Current Employees

Filing a Complaint or Grievance

What is a Complaint?

A complaint is a written claim by a non-represented employee regarding a specific management act that is alleged to have either adversely affected the employee’s existing terms and conditions of employment, or violated a provision of the Personnel Policies for Staff Members. If your position’s title code is covered by the Personnel Policies for Staff Members (PPSM), review PPSM Policy 70, Complaint Resolution, as well as Local PPSM 70 for information about the steps required to file a complaint.

What is a Grievance?

A grievance is a written complaint by a represented employee, a group of represented employees, or a union alleging that the University has violated a specific provision of the collective bargaining agreement. If your position’s title code is covered by a collective bargaining agreement, you can either check your collective bargaining agreement or contact your union representative for information about filing a grievance.

Filing a Formal Complaint or Grievance

Pursuant to PPSM and most collective bargaining agreements, complaints or grievances must be submitted within 30 calendar days from the date the employee knew or should have known of the act that gave rise to the complaint or grievance. (Employees in represented academic titles should refer to the applicable collective bargaining agreement for more specific information on filing requirements.) Typically, the initial steps in filing a formal complaint or grievance are:

1. Represented employees should call their union representative to obtain a grievance form. Non-represented employees can contact Employee & Labor Relations through HR ServiceNow to obtain a complaint form or pick up a form in Human Resources, 3101 SAASB.

2. Within the time limit specified by PPSM or your collective bargaining agreement, submit a completed written grievance or complaint form to Employee & Labor Relations (or other designated office if indicated in the collective bargaining agreement):
a. Personal Delivery: Employee & Labor Relations, Human Resources, SAASB 3rd Floor, Rm 3101.

b. U.S. Mail: Employee & Labor Relations, Human Resources, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-3160.

Note: Typically, the filing date for a complaint or grievance is the date of receipt by the designated office, not the date the form was mailed. Forms may be submitted by FAX but are not considered filed until the original, signed form is received by Human Resources in person or by U.S. Mail.


At each step of the formal complaint or grievance procedure, you have a right to representation.


No employee shall be subject to reprisal or retaliation for using or participating in the complaint or grievance resolution process.


When the information presented on this web page or elsewhere on this site is in conflict with University policies, procedures or applicable collective bargaining agreements, the terms of those University policies, procedures and agreements shall govern.