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Back to Index | Relevant Policy - 7.17 Professional Staff Complaints and Grievances
7.17.P.1 Professional Staff Complaints and Grievances
PROCEDURE PROCEDURE

Reference:
Section 7.17 - Policy

 

General Procedures

Since it is important that grievances be processed as rapidly as possible, the number of days indicated at each level should be considered as maximum, time being made of the essence herein, and every effort should be made to expedite the process in less than maximum times set.  The time limit specified may be extended by mutual agreement in writing between the grievant and the appropriate level administrator.

In the event a grievance is filed on or after termination of the school year, which if left unresolved until the beginning of the following school year, could result in irreparable harm to a party in interest, the parties agree to make a good faith effort to reduce the time limits set forth herein so that the grievance procedure may be completed before the end of the school term or as soon thereafter as is practicable.

In the event a grievance is filed so that sufficient time as stipulated at any level of the procedure cannot be provided before the last day of school, and should it be necessary to pursue the grievance to higher levels of appeal, said grievance shall be resolved in the new school term in September according to the terms of this policy, unless the parties mutually agree to proceed to settlement without delay.

Upon selection and certification by the Dysart Education Association (DEA), the Board shall recognize one (1) or more grievance representatives in each building and a central association grievance committee.  The Dysart Education Association shall provide notice of the designation of grievance representatives no later than the first week of the school year to the Assistant Superintendent of Human Relations and appropriate administrators.  If such designation changes, the Dysart Education Association shall provide such notice of the newly designated grievance representative within one (1) week of appointment.  Such notice shall include telephone numbers at which the designated representative may be reached and an alternative grievance representative who may be contacted if the designated grievance representative is unavailable or cannot be reached within one (1) working day.

Initiation  and  Processing

All grievances will be treated as priority items and will be resolved at the earliest possible time.

Informal  Procedure

If a teacher feels that he/she has a grievance the teacher must first discuss it with the principal, either individually or through the Dysart Education Association's grievance representative, or accompanied by the grievance representative, in an effort to resolve the problem informally.  If the problem is not resolved through the discussion, the teacher or association representatives shall indicate to the administrator that such discussion shall constitute the informal level.  If satisfaction is obtained after the informal discussion and if the same grievance reoccurs after the ten (10) day limit, the grievance shall proceed to Level One automatically.  In the event that the informal grievance is to be resolved, the Assistant Superintendent of Human Relations shall be provided with notice of the subject matter of the informal grievance and the proposed resolution prior to implementation of the resolution.

Formal  Procedure

Level One - School Principal:
 
  • If an aggrieved person is not satisfied with the outcome of the informal procedure, the aggrieved person may file a written grievance within the five (5) working days following the administrator's informal decision.  The written grievance shall be submitted to the principal or appropriate administrator.  Information copies are to be sent by the aggrieved party to the grievance representative of the Dysart Education Association and to the Assistant Superintendent of Human Relations.  If the same grievance reoccurs, the grievance shall proceed to Level Two automatically.
     
  • The aggrieved person or the principal may request a conference prior to the rendering of the decision.  The teacher may (a) discuss the grievance personally, (b) request that a Dysart Education Association grievance representative accompany him/her, or (c) request that a Dysart Education Association grievance representative act on his/her behalf.  Any request that a Dysart Education Association grievance representative act on the teacher's behalf without the teacher's presence must be made in writing and presented to the principal at the time of the conference.
     
  • The principal or other appropriate administrator within five (5) working days after receipt of the grievance or within five (5) working days after the personal conference (whichever is later), shall render a written decision to the aggrieved person with a copy to the grievance representative of the Dysart Education Association and the Assistant Superintendent of Human Relations.

Level Two - Mediation:
 
  • If the aggrieved person is not satisfied with the decision at Formal Level One, mediation may be requested within ten (10) working days after the Level One decision is received.  An administrator from a site other than the aggrieved person's site and an association representative from the DEA shall meet with all parties to mediate a solution.

Level Three - Superintendent of Schools:
 
  • If Level Two mediation is unsuccessful, an aggrieved person may, within five (5) working days after the final Level Two mediation session, file his/her grievance with the Superintendent. 
     
  • The Superintendent shall schedule a meeting to take place within ten (10) working days from the receipt of the written grievance from the aggrieved person with the purpose of resolving the grievance.  Persons entitled to take part in this meeting shall be: 
     
    • A maximum of three (3) administrators designated by the Superintendent, who may include himself/herself as one (1) of the three (3). 
       
