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ARTICLE 10: GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

10.1     Definitions

 

(The definitions listed below pertain to and are only applicable to the Grievance Procedure as described herein.)

 

10.1.1     A “grievance” is a claim by one (1) or more unit members as described in Article 9 of this Agreement or the Association that there has been a violation, misinterpretation or misapplication of a provision of this Agreement.

 

10.1.2     A “grievant” is a unit member, or group of unit members, or the Association asserting a grievance.

 

10.1.3     An “employee” is a person employed by the District, as described in Article 9 of this Agreement, at the time the grievance is filed.

 

10.1.4     A “supervisor” is the party against whom the grievance is being filed.

 

10.1.5     A “day” is any day during which the grievant is required to perform services for the District.  In the case of a grievance involving more than one (1) unit member, a “day” is any day during which one (1) or more grievant is required to perform services for the District.

 

10.2     Procedure

 

10.2.1     A grievance may be initiated after the grievant has first discussed the matter informally with the supervisor to have the grievance adjusted without intervention by the Association, provided that the adjustment is not inconsistent with the terms of this Agreement.  The grievant, by mutual agreement, may request the presence of an additional person at this discussion.

 

10.2.2     A grievant may initiate a grievance by filing a completed grievance form with the supervisor.  Such forms are obtained from the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources.  Relevant information obtained during the discussion described in Article 10.2.1 above may be utilized.  Information copies shall be sent to the supervisor, the Superintendent and, if requested by the grievant, to the Association.  Information shall include:

 

a.      A description of the specific grounds of the grievance, including names, dates, and places necessary for a complete understanding of the grievance.

 

b.      A listing of the Article(s) of the Agreement which is/are claimed to have been violated, misinterpreted or misapplied.

 

c.      A listing of the reason(s) why the supervisor’s proposed resolution of the problem is unacceptable.

 

d.      A listing of the specific action(s) requested of the District which the grievant feels will remedy the grievance.

 

e.      A request for a conference with the supervisor if desired.

 

10.2.3     A grievance to be considered under this procedure must be initiated within fifteen (15) days after the initial informal meeting and not to exceed twenty (20) days from the date the alleged grievance occurred.

 

10.2.4     Subsequent to the action described in Article 10.2.1, a grievant may be represented at all stages of the grievance procedure by himself/herself and, at his/her option, by a representative selected by the Association.

 

10.2.5     The supervisor may request a conference with the grievant.  The supervisor shall present a written decision to the grievant within fifteen (15) days after receipt of the written grievance, or within fifteen (15) days after the meeting with the grievant, if such meeting is held.  Information copies of the decision shall be sent by the supervisor to the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, the Superintendent and, if requested by the grievant, to the Association.

 

10.3     The Superintendent of the District

 

10.3.1     The grievant may appeal the decision of the supervisor to the Superintendent or his/her designee within ten (10) days after receipt of such decision.

 

10.3.2    If either the grievant or the Superintendent or his/her designee requests a conference during a grievance procedure, the request must be granted.  Either the grievant and/or the Superintendent or his/her designee may request the presence of a representative at any conference contemplated by this Section.

 

10.3.3     The Superintendent or his/her designee shall present a written decision to the unit member within fifteen (15) days after receipt of the written grievance or within fifteen (15) days after the meeting with the grievant, if such meeting is held. Information copies of the decision shall be sent by the Superintendent or his/her designee to the supervisor, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and, if requested by the grievant, to the Association.

 

10.4     Arbitration

 

10.4.1     If the grievant is not satisfied with the Superintendent’s decision or if no written decision has been rendered within fifteen (15) days after the submission of appeal to the Superintendent, the grievant may, within ten (10) days after the Superintendent’s decision or failure to render a decision, request in writing that the Association submit the grievance to arbitration.  The Association, by written notice to the Superintendent within fifteen (15) days after receipt of the request from the grievant – or, if the Association is the grievant, within fifteen (15) days after the Superintendent’s decision or failure to render a decision – may submit the grievance to arbitration.  If any question arises as to the arbitrability of the grievance, such question will be ruled upon by the arbitrator.

 

10.4.2    The parties shall select a mutually acceptable arbitrator.  Should they be unable to agree upon an arbitrator within ten (10) days of the Association’s submission of the grievance to arbitration, submission of the grievance shall be made to the State Mediation and Conciliation Service.  If and when a grievance is submitted to the State Mediation and Conciliation Service, the parties will request a list of ten (10) arbitrators from which to choose. The parties will then alternately disqualify arbitrators from the list.  The first party to disqualify an arbitrator will be determined by lot.  If the parties mutually agree to an arbitrator other than the one (1) from the State Mediation and Conciliation Service, then the Voluntary Labor Arbitration Rules of the American Arbitration Association shall prevail.  If the arbitrator is selected from the State Mediation and Conciliation Service, then the rules of the State Mediation and Conciliation Service shall prevail.  The fees and expenses of the arbitrator and the hearing shall be borne equally by the District and the Association.  All other expenses shall be borne by the party incurring them.

 

10.4.3     The arbitrator’s decision will be in writing and will set forth his/her findings of fact, reasoning and conclusions on the issues submitted.  The arbitrator will be without power or authority to add to, amend, or delete any terms of this Agreement, or to make any decision which requires the commission of an act prohibited by law, or which is violative of the terms of this Agreement.  If either party (i.e., the District or the grievant) should file an action pursuant to Section 1094.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure in Superior Court for review of the arbitrator’s decision within thirty (30) days of receipt of that decision, such decision will be stayed pending review by the court.  The court, on review, shall exercise its independent judgment on the evidence. If no action is filed within the thirty (30) day time frame, the decision of the arbitrator, submitted to the Superintendent and the Association, shall become final and binding on the parties to the arbitration.

 

10.4.4     This provision of the Agreement calling for arbitration in the grievance procedure shall not be construed as intending the application of Section 1280 and following of the Code of Civil Procedure except in the instance where more than thirty (30) days have elapsed since receipt of the arbitrator’s decision.  If any provision of the Agreement concerning the referral of a grievance to arbitration is determined invalid, then all of the contract providing for referral of a grievance to arbitration shall be reopened for negotiations on that subject matter at the request of either party.

 

10.5     General Provisions

 

10.5.1     Time allowances set forth in this Grievance Procedure may be extended by mutual consent.
 
10.5.2     Any grievance not appealed to the next step of the procedure within the prescribed time limits shall be considered settled on the basis of the answer given in the preceding step.
 
10.5.3     Should the processing of any grievance require that the unit member filing the grievance be absent from his/her regular assignment, it shall be without loss of pay or benefits.
10.5.4     All documents, communications and records dealing with the processing of a grievance will be filed separately from the personnel files of the participants.

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