SPA Performance Pay Dispute Resolution

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Policy Code: 
Approval Authority: 
Policy Type: 
University Policy
Policy Owner: 
Administration and Finance
Responsible Office: 
Human Resources - 828.251.6605

I.       Purpose 

The SPA Performance Pay Dispute Resolution Policy provides a process for employees subject to the State Personnel Act (SPA) to appeal a performance rating and/or pay decisions based on a performance rating (hereafter, “performance pay decision”).  Challenges to performance pay decisions must be resolved by utilizing the University Performance Pay Dispute Resolution Procedure.

II.    Scope     

This policy applies to all SPA (Subject to the State Personnel Act) permanent employees who have successfully completed an initial probationary period.

III. Definition

Division Senior Officers – members of the Senior Staff at UNC Asheville who will review the final recommendations for dispute resolution in their respective areas are:  Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Vice Chancellors, Chief of Staff (for SPA personnel actions in the Chancellor’s division), and Senior Administrator of University Enterprises/Director of Athletics.

IV. Policy

SPA Employees have the right to a hearing to review and resolve disputes concerning

pay decisions based on a performance rating.  Decisions resulting from the SPA Performance Pay Dispute Resolution procedure are final and cannot be appealed beyond the University level.

Appeals pertaining to a performance pay decision may challenge:

A.   The failure to receive an increase based on a performance rating or the amount of a performance increase, and/or

B.   The overall summary rating of a performance review

V. Procedures

When the State’s legislature assigns funds to the University for salary increases to be awarded in accordance with the State’s Performance Management System, the University shall ensure that salary increases are distributed fairly, consistent with internal equity and with the Performance Management System.  Employees will be notified of the availability of the Performance Pay Dispute Resolution process as follows:

A. An SPA employee’s right to appeal a performance rating is stated in writing on the SPA Performance Appraisal and Work Plan form.

B. When the legislature assigns funds for salary increases to be awarded in accordance with the Performance Management (or Appraisal) system, SPA employees who are eligible for a performance pay increase will receive written notice of appeal rights upon notification of whether or not they will receive an increase and/or when they are advised of the amount of the increase they will receive.

To file for a review of a performance pay decision, the employee must contact Human Resources within 15 calendar daysfrom the date of receipt of the action being disputed and submit a completed SPA Performance Pay Dispute Resolution Form.  A review of the appeal must be conducted and the employee must receive written notification within 60 calendar days from the date Human Resources receives the completed SPA Performance Pay Dispute Resolution Form1.  If the 60th day falls on a weekend or holiday, the next business day will be considered as the 60th day.

Although an appeal may involve one or more issues, an employee shall have only one opportunity to file an appeal about a particular performance pay decision.  Therefore the employee must list all grounds for challenging the performance pay decision in his or her appeal. 

C. Steps

1. The employee’s department head will review the appeal and will provide the employee with a written decision.  If not satisfied with the department head’s decision, the employee may request a panel hearing. 

2. The Review Panel will be appointed by the Director of Employee Relations from the SPA Grievance Review Board pool, and will consist of at least 5 members representative of the university community, with at least two members holding non-supervisory positions. No panel member may be appointed if the member is employed in the same department as the employee. The employee may reject up to 2 members of the original Review Panel for any reason. Replacement Review Panel members will be appointed from the SPA Grievance Review Board pool by the Director of Employee Relations.  Action by the employee to reject a member or members and the replacement of the member(s) from the SPA Grievance Review Board pool shall not reduce the number of non-supervisory employees on the Review Panel to less than two. The Director of Employee Relations serves in a support and advisory role to the Review Panel.

The employee shall be permitted to appear in person before the Review Panel.  The department head or designee may also appear in person.  Attorneys are not permitted at the hearing.  No person shall be required to testify under oath2. A majority vote, rather than a unanimous vote, by the Review Panel members will decide the Panel’s recommendation.  As soon as practicable after the hearing, the Review Panel will submit a written recommendation to the Director of Employee Relations.

3. The Director of Employee Relations will forward the written recommendation to the Senior Officer of that area, and will also provide a copy to the employee. 

4. The division’s Senior Officer* will review the Review Panel’s recommendation and will make the final decision to either affirm or modify the performance pay decision.  The Senior Officer will send a written decision to the employee and the department head.  If the Senior Officer’s decision deviates from the Review Panel’s recommendation, the written decision will include a statement about why he/she is not accepting the recommendation.

*If the employee is a direct report to the division’s Senior Officer, the Chancellor will fulfill this role.

5. The Senior Officer’s decision is final and may not be appealed beyond the University level.

1The 60 day period may be unilaterally extended by the University for good cause, or with consent of the employee.  The employee will be provided with written notice of, and an explanation for, the extension.

2No transcription of the hearing will be made and neither party will be permitted to bring recording equipment to the proceeding.