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HR – Procedure 630

Section: 600
Procedure: 630
Subject: Employee Relations Advisory Organization
Effective: 08/01/81
Revision (9): 07/01/2018

An Employee Relations Committee shall be organized and operated at the University of Tennessee Space Institute, composed of four elected staff non-exempt employees, two representatives each from the following occupational categories listed below.

Due to the limited number of available employees in the Secretarial/Clerical group, the ERC elected to combine the Secretarial/Clerical group and the Technical Services group for the 2018 election of 2019 members. The election begins in November 2018.  Effective January 1, 2019, two representatives each will serve from the following occupational categories:

  • Building and Grounds Maintenance, Skilled Trades, Food Services
  • Secretarial and Clerical and Technical Services (research technical support, data processing, drafting, graphics, etc.)

Representatives will serve two-year terms, one member from each category will be elected each year.

The Employee Relations Committee shall be charged with contributing in various ways to the accomplishment of the objectives stated in the governing policy.

The requirements for membership on the Employee Relations Committee are that the individual (1) be in staff non-exempt status, (2) be on non-probationary regular appointment, and (3) have at least one year of continuous service credit with the University. Individuals may not immediately succeed themselves.

The Director for Human Resources shall function as Chairperson of the Employee Relations Committee. A representative from Human Resources will serve as secretary.  A Student Government Association (SGA) representative will be invited to the ERC meetings.  SGA will provide the student perspective and be included in meeting agenda discussions.

The Director for Human Resources is responsible for the conduct of fair and objective elections of representatives to the Employee Relations Committee. The Director for Human Resources will distribute to staff non-exempt employees a list of the names of the members of each occupational group identified above, who are eligible to vote and to serve on the Committee. (All staff non-exempt employees, regardless of character of appointment, are eligible to vote for representatives on the Employee Relations Committee.) Although a formal nomination process will not be utilized, the Director for Human Resources will make known to that particular occupational group the name(s) of qualified candidates who have been nominated by their peers and are willing to serve on the Employee Relations Committee. By agreeing to appear on the ballot, the nominee is expected to serve his/her two year term if elected.

The election of representatives to the Employee Relations Committee shall begin in November. Members within each occupational group shall be eligible to vote for one individual in that group to represent them on the Committee. Election will be by simple plurality. Election ties may be referred back to that particular occupational group as necessary for re-vote. Elections to fill vacancies sustained during the calendar year shall be coordinated by the Director for Human Resources.

At the first regular Employee Relations Committee meeting each calendar year, the Committee members shall elect one Committee member to serve as the Space Institute representative on the University-wide Employee Relations Board, and another member to serve as the Employee Relations Committee representative on the UTSI Safety Committee. The Committee shall always maintain current members so designated.

It is stressed that the Committee members represent occupational groups exclusively and not the division or office in which they might be employed. Individuals serving on the Committee must be pledged to represent the interests of all persons employed at UTSI in their particular occupational group. Management and supervision should not have any involvement in the furtherance of candidates for elections or of issues suggested for discussion by the Committee.

The Employee Relations Committee shall meet during the months of January, March, May, July, September, and November. Special meetings may be called by the Chairperson at other times as circumstances warrant.

The Director for Human Resources shall be responsible for promulgating the names and occupational categories of the Employee Relations Committee members to the employee community so that issues and questions may be directed to the appropriate Committee member. The Director for Human Resources shall be responsible for the development of the agenda for each meeting of the Employee Relations Committee. Committee members are responsible for forwarding issues and questions to the Director for Human Resources in a timely manner for inclusion on the agenda.

Elected members of the Employee Relations Committee shall be allowed sufficient time during normal duty hours to attend regular and special called meetings of the Committee. Elected members shall be permitted a prudent and sufficient amount of time to hear from their occupational groups on issues and to discuss with them issues and concerns that might have been discussed or might be discussed by the Committee. If management or supervision feels that an excessive amount of time is being consumed by these activities, that concern should be expressed to the Chairperson.