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STAFF GRIEVANCES

(Certificated Staff)

 


The St. Charles R-VI School District is interested in employee concerns and ideas for improving the district. District employees are encouraged to discuss concerns with supervisors and the administrative staff so that issues may be addressed in a timely fashion.


Grievance


Because violations of Board policies, regulations and collective bargaining agreements are particularly problematic, the Board has developed this formal process for addressing these grievances.


Grievance processing should be viewed as a positive and constructive effort to establish the facts upon which the grievance is based and to accurately implement Board policies, regulations or collective bargaining agreements. The district strictly prohibits discrimination or retaliation of any kind against any party in interest, any witness, any representative or any other participant in the grievance process by reason of such participation.


If more than one (1) district grievance process might apply to a particular concern, the superintendent or designee will decide which process will govern. If any part of a grievance includes allegations of illegal discrimination or harassment, or if the grievance is factually similar to a complaint filed by the same employee regarding illegal discrimination or harassment, the entire grievance will be resolved in accordance with policy AC.


Definitions


Adviser – A person of the grievant's choice, other than an attorney, who will be available for consultation as needed. (The role of the adviser may be changed to that of a participant if agreed by mutual consent.)


Association – A group created primarily to provide support for a particular group of employees within the district.


Days – Calendar days, whether occurring during the regular school year or during the summer, but excluding: weekends; district-designated holidays (whether on the original school calendar or designated thereafter); winter and spring breaks and other Board-designated breaks; and closings due to inclement weather, illness, natural disaster, or other emergencies. (In reference to deadlines cited in this policy, the day of occurrence or delivery of responses will not be counted as the first day. The last day will end at the close of the normal business day.)


Grievance – An allegation by an individual employee (or a group of employees if the district so chooses) that a collective bargaining agreement or a specific, written, Board-adopted policy or regulation has been violated or misinterpreted. A grievance does not include concerns regarding the content of performance evaluations or remedial documents, nonrenewal of contracts, employee discipline, reduction in force or termination. This policy does not apply if another Board policy or regulation or state or federal law provides due process, a hearing or a different method for addressing the issue.


Grievant – A district professional staff employee (or a group of employees if the district so chooses) who has filed a grievance.


Performance Evaluations or Remedial Documents – Any assessment of employee performance including, but not limited to, notice of deficiencies, job targets, professional development plans and professional improvement plans.


Grievance Process

 

1.         Grievances must be filed within ten (10) days of the occurrence that is the basis of the grievance. The grievance must be in writing, on the forms provided by the district, and include a copy of the Board-approved provision of the collective bargaining agreement, policy or regulation alleged to be violated or misinterpreted, as well as a statement of the relief requested.

 

2.         Grievances will be processed according to the step-by-step process outlined below, with the following exceptions. If a person designated to hear a grievance is the subject of the grievance, the grievance process will begin at the next highest step. If a grievance is directly based on official Board action, the grievance shall be directed to the Board secretary. The grievance may be heard by the Board at the sole discretion of the Board.

 

3.         The grievant will be provided, upon request, such information as is reasonably necessary for the processing of his or her grievance. However, no new information may be added and no new claims may be made after Step One. Each subsequent appeal will address only the facts and issues presented at Step One.

 

4.         The deadlines established under this policy may be extended upon the written request of the grievant or the supervisor, but the final decision regarding any extension shall be made by the superintendent at his or her sole discretion. Investigation and reporting deadlines will be extended when more time is necessary to adequately conduct an investigation and to render a decision. The superintendent will grant or deny a request for extended time within two (2) days. The grievant and supervisor will be notified of the decision. Where the parties agree to waive the existing time limits contained in this policy, such agreements must be in writing and signed by both parties.

 

5.         Failure of the district to apply or render a decision at any level, except Step Three (final appeal), shall result in the grievance being advanced to the next level.

 

6.         Failure of the grievant at any step of this process to appeal a grievance to the next level within the specified timelimits shall be deemed as acceptance of the findings and remedial action taken. The district will not consider late appeals.

