should be a timely expression of a problem. Complaints must be expressed and discussed with the employee's immediate supervisor before any grievance is filed. If the complaint cannot be resolved, a grievance may be filed.
  • A grievance is a formal written allegation by an employee that there has been a violation, misinterpretation, misapplication, discriminatory or unreasonable application of any official University personnel policy, procedure, rule or regulation as related to the employee's employment condition.
  • Details and the forms for filing a grievance are available from Human Resources.
  • Detailed grievance procedures can also be found at Dispute Resolution: Complaints and Grievances, Policies and Procedures Manual Section 10.

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