Policies and Procedures
Classified Employees
Conflict Resolution
(Updated 2/10/2012)

Conflict Resolution Procedure

Misunderstandings or conflicts can arise in any work environment. To ensure effective working relationships, it is important that conflicts be resolved before serious problems develop. Many incidents resolve themselves naturally. If a situation persists, however, that you believe is detrimental to you or Pittsburg State University, you should follow the procedure described here.

Refer to the Discrimination Grievance Procedure when the grievance alleges discrimination based upon race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status or disabilities.

Step 1 - Discussion With Supervisor

You should first discuss the problem with your immediate supervisor. If you believe that a discussion with your immediate supervisor is not appropriate, you may proceed directly to Step 2.

Step 2 - Discussion With Department Head

If your problem is not resolved after the discussion with your immediate supervisor, or if you feel that a discussion with your supervisor is inappropriate, you are encouraged to request a meeting with your department head. In an effort to resolve the problem, your department head will consider the facts, conduct an investigation, and may also review the matter with the Director of HRS. You will normally receive a response regarding your problem within five (5) working days of meeting with your department head.

Step 3 - Review by Director of Human Resource Services

If you are not satisfied with your department head's decision and wish to pursue the matter further, you may request a review of the matter by the Director of HRS. You should request review within five (5) working days of the last action taken in Step 2. To request this review, complete a "Conflict Resolution Review Request" form. The Director will review your request and will initiate mediation, if appropriate.

Step 4 - Request for Hearing Before Grievance Committee

If the problem was not resolved at Step 3, you may request a hearing before a Grievance Committee.  The request must be submitted to Human Resources Services within five (5) working days of the last action taken in Step 3.


Criteria for Selecting Grievance Committee

      The HRS Director will select five (5) PSU employees for the Grievance Committee. Generally, the Committee includes two unclassified employees and three (3) classified employees. Employees who currently work or previously worked on the same crew or in the same office as the employee who is appealing to the Committee should not be appointed.

The Director will consult the employee after the Committee members are tentatively selected. If the employee objects to a committee member(s), new members are selected if possible. The chair of the committee is selected from the 5 appointees. The HRS Director and the appellant each strike two names. The remaining individual is designated as the Committee Chair.

The Committee is officially appointed by letter from the PSU Director of Human Resource Services.


The Appeals Hearing

The Grievance Committee should hear the grievance within ten (10) working days after the receipt of the grievance by the Director of Human Resource Services. The Director of Human Resource Services will provide the committee with the following:

  • Copies of these Guidelines and Procedures
  • Sample letters for use by the Committee Chair.
  • Copies of the grievance and other relevant information as requested by the employee or Committee members.

Since an odd number of members is always appointed to the Committee, a majority decision would have to be reached under normal circumstances. If the Committee is not able to reach a majority decision for any reason, a new Committee would be appointed to hear the appeal.

The appeal hearing is an informal proceeding intended to gather information from the employee and his or her supervisor(s) and/or department head about the grievance. The hearing should not be recorded. If requested in advance, the employee may bring legal counsel to the hearing. The role of counsel should be limited to helping the employee present factual information about the grievance and responding to information presented or questions from others. The counsel is not permitted to question individuals at the hearing or advise the Committee on how it should handle the hearing. If the conduct of the counsel interferes with the hearing, the Committee may request or order the counsel to leave the hearing.

Appeals Hearing Procedure:

The following procedures may be followed by the Committee:

  • The employee will present information to the Committee and respond to questions.
  • The supervisor and/or department head will present information and respond to questions.
  • The Committee will hear relevant information presented by any other individual(s) present at the hearing.
  • The Committee will follow up with further questions and/or general discussion as necessary.

At the conclusion of the hearing, the Committee will prepare a report to send to the Appointing Authority within seven (7) working days after the hearing. The Appointing Authority then notifies the employee in writing of the Committee's decision within five (5) working days.


    Appeal of Committee's Decision

      If the employee is not satisfied with the Grievance Committee report, he or she may appeal either to the Appointing Authority or the University President. The appeal must be made within five (5) working days after receiving the Grievance Committee report. If the appeal is to the Vice President for Business and Fiscal Affairs, the Vice President will review the matter and respond within seven (7) working days. If the appeal is to the President, the President will decide within seven (7) working days whether to consider the matter. The President will inform the employee whether the grievance will be reviewed. If the President reviews the grievance, the President will inform the employee of his or her decision within ten (10) working days. The President will make the final decision for the University.