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Conflict in the Workplace
Iowa State University encourages and supports a civil workplace, and honest and respectful communication between employees and supervisors in order to avoid conflict and resolve disputes when they occur. Likewise, the university is committed to offering you options to appropriately resolve disputes.
Definition of Conflict
A difference, complaint, or dispute regarding the interpretation, or application of policies, or procedures governing terms of employment, working conditions, work hours, or compensation. General wage adjustment and complaints about discrimination and harassment based on a protected group membership or status (see Discrimination and Harassment policy) are excluded from the grievance procedure because they are addressed under other policies.
Iowa State University offers you this program as one of its employee benefits. The EAP gives you timely and free access to confidential, professional services when you are facing a personal problem. The goal is to help you find solutions before the problem affects your health or job performance. Iowa State works with Employee and Family Resources to provide you these services.
Informal Resolution Options
The Ombuds Office assists Iowa State faculty, P&S and non-AFSCME merit staff, and graduate and professional students with work-related problems. The Ombuds Officer acts as an informal problem-solver with an eye to resolving issues before they become formal grievances. All contacts with the Ombuds Officer are confidential.
Ombuds Office: (515) 294-0268
UHR Liaisons are trained to help guide employees in their colleges and departments through HR processes.
Professional and Scientific Peer Advocacy Committee(P & S Staff Only)
The purpose of this committee is to provide a confidential means for an employee to obtain perspective and advice about employment concerns from peers familiar with the policies, practices, and procedures of the university. The committee also seeks to ensure that an employee is aware of his/her rights and obligations and is cognizant of the various processes available for resolution of such issues.
Equal Opportunity Office (Formal or Informal)
Iowa State University's primary goal is to prevent discrimination and harassment and stop such behavior if it occurs. To that end, Iowa State University has adopted informal and formal processes through which discrimination and harassment complaints can be resolved. Contact the EO Office to learn more.
EO Office: (515) 294-7612
AFSCME Union Stewards
Organized Merit staff members are welcome to contact his or her union steward to seek advice.
The Office of Employee and Labor Relations is available to assist management and employees work through issues of conflict in the workplace.
An employee (Organized, Non-Organized, or P & S) may choose to file a grievance to attempt to resolve his or her concern. Please visit the Grievance Process Management link to learn more about the process to file a grievance. You have both informal and formal options. You are encourage to, first, consider informal options. In either case, discuss your concerns with your immediate supervisor.
Contact any of the available resources to discuss informal grievance options:
- Office of Equal Opportunity (Formal and Informal)
- University Human Resources Employee / Labor Relations Office
- Departmental Human Resources Liaisons
- Ombuds Office (for Faculty, Professional & Scientific, and Supervisory Merit)
- Peer Advocacy Committee (for Professional & Scientific)
- AFSCME Union Steward (for Non-Supervisory Merit)
- Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
If the informal options do not resolve your conflict, a formal grievance may be filed in an attempt to resolve a situation.
To file a formal grievance:
- Faculty: Refer to the Faculty Handbook
- Professional and Scientific (P&S): Refer to the Policy Library section Dispute Resolution
- Non-Supervisory Merit: Please refer to the AFSCME contract Article 4 Grievance Procedure
- Supervisory Merit: Refer to the Merit Rules