 

7.         All communications, notices and papers required to be in writing shall be served personally or by registered (certified) United States Postal Services.

 

8.         If identical grievances are pending in the same school or are in more than one (1) school, such grievances, at the sole discretion of the district, may be consolidated and submitted at Step Two. Each employee may choose to grieve his or her complaint on an individual basis and withdraw from the group. All employees remaining in the group must accept the resolution provided and will not be allowed to grieve the same complaint on an individual basis.

 

9.         The grievant will be informed at least three (3) days in advance of any scheduled meeting herein, but may agree to waive such time consideration to expedite the meeting.

 

10.       Should the grievant or the designated representative be required by the administration's scheduling to be absent from his or her regular assignment, he or she shall be released without loss of pay or benefit.

 

11.       Both the grievant and the administrator have the right to submit as evidence the written opinions or evaluations of outside specialists or impartial observers at the final hearing stage.

 

12.       The Board, at its discretion, may accept or request additional testimony or witnesses.

 

13.       Once a decision is rendered under this grievance process, the decision is final. Grievance decisions cannot be the subject of a new grievance.

 

14.       Any grievant or administrator may be represented at Step One, Step Two and Step Three of this process by not more than two (2) persons of his or her choosing. Additional representatives shall be by mutual agreement. However, because the point of a grievance is to provide resolution outside the court system, an employee is not entitled to bring an attorney to grievance proceedings. Once an attorney becomes involved in the process, the superintendent or designee will refer the matter to the district's private attorney and the grievance process will end.


Grievance Appeal Process


Principal or Immediate Supervisor (Step One)

 

1.         A teacher with a grievance shall first discuss it with his/her principal or immediate supervisor as may be appropriate with the objective of resolving the matter informally. However, before an aggrieved teacher can move to Step Two, he/she must submit to his/her principal or immediate supervisor a written statement on the grievance form. The principal or immediate supervisor shall have a period of not less than five (5) days during which he/she shall hold a conference with the grievant.

 

2.         Following the conference, but not later than ten (10) days from the date of the filing of the grievance, the principal or supervisor shall tender a written response to the grievant.


Superintendent or Designee (Step Two)

 

1.         If the grievance is not satisfactorily resolved at Step One within 15 days after the grievant filed a written grievance, the grievant may submit the written grievance, the extent and conditions of which may not be expanded from Step One, to the Office of the Superintendent. The superintendent or his/her designee shall schedule and hold a conference relative to such grievance within five (5) days of receipt of such grievance.

 

2.         Within three (3) days of such meeting, the superintendent or his/her designee shall communicate a decision in writing to the grievant. The staff member will provide the Association a copy of the Level Two report.


Board of Education (Step Three – Final Appeal)

 

1.         If the grievance is not satisfactorily resolved at Step Two within 15 days after the grievant filed a grievance at Step Two, the grievant may submit the written grievance, the extent and conditions of which may not be expanded from Step Two, to the Board of Education. The Board shall set a date to hear the dispute. The Board shall determine the procedures of the hearing.

 

2.         Within five (5) days of such meeting, the Board shall render a written decision to the grievant, which shall be final.


Documentation


A grievant will receive a written response or report regarding his or her grievance, but the grievant and persons investigated in the course of the grievance are not entitled to view or receive copies of the investigation file or notes taken during the investigation, unless required by law.


All documents, communications and records dealing with the processing of a grievance shall be filed separately from the personnel file of the participant. However, if an employee is disciplined as a result of the grievance, the discipline may be recorded in the employee's personnel file and discussed with the employee. Information recorded in an employee's personnel file will not be shared except as provided in Board policy or required by law.


* * * * * * *


Note:  The reader is encouraged to check the index located at the beginning of this section for other pertinent policies and to review administrative procedures and/or forms for related information.

 

Adopted:         10/14/1993

 

Revised:          06/08/1999; 06/08/2000; 10/14/2004; 07/14/2011

 

Cross Refs:     KL, Public Complaints


St. Charles School District, St. Charles, Missouri

 

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For Office Use Only: GBM1-C.SC6 (11/10)

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