Guidelines of the Employee Relations Committee
The purpose of the Employee Relations Committee is to provide a direct channel of two-way communication between University administration and regular non-exempt employees for information and advisory purposes. The ERC will serve as a means for University administration to disseminate information concerning plans and programs affecting non-exempt University staff. It will also serve as a forum by which non-exempt employees can discuss issues of general concern to them.
ERC members may be called to serve on review panels to address formal employee grievances and will generally serve as employee advocates to promote a positive and productive work environment at UTC.
B. Membership and Duties:
Membership of the Committee shall consist of a representative and an alternate to be elected for each defined area of representation. All regular non-exempt employees, full-time and part-time, are eligible to vote. The Office of Human Resources will conduct elections during October of alternating years. The term of office for representatives and alternates will be two calendar years. To be eligible for election as a representative or alternate an employee must have at least one year of continuous service credit with the University. Individuals removed from the ERC due to non-attendance are not eligible for election the following two-year term. The qualified individual with the most votes in each defined area will be elected the area representative. The qualified individual with the next highest number of votes will be elected the area alternate; except that, when the defined area contains more than one building or department, the alternate will be the individual with the second highest number of votes who is in a building or department other than that of the area representative.
Works with the Director of Human Resources and ERC Chair to ensure proper representation of UTC's non-exempt employees. A representative and alternate will be elected for each defined area. A representative and/or an alternate from each area are expected to attend all scheduled meetings. Representatives may miss no more than four (4) regularly scheduled monthly meetings during a calendar year. A representative’s absence is excused if the alternate attends in their place. After the third unexcused absence the representative will receive a memo or e-mail from the ERC Chair with a copy to the Director of Human Resources; upon the fourth unexcused absence the representative shall be asked to resign and will be replaced by the alternate.
Will attend meetings in the absence of the representative and is welcome to attend meetings with the representative. However, only one vote will be allowed from each area. The area representative will be the voting member, and the alternate will cast a vote in the representative's absence.
When the alternate assumes the duties of the vacant representative, the Chair will appoint a new alternate for the remainder of the term; the new alternate would ordinarily be the individual on the original area ballot with the next highest number of votes.
3. Ex-Officio Members
The Director of Human Resources, the Chancellor, and retiring ERC Chair will serve as ex-officio members of the Employee Relations Committee. Human Resources will be responsible for composition and distribution of minutes to the representatives and alternates within five workdays before the next meeting, and will collaborate with ERC Chair and Subcommittees in various administrative duties.
a. Chair: Will serve as liaison to the Director of Human Resources; will collaborate with the Director of Human Resources in determining meeting agendas, presiding over meetings, appointing subcommittees, and filling vacancies; will attend system-wide Employee Relations Board meetings.
b. Vice-Chair: Is responsible for general correspondence for the committee; will take minutes when necessary; will assume the duties of the Chair in his/her absence; will assist the chair with various duties as necessary.
2. Election of Officers
a. Nomination and election of officers will be held at the January meeting.
b. Nominations for officers will be received from the floor at the January meeting. ERC members submitting nominations should ascertain in advance of the meeting that their nominee is willing and eligible to serve. Nominations will not be accepted without confirmation that the nominee is willing and eligible to serve. Election by ballot will immediately follow nominations.
c. To be eligible to serve as Chair or Vice-Chair, a candidate must currently be serving as an ERC representative or alternate and must have served continuously for at least one year as an ERC representative or alternate within the ten years prior to the date of election.
d. New term of office will begin immediately after election.
e. Officers will serve for a two-year term.
f. Officers are eligible to serve for no more than two consecutive terms in the same capacity, but may be reelected to another office.
1. Monthly meetings will be held on the third Thursday of each month, unless otherwise indicated. As scheduling and time permit, the Director of Human Resources may arrange informational and training programs for which interest has been expressed by the ERC.
2. Monthly meetings are also utilized by the Director of Human Resources to solicit and disseminate information of general interest to non-exempt employees.
3. To appear on the agenda, business items should be submitted to the Chair or the Director of Human Resources within three days of the ERC meeting. Any other items may be subject to deferral to future meetings.
The ERC may establish sub-committees to study various issues or to make recommendations on items of concern. Membership of sub-committees is not limited to ERC representatives and alternates and is voluntary.
rev September 9, 2005
Employee Relations Committee
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga