Article 21: Disciplinary Actions

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21.1 Members of the Instructional Staff may be disciplined by removal, suspension with or without pay, or any lesser form of discipline for one or more of the following reasons, except that staff in HEO series titles shall be subject to discharge as provided in Article 21.9, and Adjuncts shall be subject to discharge as provided in Article 21.11:

(a) Incompetent or inefficient service;

(b) Neglect of duty;

(c) Physical or mental incapacity;

(d) Conduct unbecoming a member of the staff. This provision shall not be interpreted so as to constitute interference with academic freedom.

21.2 Disciplinary proceedings shall be initiated by the President of the college by the service of a written notice of intent to prefer charges upon the employee, which shall set forth:

(a) the proposed charges against the employee, and

(b) the proposed penalty.

21.3 Within seven (7) calendar days of service of the written notice of intent to prefer charges, a meeting shall be conducted by the President or his or her designee with the employee, who may be accompanied by an attorney or representative of the Professional Staff Congress, to discuss the notice, the proposed charges, the proposed penalty, and the basis of the charges.

21.4 Within fourteen (14) calendar days of the meeting described in Section 21.3, the President shall either:

(a) Withdraw the notice of intent to prefer charges, or

(b) Prefer charges, including a recommended penalty.

21.5 Within fourteen (14) calendar days of service of the President's written statement of charges and recommended penalty, the employee may:

(a) Acquiesce to the charges and accept the recommended penalty by written notification to the President;

or

(b) Request a hearing before the Chancellor's Designee.

If no acquiescence to the charges and acceptance of the penalty is received and if no request for a hearing is made by the employee, the matter shall proceed in accordance with Section 21.6 below.

21.6 Within fourteen (14) calendar days of receipt of the President's statement of charges, unless the penalty has been accepted by the employee, the Chancellor's Designee shall schedule a hearing and within fourteen (14) calendar days of the hearing investigate the matter and render a decision including the determination of penalty.

21.7 The penalty recommended by the Chancellor's Designee shall be implemented after fourteen (14) calendar days, unless within fourteen (14) calendar days of the receipt of the decision of the Chancellor's Designee the employee elects to appeal by proceeding to disciplinary arbitration in accordance with Section 21.8 below.

21.8 Disciplinary Arbitration

(a) The City University and the PSC shall jointly agree on a panel of disciplinary arbitrators. Each member of the panel shall be assigned a number in rotation and, in the event of disciplinary arbitration, the first arbitrator in order who is available to conduct a hearing within ten (10) calendar days shall serve as the arbitrator.

(b) The procedure for disciplinary arbitration is as follows:

1. Notice of appeal to disciplinary arbitration shall be filed by service upon the Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs. A copy of the appeal shall be sent simultaneously to the College President.

2. The case shall be assigned to an arbitrator to be selected in accordance with
Section 21.8 (a) above.

3. The disciplinary arbitrator shall hold a disciplinary arbitration hearing within ten (10) calendar days of designation, or on such other date as may be mutually agreed upon by the parties. The disciplinary arbitrator shall render a decision within five (5) calendar days of the close of the hearing. The arbitrator shall follow AAA procedures.

4. The disciplinary arbitrator shall be limited to determinations of guilt or innocence and the sufficiency of grounds for the penalty. The arbitrator shall not consider alleged violations of any other provision or article of this Agreement, or of the University Bylaws or written policies, which shall be subject, as applicable, only to the provisions of Article 20 of this Agreement. The disciplinary arbitrator shall not add to, subtract from, or modify the provisions of this Agreement. The disciplinary arbitrator's decision regarding guilt or innocence and the sufficiency of grounds for the penalty shall be final and binding upon the parties. The disciplinary arbitrator may approve or disapprove the penalty or impose other penalties warranted under the circumstances.

21.9 Employees in titles in the Higher Education Officer Series shall be subject to immediate discharge for just cause.

(a) Disciplinary proceedings shall be initiated by the President of the college by service, personally or by certified mail, of a written Notice of Intent for Immediate Discharge upon the employee, which set forth:

1. the charges against the employee, and
2. the proposed penalty of immediate discharge.

