6.1 Purpose and Intent

6.1.1  This Grievance Procedure is established to provide a process through which the exclusive representative or an employee might attempt to resolve a grievance with his/her immediate supervisor and, if necessary, with the District Superintendent (or designee), an advisory arbitrator, and the Board of Education. It is the intent of this policy that grievances be resolved at the lowest possible level.

6.2 Definitions (Applicable to all segments of this Article)

6.2.1 A “grievance” is a formal written allegation by a grievant that he/she has been adversely affected by the misinterpretation, misapplication, or violation of this Agreement.

6.2.2 The “grievant” is the unit member, unit members, or the Association making the claim.

6.2.3 A “grievance officer” is the administrator responsible at each step for providing a decision to the grievant.

6.2.4 A “day” is any day in which the grievant is normally required to perform services for the District under his/her regular yearly contract, excluding summer school.

6.2.5 The “immediate supervisor” is the lowest level administrator having immediate jurisdiction over the grievant who has been designated by the Superintendent or the Board of Education to administer grievances.

6.2.6 A “conferee” may be a District staff member, administrator, District counsel, certificated employee counsel, or a representative of a recognized certificated employee organization.

6.2.7 An “advisory arbitrator” shall be an impartial third party who is neither an employee of the District nor an employee or member of the employee association.

6.3 Time Table

6.3.1 To insure the prompt resolution of a grievance, specific time limits have been established. However, they may be extended as necessary with the consent of both parties (District designated grievance officer and grievant). If at any level or step the grievance is not resolved to the satisfaction of the grievant, it may be appealed to the next level or step, according to the established procedures.

6.4 Informal Level

6.4.1 Before filing a formal written grievance, the grievant shall attempt to seek a resolution by an informal conference with his/her immediate supervisor. This informal conference shall be held within ten (10) days after the grievant had knowledge of the occurrence, act, or omission giving rise to the grievance.

6.5 Formal Level

6.5.1 The following steps and procedures are established should the grievant wish to appeal a grievance decision:

6.6 Step 1: Immediate Supervisor

6.6.1 Within ten (10) days after the informal conference, the grievant must present his/her grievance in writing on the appropriate form to his/her immediate supervisor. This statement shall be a clear, concise statement of the grievance, the circumstances involved, including the specific contract provision violated, the decision rendered at the informal conference, and the specific remedy sought. The grievance form will be signed by the grievant, the date and time of presentation affixed thereto, and signed as received by the immediate supervisor.

6.6.2 The immediate supervisor shall communicate his/her decision to the employee in writing within ten (10) days after receiving the formal grievance.  If the immediate supervisor does not respond within the time limits, the grievant may appeal to the next level.

6.6.3 Within the above time limits either party may request a personal conference. (Immediate supervisor/employee/association representative.)

6.7 Step 2: Office of the Superintendent

6.7.1 In the event the grievant is not satisfied with the formal written decision of the immediate supervisor in Step 1, the grievant may (within ten (10) days of the formal written decision rendered in Step 1) appeal the decision on the appropriate form to the District Superintendent or designee.  Forms are to be made available at school and departmental locations by the District grievance officer. This statement should include a copy of the original grievance, the decision rendered by the immediate supervisor, and a clear, concise statement of the reasons for the appeal.

6.7.2 The Superintendent or designee shall communicate his/her decision within ten (10) days after receiving the appeal. Either the grievant or the grievance officer may request a personal conference within the above time limits.  If the Superintendent or designee does not respond within the time limits, the grievant may appeal to the next step.

6.7.3 If the aggrieved party is not satisfied with the decision of the Superintendent or designee, he/she may submit a request for advisory arbitration to the Association Executive Board who will decide upon the merit of the case.

6.8 Step 3: Advisory Arbitration

6.8.1 If the Association proceeds to arbitration, it shall notify the District in writing within ten (10) days of the Step 2 decision.

6.8.2 Within ten (10) days the Association and the District grievance officer shall attempt to agree upon an advisory arbitrator.  If no agreement can be reached, they shall request the State Conciliation Service to supply a panel of five names of persons experienced in hearing grievances in public schools. Each party shall alternately strike a name until only one name remains.  The remaining panel member shall be the advisory arbitrator. The order of striking shall be determined by lot.

6.8.3 The fees and expenses of the advisory arbitrator and the hearing shall be borne equally by the District and the grievant. All other expenses shall be borne by the party incurring them.

6.8.4 The advisory arbitrator shall, as soon as possible, hear evidence and render a decision on the issue or issues submitted.  If the parties cannot agree upon a submission agreement, the advisory arbitrator shall determine the issues by referring to the written grievance and the answers thereto at each step.

6.8.5 The advisory arbitrator will have no power to add to, subtract from, or modify the terms of this agreement, or the written policies, rules, regulations, and procedures of the District.

6.8.6 After a hearing and after both parties have had an opportunity to make written arguments, the advisory arbitrator shall submit, in writing, to all parties, his/her findings and recommendation for possible implementation by the Superintendent or designee within thirty (30) days.

6.9 Step 4: Governing Board

6.9.1 If either party fails to appeal the award within the time limits established, the recommendation of the arbitrator shall be implemented.  However, if either of the parties is not satisfied with the recommendations of the advisory arbitrator, a written appeal may be made to the Governing Board within ten (10) days following receipt of the advisory arbitrator’s report.  A copy of the appeal shall be submitted to the Superintendent (and the other parties to the grievance, i.e., grievant, immediate supervisor.)

6.9.2 The Governing Board has the power to render a final and binding determination of a grievance. The recommendation of the arbitrator shall only be advisory; and if, upon review, the Governing Board determines that it is unable to render final determination on the record, it may reopen the record for the taking of additional evidence.

6.9.3 When the Governing Board has reached a decision, the Superintendent or designee will be directed to inform the parties and implement the decision.

6.9.4 Nothing in this Article shall preclude the grievant from seeking judicial review of the Governing Board’s decision, including, but not limited to, Section 3548.6 and 3548.7 of the Educational Employment Relations Act.

6.10 General Provisions

6.10.1 A conferee may be present at any conference or meeting of the grievant and the immediate supervisor; of the grievant and the grievance officer; of the grievant and the arbitrator; of the grievant and the Board of Education established as a part of the formal level of this grievance procedure, if specifically requested by a party to the grievance. This should not preclude the right of either party to separately make an investigation of the facts without the presence or interference of a conferee.

6.10.2 Any person involved in the grievance process who intends to be represented by a conferee at any meeting shall give notice at least twenty-four (24) hours, but not more than five (5) days, in advance of said meeting to the grievance officer designating who such representative shall be.  Such notice may be waived by mutual consent.

6.10.3 The files of the grievance and disposition thereof shall be entered into the personnel files of any employee involved in the grievance only as required to implement the disposition of the case as provided by policy and Ed. Code.

6.10.4 Actions to challenge or change the policies of the District or any specific contract provision must be undertaken under separate legal processes.

6.10.5  Other matters for which a specific method of review is provided by law, by the policies of the Board of Education, or by the Administrative regulations and procedures of this school district are not within the scope of this procedure.

6.10.6 If the grievance arises from action or inaction on the part of a member of the administration at a level above principal or immediate supervisor, the grieved person or the Association shall submit such grievance in writing to the Superintendent; and the processing of such grievance shall begin at Step 2.  

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