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Grievance Process

Once a grievance is settled (e.g., Settlement and Release, Third Step Grievance Letter, DOT group sessions, arbitration, etc.),, the HR or Payroll office is responsible for sending the grievance documents to MMB SEMA4 HR Services as promptly as possible. Most settlements must be sent to MMB, including those that only deal with revising an employee job record. If the settlement involves changes to the employee’s job record, the revision will be made by agency Human Resources staff prior to sending documentation to MMB SEMA4 HR Services.

When the settlement includes payments or adjustments to leave balances, the Grievance Payment form must be completed and included with the other documentation. SEMA4 HR Services will review the settlement along with the grievance payment form and forward the approved grievance to Payroll Services for entry into Mass Time.


Calculating Grievance Payment

Review the settlement documents. Make sure you understand what was agreed and that all signatures have been attained. If the agreement was for a specific dollar amount, or for an adjustment to the employees leave balances, complete the Grievance Payment form with the correct earn code (s) and hours/amounts. If the agreement indicates the employee is to be “made whole,” you need to determine the appropriate payment and/or adjustments.
Review the grievance settlement, the employee job record, and if needed, the appropriate payroll pages (Review Paycheck and Leave Activity).

For example, John Doe was suspended for one day, on 1/8/09. For this example, let’s assume John is a full-time AFSCME employee (working Monday through Friday, 8 hours a day), making $22.22 hourly and has a leave accrual date of 5/25/94.

  • Was suspended for one day, on 1/8/09.
  • Grievance settlement is making him whole.
  • Review his job record for the following:
    • His rate of pay on 1/8/09,
    • The contract/plan he is represented by, and
    • His leave accrual date
    • Check the Review Paycheck page for pay period ending 1/20/09. Add together all paid hours for that pay period. Also, verify that no pay revisions were made using Prior Pay Period Adjustments since the check for ppe 1/20/09 was processed.
    • Check the Leave Activity page for the same pay period (1/20/09) for the hours he actually accrued.

    This information shows that John was paid for 72 hour, and that he accrued 6.75 hours of vacation and 3.5 of sick hours. Based on his leave accrual date, as of 1/8/09, he has 14 + years of service. In order to make him “whole” he needs an additional 8 hours of pay at $22.22, an additional +.75 hours for vacation and +.5 hours for sick.

    For this example, the Grievance Payment form would have the following information entered:
    GRV = $177.76, payment for the 8 hours
    *VL = +.75, to increase the vacation balance
    *SL = +.50, to increase the sick balance

    Feel free to confer with your SEMA4 HR Services team if there are unusual settlement terms for a grievance.



Personnel Rules Related to Compensation

What is state seniority?

Seniority establishes a clear and non-discretionary system by which the state must implement layoffs, schedule vacation time, assign shifts, and promote employees. Normally, you will accrue seniority commensurate with your tenure of employment in your job classification. Federal law provides that seniority continues to accrue while an employee takes up to five years of unpaid military leave.

Seniority rights prevent employers from replacing older, higher paid workers with younger, lower-paid ones. Seniority are provisions of your union collective bargaining agreements and plans.  

You can request a copy of your agencies seniority roster from your HR representative.

Your state senority transfers with you if you transfer between agencies in your career. Your seniority is based on your time in a job classification not in total amount of time you have been an employee.

Example: I am transferring from one agency to another but will keep the same job classification (eg. ITS2). I have been an ITS2 for 7 years. In my new agency there is another ITS2 and he's been in the classifcaion for 4 years. He has been a state employee in other classifications for a total of 9 years of state employment. My old position was my only state position, so I have been an employee of the state for 7 years. Transferring to the new agency will give me agency seniority in my new postions as I have been in the job classification for 7 years versus my coworkers 4 years in that job classification. His 9 years total state employment does not give him seniority over my 7 years in total state employment.