It is possible for conflict to occur from time to time in the course of your work or in conducting university business. Conflict is a normal part of any working environment but can negatively impact productivity and morale. There are resources available to assist faculty and staff during these instances to resolve conflict effectively and promote professional growth.

Mediation, available through Campus Mediation Services, is an informal, voluntary, and confidential meeting where people in conflict coordinate with neutral third parties to work to resolve a job-related conflict.

Employee and Labor Relations professionals in the Office of Human Resources are available to answer questions related to workplace conflict. Visit the UM System Employee and Labor Relations Resources webpage to learn more and for additional resources.

The university has an established formal grievance procedure to provide an orderly mechanism through which employees may challenge policy interpretations or disciplinary actions. Instances where grievances are filed are usually those where other workplace conflict resources or resolution techniques have not fully addressed the situation.

All benefit-eligible faculty and staff have the right to file a grievance. Probationary or non-benefit-eligible employees may process a grievance concerning issues of prohibited discrimination or application/interpretation of University policies and procedures.

Procedure and Administration

The main goal of grievance administration is to review employee disputes to determine if they can be resolved. Grievances can also help to identify areas where there has been a violation, misinterpretation or misapplication of university policy or law.

There are different procedures for handling grievances depending on the individual’s role (faculty, staff, student, etc.), which are outlined in the following rules and policies:

Collected Rules and Regulations:

HR Policy Manual:

Administrative, Service and Support Staff Grievance Submission

In the case of administrative, service and support staff grievances, employees may use the grievance portal in AskHR (Employee and Labor Relations > Employee Complaints). Academic and student grievances follow other procedures; please see corresponding policy for additional information.

The training library accessible through Percipio features several courses, both instructor-led and on-demand, as well as books, videos and other documentation related to managing conflict and effective resolution.

If you have a concern that isn’t directly related to a conflict, there are resources available for those situations, too. The university is committed to institutional accountability, transparency and the protection of students, faculty, staff, patients and visitors. Visit the UM System Reporting Concerns webpage to learn more about reporting avenues.