    • A maximum of two (2) association representatives. 
       
    • The principal or appropriate administrator who was involved at Level One. 
       
    • The aggrieved person. 
       
  • These persons shall be given five (5) days notice in writing of the time and place of the meeting. 
     
  • The Superintendent shall within five (5) days after this meeting, render his/her decision in writing to the aggrieved person, the principal, or appropriate administrator, and the association. 

Level Four - Hearing Officer:
 
  • Only those grievances that contest the imposition of disciplinary action may be appealed to a hearing officer who shall make a recommended decision to the Governing Board.  This provision does not apply to disciplinary action consisting of a suspension of more than ten (10) days or dismissal.  An appeal of any disciplinary action consisting of a suspension of more than ten (10) days or dismissal is governed by Arizona statutes. 
     
    • If an aggrieved person is not satisfied with the Superintendent's decision concerning his/her grievance at Level Two, the aggrieved person may, within ten (10) working days from the receipt of the Superintendent's decision, file his/her grievance appeal with the Executive Director of Human Resources. 
       
    • The Assistant Superintendent of Human Relations and the association shall meet to select a hearing officer who shall hear the appeal. 
 
    • The hearing officer shall conduct a hearing utilizing commonly accepted procedural rules for administrative hearings and the hearing officer shall issue a recommended decision to the Governing Board within thirty (30) days of the hearing. 
       
    • The Governing Board shall decide whether to accept or reject the recommended decision of the hearing officer and the Governing Board shall determine the appropriate level of discipline, if any, in the matter. 

Initiation  of  Group  Grievances

Where teachers in more than one (1) school have a common grievance, the association, upon their request may initiate a group grievance in their behalf.  In such cases a written grievance shall be filed with the Superintendent and information copies of the grievance shall be sent simultaneously to the principals of the employees involved. 

The procedure for the group grievance shall then follow the steps as described above at Level Two and Three if necessary. 

The  Association  as  a  Party  in  Interest 

When an aggrieved teacher declines to pursue his/her remedies either informally or formally, and when the association deems that the grievance is one that has great importance or serious implications for members of the association as a group, the association may initiate proceedings to pursue a settlement of the grievance for that teacher.  However, the teacher may be requested to attend the hearing as a resource to the proceedings.  The association as herein described shall have all the rights, privileges, and defenses as the party for whom it is substituting would have had. 

General provisions:
 
  • Reprisals shall not be taken against any teacher, any party in interest, and association representative or any other participant in the grievance procedure by reason of such participation. 
     
  • The filing or pendency of any grievance under the provisions of this procedure shall in no way operate to impede, delay or interfere with the rights of the Board to take the action complained of, subject, however, to the final decision on the grievance.
     
  • The association shall have the right to be present to state its views at all stages of the grievance procedure.  Any employee may choose to be represented by a person of his/her choosing at any level of the grievance procedure. 
     
  • Failure at any step in this procedure to communicate decisions in writing as called for on a grievance within the specified time limits shall permit the grievance to proceed to the next step.
 
  • Failure at any step of this procedure to appeal a grievance to the next step within the specified time limits shall be deemed to be acceptance of the decision rendered at that step and there shall be no further right to appeal. 
     
  • All documents, communications and records dealing with the processing of a grievance will be filed separately from the personnel files of the participants. 
     
  • If any member of the association's grievance committee is a party in interest to any grievance, that member shall not serve as the association's grievance representative at processing of such grievance. 
     
  • The Board and the administration will cooperate with the association in its investigation of any grievance, and further, will furnish the association with such information as is requested, other than privileged information, for the processing of any grievance within five (5) working days of the request provided such information is available in the form requested. 
     
  • Any grievance shall not be recognized by the Board or the association unless it shall have been presented to the appropriate level within thirty (30) days of the time the aggrieved person knew, or should have known, of the act or condition on which the grievance is based, and if not so presented, the grievance shall be considered as waived. 
     
  • A grievance may be withdrawn at any level without prejudice or record.  It cannot be reopened so long as the association and the aggrieved person have agreed to the withdrawal. 

All sessions held in connection with the processing of grievances, shall be in closed sessions and no news releases shall be made concerning the process of the hearing.