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

Concerns and complaints are defined as expressions of dissatisfaction by an employee regarding conditions or circumstances that do not constitute an allegation of a misinterpretation or violation of a Governing Board policy or administrative regulation, and are therefore not covered by the District's formal grievance policy or procedure.

A grievance is a claim upon an employee's belief that there has been a violation, misinterpretation or misapplication of the provisions of the established Board Policy governing or affecting the employee or the certified Memorandum of Understanding that directly and specifically governs the employee's terms and conditions of employment.  The grievance procedure shall not apply to any matter which is prescribed by law, by state regulations, or over which the Board is without power to act.  The suspension or dismissal of employees is covered by statute and, therefore, is not a grievable matter. 

Assignment, reassignment, or transfer of an employee to another position or duties is not grievable beyond the Superintendent unless there is a reduction in compensation or the Superintendent requests that it go to the Board.

Performance evaluation is not subject to the grievance policy, except for allegations of procedural violations.  Comments or opinions offered by the evaluator cannot be grieved.  In the event of a claim of procedural violation, the evaluatee may initiate a written response to the evaluation through existing channels as established by District policies.  A complaint does not suspend any timeline concerning the remedial period or Board action concerning dismissal or non-renewal.

A grievant shall be any employee of the District filing a grievance.

Terms and conditions of employment means the hours of employment, the compensation therefor, including fringe benefits, and the employer's personnel policies directly affecting the employee.  In the case of professional staff employees, the term does not include educational policies of the District. 
 
A day is any day in which the District conducts business. 
 
The immediate supervisor is the lowest-level administrator having line supervisory authority over the grievant.

The word "superintendent" shall mean the Superintendent or any person designated by the Superintendent to act in his/her behalf. 
 
Purposes

As problems arise good morale is maintained by the sincere efforts of all persons concerned to work toward constructive solutions in an atmosphere of courtesy and cooperation.  The purpose of this procedure is to secure at the lowest level equitable solutions to the problems which may arise.  Both parties agree that these proceedings will be kept as informal and confidential as may be appropriate to any level of the procedure.

Nothing contained herein will be construed as limiting the right of any employee with a grievance to discuss the matter informally with any appropriate member of the administration and having the grievance adjusted, provided the adjustment is consistent with established Board Policy or with provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).  Any employee may choose to be represented by a person of his/her choosing at any level of the grievance procedure.

Informal Level

Before filing a formal written grievance, the grievant must attempt to resolve it by one (1) or more informal conferences with the immediate supervisor.  The first of these informal conferences must be conducted within ten (10) working days after the employee knew, or should have known, of the act or omission giving rise to the grievance. 
 
Formal Level

Level I.  Within five (5) working days after the last informal conference, if a mutually acceptable resolution is not agreed to, the grievant must present the grievance in writing to the immediate supervisor.
 
The grievance shall be a clear, concise statement of the circumstances giving rise to the grievance and shall include:
  • a citation of the specific article, section, and paragraph of the policy, procedure, or provision of the Certified Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that directly and specifically governs the employee's terms and conditions of employment and that is alleged to have been violated;
  • the decision rendered at the informal conference; and
  • the specific remedy sought
 
The immediate supervisor shall communicate a decision to the employee in writing within five (5) working days after receiving the grievance.
 
Within the above time limits either party may request an in person conference to attempt to resolve the matter.
 
Level II.  In the event the grievant is not satisfied with the decision at Level I, the decision may be appealed to the Superintendent within five (5) working days after receipt of the decision.  The appeal shall include:
  • a copy of the original grievance;
  • the decision rendered’
  • a clear, concise statement of the reasons for the appeal; and
  • the specific remedy sought.
 
The Superintendent shall communicate a decision in writing within five (5) working days after receiving the appeal.  Either the grievant or the Superintendent may request an in person conference within the above time limits.
 
Level III.  If the grievant is not satisfied with the decision at Level II, the grievant may, within five (5) days, submit an appeal in writing to the Superintendent for consideration by the Governing Board.  The appeal shall include:
  • a copy of the original grievance;
  • the decision rendered at Level I and Level II;
  • a clear, concise statement of the reasons for the appeal; and
  • the specific remedy sought.
 
The Governing Board, at a time of its choosing, shall review the grievance and issue a response in writing within fifteen (15) working days following such review to the aggrieved person, the principal, or appropriate administrator, and any representative. The decision of the Governing Board shall be considered final.

General Provisions

Failure at any step of this procedure to appeal a grievance to the next step within the specified time limits shall be deemed an acceptance of the decision rendered at that step, and there shall be no further right of appeal.  Failure to file a grievance within ten (10) days after the employee knows, or should have known, of the circumstances upon which the grievance is based shall constitute a waiver of that grievance.
 
The filing or pendency of any grievance under the provisions of this policy shall in no way operate to impede, delay, or interfere with the jurisdiction of the Governing Board or the Superintendent.
 
The time limits may be extended or reduced by mutual agreement of the employee(s) and the District prior to the expiration of such time limits as evidenced in writing.
 
No reprisals will be taken against an employee involved in initiating a grievance or against anyone called upon to make a presentation at a grievance hearing.
 
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.
 
A grievance may be withdrawn at any level without prejudice or record.  It cannot be reopened once withdrawn.