I. Board Directive
The Board recognizes the need for a District grievance process and delegates to the Administration the authority to implement a policy regarding grievance procedures for licensed personnel.
II. Administration Policy
It is the policy of the Administration to address grievances alleged by licensed employees with the following administrative policy provisions:
- Grievance - A complaint which:
- Sets forth an allegation that there has been a violation of District policy, state law, or federal law.
- Specifically identifies the policy or statute alleged to have been violated.
- Provides a detailed statement of the alleged violation.
- Grievant - Any licensed employee or group of licensed employees aggrieved by a decision or condition falling under District policy, or state or federal law.
- Grievance Officer - The District employee or employees designated to review complaints regarding alleged violation of District policy, state law, and/or federal law and charged with the responsibility of investigating, or overseeing the investigation of, complaints.
- Step I
Any licensed employee alleging a grievance is encouraged to resolve the problem, if possible, through an informal discussion with the immediate supervisor as provided for in Miscellaneous provisions C.1. of this policy. If this is not satisfactory, the grievant may file at Step II.
- Step II
Any licensed employee submitting a grievance at Step II shall present a completed Licensed Employee Grievance form to his/her immediate supervisor. Grievance forms are available in the District’s Human Resources Department or online at the District’s Human Resources website. A copy of the grievance form shall be immediately forwarded by the supervisor to the District grievance officer, the appropriate District-level Administrator, and the Administrator of Human Resources. The District grievance officer shall then submit the issue in question to the employee agent group in writing. The employee agent group has the option of reviewing the issue and making a written response to the District grievance officer.
- The supervisor shall respond to the grievance, in writing, within five (5) working days following receipt of the grievance. A copy of the response will be forwarded to the District grievance officer, the appropriate District-level Administrator, and the Administrator of Human Resources or his/her designee, grievant, or representative.
- If the response (decision) does not resolve the grievance, the grievant may file the grievance at Step III.
- Step III:
The Investigatory Committee may be activated at this step only. (See Miscellaneous Item C. 9.)
- The grievant shall prepare and file the Licensed Employee Grievance Form with the District grievance officer at Step III.
- The Investigatory Committee or the grievance officer shall investigate the complaint with the parties concerned in the grievance within fifteen (15) working days of the grievance having been filed at Step III.
- The grievance officer shall issue a written report setting forth his/her findings and recommendations for the resolution of the grievance within five (5) working days after the conclusion of the investigation.
- The grievance shall be considered resolved if the grievant and the District accept the recommendations of the District grievance officer, or if the grievant fails to file the grievance at Step IV within the time limits set forth herein.
- If no written report has been issued within the time limits set forth in "c" above, or if the grievant or District shall reject the recommendations of the grievance officer, the grievant shall be authorized to file the grievance at Step IV.
- Step IV:
- If the grievant rejects the recommendations of the District grievance officer, the Investigatory Committee, or the grievance officer fails to issue a written report in the time specified, the grievant shall have ten (10) working days to request that an impartial hearing examiner be selected to hear the grievance. Procedures for the selection of the impartial hearing examiner are in Section C. 9. Miscellaneous provisions.
- The impartial hearing examiner shall submit written recommendations to the Superintendent or his/her designee and the grievant or his/her designated representative within ten (10) working days after the hearing.
- The Superintendent or his/her designee shall, within five (5) working days, submit in writing to the grievant the District's decision to reject or accept the impartial hearing examiner's recommendation.
- Step V:
- If the grievant rejects the recommendations of the Superintendent or his/her designee, or if the Superintendent or his/her designee fails to issue a report within the time limits set forth above, the grievant shall be authorized to file the grievance at Step V within ten (10) working days of the date the recommendation of the Superintendent or his/her designee was issued or should have been issued.
- The grievance at Step V shall be filed with the Board in the following manner:
- The grievant shall file the grievance by delivering it to the Board within the time limits set forth herein.
- Within ten (10) working days of receipt of the grievance or another timeline agreed to by both parties, the Board shall establish a hearing date to hear the testimony of all interested parties. The Board shall have the authority to call witnesses for the hearing. Such hearing will be held within twenty (20) working days of filing of the grievance at Step V or another timeline agreed to in writing by both parties.
- Within thirty (30) working days or other timeline agreed to in writing by both parties of the filing of the grievance at Step V, the Board shall issue its determination of the grievance. The findings of the Board shall be final and binding.
- MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS
- A grievance must be filed within twenty (20) working days of the date the grievant knew or should have known of the circumstances which precipitated the grievance.
- A grievance shall furnish sufficient background concerning the alleged violation which identifies date(s), time(s), person(s), and actions that led to the allegation.
- No person shall suffer recrimination or discrimination because of participation in this grievance procedure.
- Hearings should be scheduled during a mutually convenient time.
- Employees shall be free to testify regarding any grievance filed hereunder.
- Confidentiality will be observed pending resolution of the grievance or final decision by the Board.
- Nothing contained herein shall be construed so as to limit in any way the ability of the District and the grievant to resolve any grievance, mutually and informally.
- The grievant shall be entitled to representation of his/her choice in all stages of these proceedings.
- If needed, the Investigatory Committee shall be selected as follows: The District shall designate one member of its choice and the employee agent shall designate one member of its choice, and these two appointees shall recommend a third committee member subject to the approval by the employee agent and the District. This committee shall conduct investigations of grievances filed by persons asking to be represented by the employee agent and shall report the results of its findings and its recommendations, in writing, to the District grievance officer who shall be responsible to make final determination of all grievances filed at Step III. Step III grievances shall be investigated and a response made, regardless of whether or not the grievant asks for representation.
- When required, members of the Investigatory Committee shall be excused from their regular assignments to perform investigations.
- Impartial hearing examiners shall be persons who will conduct hearings independent of pressure or influence from the District administration, District staff, the licensed employee who is the participant in the grievance, or any association or organization acting on behalf of or representing the employee. No impartial hearing examiner may be a direct supervisor or subordinate of either the employee or a person recommending the employee’s termination for cause.
- Impartial hearing examiners may either be District hearing examiners or individuals not employed with the District.
- The employee agent and the District agree to use the American Arbitration Association (AAA) for Level IV hearings. This includes following the rules and procedures as outlined by the AAA.
- The cost of services of the hearing examiner shall be equally shared by the District and the educator or the organization representing the educator.
- In the event that the grievance remains unresolved at the termination of this grievance procedure, the grievant is free to pursue such litigation or statutory remedy as the law may provide.
- Employees should exhaust all District grievance procedures before seeking other legal remedies.