(b) Within three (3) days, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays, of service of the written notice of Intent for Immediate Discharge, a meeting shall be conducted by the President or his or her designee with the employee, who may be accompanied by an attorney or a representative of the Professional Staff Congress, to discuss the notice, the basis of the charge, and the proposed penalty.

(c) If the employee fails to appear at the meeting, the President may issue a Notice of Immediate Discharge which shall be effective immediately.

(d) Within twenty‑four (24) hours of the meeting described in Section 21.9(b), the President shall either:

1. Withdraw the Notice of Intent for Immediate Discharge;
2. Issue a Notice of Immediate Discharge which shall be effective immediately; or
3. Issue a Notice of Intent to Prefer Charges under Section 21.2 seeking a lesser penalty than dismissal.

(e) Within fourteen (14) calendar days of service of the Notice of Immediate Discharge, the employee may appeal the immediate discharge to the Chancellor's Designee.

(f) Within fourteen (14) calendar days of receipt of the appeal, the Chancellor's Designee shall schedule a hearing and within fourteen (14) calendar days of the hearing review the matter and render a decision sustaining, modifying, or overturning the immediate discharge.

(g) Within fourteen calendar days of the receipt of the decision of the Chancellor's Designee, the employee may appeal by proceeding to disciplinary arbitration in accordance with Section 21.8.

21.10 Any person against whom charges have been made may, at any time during the pendency of the charges, be suspended by the president of the college. Such suspension shall be without loss of pay.

A person suspended with pay shall be available for all procedures mandated by Article 21. Upon suspension with pay, notwithstanding any other provision of this Agreement, any request to be absent from any aspect of these procedures must be approved in advance by the Vice Chancellor for Labor Relations upon the recommendation of the President. Failure to be available for any Article 21 proceeding without said approval of a request to be absent for the period specified in the approval of the request shall result in loss of pay status for a period of three weeks. Such period of non‑pay status shall be discontinued as of the date of the proceeding if a proceeding under this article is scheduled and held within that three‑week period. If, however, the person continues to be unavailable, the person shall be subject to further removal from pay status for successive three‑week periods until such time as the proceeding is scheduled and held. Said loss of pay status cannot be charged to annual leave, temporary disability leave, or other paid leave.

21.11 Adjuncts shall be subject to discharge for just cause, subject to the Grievance and Arbitration article and not to Article 21 of this Agreement.

21.12 The procedures provided by this Article 21 are modified and expedited as follows for disciplinary charges brought against instructional staff members who have been convicted of a felony:

(a) Disciplinary proceedings shall be initiated by the President of the College by preferment of charges, rather than service of a notice of intent to prefer charges upon the employee. Charges will be preferred via overnight mail. The recommended penalty will be discharge.

(b) Within three (3) calendar days of receipt of the President’s statement of charges, unless the penalty has been accepted by the employee, notice of appeal to disciplinary arbitration shall be filed by service upon the Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs. A copy shall be sent simultaneously to the College President.

(c) The case shall be assigned to an arbitrator to be selected in accordance with Section 21.8.a. These cases will be given priority for assignment.

(d) The disciplinary arbitrator shall hold a disciplinary arbitration hearing within ten (10) calendar days of designation. The disciplinary arbitrator shall render a decision within five (5) calendar days of the close of the hearing.

(e) Any person convicted of a felony against whom disciplinary charges have been made may, at any time during the pendency of the charges, be suspended without pay by the president of the college.

(f) Conviction of a felony shall create a presumption of conduct unbecoming a member of the staff. The employee may argue to the arbitrator that there were extenuating circumstances that would permit the arbitrator to conclude that a less severe penalty is warranted.

(g) Should a court of final jurisdiction overturn the conviction, there shall be a right to a hearing before an arbitrator upon application for restoration to service. The issue in the hearing will be whether grounds for discharge pursuant to Article 21.1 existed, notwithstanding the reversal of the conviction.

(h) The parties recognize that an employee may be convicted of a felony after charges have been preferred and that the disciplinary procedures in Article 21 may have commenced prior to the conviction. In such a case, the procedures outlined above will replace Article 21 procedures at the appropriate stage to which the charges had progressed immediately prior to the conviction.

21.13 A disciplinary proceeding brought pursuant to this article may be resolved by settlement only if agreed to in writing by the Office of Labor Relations and by the PSC Central Office.