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For many members of the instructional staff, the time when colleges send out notices of reappointment and non-reappointment is approaching.  These members – fulltime faculty and College Lab Technicians in their first year of service, those in Higher Education series titles in their first two years, and all part-time employees – should know their rights under the PSC contract. 

One of the most important rights you have is the right to grieve a decision of non-reappointment. (This applies to non-reappointment with or without tenure, or Certificate of Continuous Employment, or Certificate of Continuous Administrative Service.) 

KNOW THE DEADLINES 

To protect your rights you should be familiar with the timeframe for challenging a negative  decision, and should know what actions to take if you are notified that you have been denied reappointment. 

For most of the members described above, notice of the decision must be received by April 1, May 1, or May 15. (Click here for the time frames for different titles.) 

What should you do if you are notified that you have been denied reappointment? Upon receiving notice, there are three things you should do immediately

1) Contact a grievance counselor if you want to challenge the decision, so that a grievance may be filed within the specified time limits.  This is of critical importance.  Under the terms of our contract, a grievance relating to reappointment must be filed within 30 days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays, of your individual scheduled date of notification. You may contact your local campus grievance counselor or one at the PSC central office. 

2) If you are a full-time employee, initiate an appeal through academic channels in addition to filing a grievance. Because the appeals process varies from campus to campus, contact your chapter grievance counselor or chapter chair for details.  (For a list of chapter grievance counselors, click here) If no academic appeals procedure exists at your college, or where such procedures do not culminate in an appeal to the president, full-time instructional staff have the contractual right to appeal a negative decision directly to the president. 

Should the appeal be denied, faculty and some instructional staff have the right to request and receive a written statement of the reasons for the denial from the college president. The contract specifies that you have ten calendar days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays) from the date of receipt of the president’s rejection of your appeal to submit to the president a signed request for a statement of reasons.  Within ten calendar days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays) after receiving your request, the president must provide you with a written statement of reasons.                                                          

3) Arrange to review your personal personnel file to make an inventory of its contents to ensure that it complies with Article 19 of the contract.  If any negative material has been added to it without your knowledge, contact a grievance counselor.   

For full-timers, grievances challenging a decision of non-reappointment will be held in abeyance until after the academic appeal process is complete and, if the appeal has been denied, a statement of reasons from the president has been requested and received. However, the grievance still must be filed within the relevant time limits. Once you have received the president’s statement of reasons, notify your grievance counselor.  The counselor will then meet with you, investigate the facts of the grievance and discuss with you whether the union will proceed with the grievance based on its merits. 

VIOLATIONS 

The contract recognizes the role of academic judgment, and that the president has a duty to support the appointment, reappointment and tenure of only those persons who he/she is reasonably certain will contribute to the improvement of academic excellence. But a grievance may be pursued if the decision was in violation of the agreement or was not made in accordance with the Bylaws or written policies of the Board of Trustees, or if it constituted an arbitrary or discriminatory application of Bylaws or written Board policies. 

Your rights in this area of the contract are set forth in Article 9, Article 10, Article 13, and Article 20 and it is worth taking the time to review these provisions. In order to defend your rights, you first need to know what they are.

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