A. The purpose of this Mediation of Employee Grievances Procedure (“Procedure”) is to implement the Employee Grievance Policy (“Policy”) of Anne Arundel Community College (“College”).
B. This Procedure sets forth the process for employees to use mediation to resolve issues without needing to use the Formal Grievance Process, upon mutual consent of the Parties.
II. Scope and Applicability
A. This Procedure applies to any Grievance, as defined in the Policy, that is alleged by a College Employee.
B. This Procedure does not apply to matters set forth in the Exceptions Section of the Policy, except mediation of interpersonal disputes.
C. To the extent that the College Manual conflicts with this Procedure, this Procedure supersedes the College Manual.
A. All capitalized terms in this Procedure have the meanings provided in the Policy or the Procedure on Employee Grievances.
B. All other capitalized terms in this Procedure have the following meanings:
1. Mediator is a neutral third party who attempts to facilitate the Parties to resolve an issue prior to or after submitting a Grievance, and has no advisory or determinative role in regard to the content of the dispute or the outcome of the resolution.
A. At any time before or after the Grievance Form is filed and before the conclusion of Formal Grievance Process, the Grievant or Respondent may submit a Mediation Form to the CCFPO or designee to request the assistance of a Mediator to resolve the Grievance.
B. Even though interpersonal disputes are not grievable, an Employee may request Mediation to assist in resolving interpersonal disputes with another Employee by submitting the Mediation Form, including a description of the issues to be resolved.
C. If a Grievance was previously filed, the filing of a Mediation Form will automatically stay all the applicable deadlines in the Formal Grievance Process until Mediation is completed or ended by one or both of the Parties.
1. The CCFPO or designee will submit the Mediation Form to the other Party to request consent to mediation.
2. The other Party will state whether they consent on the Mediation Form and return the Mediation Form to the CCFPO or designee.
3. If the other Party consents, the CCFPO or designee will notify the Party who requested Mediation and Decision Maker and proceed with Mediation. If the other Party does not consent, the CCFPO or designee will notify the other Party that the Mediation will end and the Formal Grievance Process will continue.
4. If at any point during the Mediation, either Party wishes to withdraw consent to mediate, the Party must notify the Mediator, and the Mediator will mark the Mediation Form unresolved due to withdrawal of consent and submit it to the CCFPO or designee who will notify the other Party.
a. If a Grievance had been previously filed and the matter is grievable, the CCFPO will notify the Decision Maker for the Step that was being considered at the time the Mediation Form was filed that the Mediation has ended and the Formal Grievance Process will continue.
b. If the matter is not grievable, the process will end.
c. If a Grievance was not previously filed and the matter is grievable, the Employee may file a Grievance within the deadline for filing a Grievance in accordance with the Employee Grievance Procedure.
E. Appointment of a Mediator
1. If the Parties agree to mediate, the CCFPO or designee will appoint a Mediator, who will be a College employee or specially retained outside mediator who:
a. Has previous experience or training in conducting mediation; and
b. Is not employed in the same division as the Grievant or Respondent.
2. If either Party is not comfortable with appointed Mediator, a Party can request an outside Mediator be appointed by the CCFPO or designee.
F. The Mediator will be required to sign the Mediator Confidentiality Statement Form.
G. The Mediator will contact both Parties and schedule a Mediation conference to occur within fifteen (15) Business Days of the date on which the Mediator was appointed.
1. The Mediator will advise on or determine the process of Mediation whereby resolution is attempted.
2. The Mediator may request written statements or summaries from both Parties and may contact other persons for information, as determined by the Mediator.
3. Information received by the Mediator shall be treated confidentially and shared only on a “need to know” basis and may not be shared with any individual who may be a Decision Maker at any Step.
4. Statements or summaries prepared especially for the Mediation and any notes taken by the Mediator will not be considered in subsequent Steps and are not part of the Record.
H. If the initial Mediation conference does not result in a resolution acceptable to both Parties, and if both Parties agree, the Mediator may schedule subsequent Mediation conferences for up to but not exceeding forty (40) Business Days from the date on which the Mediator was appointed.
I. If one or both Parties fail to appear for a scheduled Mediation conference, the Mediator may, but is not required to, reschedule the conference once, provided the new date is within fifteen (15) Business Days of the date the initial conference was scheduled.
J. If the Mediation results in a resolution acceptable to both Parties, the Mediator will complete the Resolution Section of the Mediation Form, describing the resolution that was reached, and send a copy to both Parties.
1. Both Parties must sign the completed Mediation Form and send the signed copy to the Mediator.
2. Upon receipt of the signed Mediation Form from both Parties, the Mediator will submit the Mediation Form to the CCFPO or designee.
K. If the Mediation does not result in a resolution acceptable to both Parties, the Mediator will mark the Mediation Form as unresolved and submit it to the CCFPO or designee and the Parties within two (2) Business Days of determining that the Parties cannot reach an agreement but will offer no conclusions or opinions regarding whether the Grievance has merit.
L. Upon receipt of the Mediation Form from the Mediator, the CCFPO or designee will notify the Parties and if a Grievance is pending, the Decision Maker at the Step that was under consideration at the time the Mediation Form was submitted, stating that:
1. The Mediation resulted in a resolution and the Grievance is concluded; or
2. The Mediation did not result in a resolution. If a Grievance is pending, the Formal Grievance Process will continue at the Step that was under consideration when the Mediation Form was submitted, and the CCFPO or designee will provide revised dates for any applicable deadlines to the Parties.
Procedure Title: Mediation of Employee Grievances Procedure
Policy Category: Human Resources
Policy Owner: President
Policy Administrator: Executive Director of Human Resources
Contact Information: Suzanne Boyer, firstname.lastname@example.org, 410-777-2045
Approval Date: October 23, 2023
Effective Date: October 25, 2023
Applies to: All College employees
Related Policies: Employee Grievance Policy
Relevant Laws: N/A