Grievance Basics

Do You Have a Grievance?

Do you believe you have been treated unfairly by your supervisor or by another representative of the Cabrillo administration? Are you having problems with your work assignment, paycheck, or evaluation? Do you think your rights have been violated? Do you believe that your supervisor is planning to discipline you? The CCFT grievance committee may be able to help.

What is a grievance?

A grievance is a formal allegation that the college has not complied with our Union contract. It states what rules or procedures have been misinterpreted, misapplied, or violated, who is responsible, and what should be done to correct the problem. Not every complaint is a grievance.

What should I do if I have a work related problem?

Contact your Division Representative, the CCFT Grievance Officer, or the CCFT Director to discuss your circumstances. A list of division reps can be found here. Claire Thorson, the CCFT Grievance Officer, can be reached at

What will the grievance officer do?

S/he will go over your options with you. S/he may try to resolve the problem by meeting with people involved in the case. If there is a possibility you will be disciplined by your supervisor, s/he will recommend you exercise your right to have a Union representative accompany you to meetings with your supervisor (part of your Weingarten Rights). S/he may bring your case to the grievance committee for further discussion or assign a grievance committee member to help with your case. If the committee believes your problem can be grieved a committee member can help you file a grievance.

What if my complaint is not grievable?

The grievance committee may still be able to help. We prefer to solve problems through informal discussions with the administration before they grow into complex grievances that take up everyone’s time and energy. We encourage you to bring your complaints to our attention, even if you don’t believe your problem is grievable.

What happens if I file a grievance?

The grievance process is detailed in Article 12 of the Union contract. You have 30 days after you become aware of the problem to file a formal grievance, using a Level 1 grievance form. You will need to describe the problem, cite the sections of the contract or other regulations that you feel have been breached, and state what should be done to resolve the problem. Copies of the form should be given to your supervisor and to the Grievance Officer. Once the grievance is filed, the contract requires that the parties try to solve the problem through informal meetings first. Most grievances are solved this way. If not, your supervisor has 15 days to respond in writing to your grievance. If you are not satisfied with your supervisor’s response, you have 10 days to request the grievance go to the next level by submitting a Level 2 grievance form to the College President. The President (or designee) will set up a meeting to hear the evidence in your case within 10 days of receiving your request, and will issue a written ruling within 15 days. If you are still unsatisfied, you may request arbitration within 10 days of receiving the Level 2 decision. Union officers will meet to decide whether the Union is willing to support your request. While you may submit a level 1 and 2 grievance without Union assistance, the Union must agree to your arbitration request before it can proceed. If your request is accepted, the College and the Union will hire an independent arbitrator to hear your case and issue a ruling that is binding on all parties. Please note that arbitration is expensive and time consuming. We make every effort to resolve problems in the earlier stages of the grievance process, and most are resolved at the first level. We rarely invoke the arbitration sections of the contract. If you have any questions about grievances, please contact the Grievance Officer: Claire Thorson at