Grievance Procedures

Employee Guidance on

GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES

The purpose of grievance policies is to provide a procedure for the reporting and resolution of legitimate employment-related concerns of the employees of Alamogordo Public Schools at the earliest possible time and with the least possible expense, disruption and friction. This section provides guidance to employees who are covered by our collective bargaining agreement and for those who are not. The first policy (G1800) explains what procedures to follow if you are not covered by our collective bargaining agreement. The second attachment is Article Eight – Grievance Procedures as included in the agreement between Alamogordo Public Schools and the National Education Association, Alamogordo (NEA-A) (2012 - 2014).


G-1800

STAFF GRIEVANCES

Purpose

 

The purpose of this policy is to provide a procedure for the reporting and resolution of legitimate employment-related concerns of the employees of this School District at the earliest possible time and with the least possible expense, disruption and friction. The Board of Education recognizes that most personnel difficulties encountered by employees arise from a lack of communication. This procedure is designed to provide a formal mechanism for promoting or restoring such communication so that problems may be resolved before far more serious difficulties result. This grievance policy does not apply to employees covered by a union Collective Bargain Agreement, unless the Collective Bargain Agreement specifically so provides.

Mediation will always be an acceptable form of resolution at any step in this process. Mediation may be requested by either party at any time, but will only be utilized by mutual agreement of the parties. The costs of mediation shall be shared by the parties or the School District, at the discretion of the Superintendent of Schools, may bear the total costs of mediation. All efforts will be made to locate and acquire the services of a person trained in mediation to act as a mediator. The parties must agree on the selection of the mediator.

©Adopted: March 14, 2012


ARTICLE EIGHT – Grievance Procedures

A. Purpose

The purpose of this procedure is to secure, at the lowest administrative level equitable solutions to problems which may arise, involving matters dealt with in this Agreement. All grievances shall be kept confidential.

B. Definitions

  1. The term “grievance” means an allegation that there has been a violation, misinterpretation, or misapplication of a specific provision or provisions in this Agreement.
  2. The “immediate supervisor” is the person who evaluates the grievant and has the authority to remedy the allegation.
  3. An “aggrieved employee” or “grievant” is the employee making the grievance or claim.
  4. A “party of interest” is the employee, group of employees, or the Association making claim, or any person who might be required to take action (or against whom action might be taken) in order to resolve the claim.

C. Timely Processing of Grievances

  1. Time limits specified at each level shall be considered maximum and effort shall be made to expedite the process. Time limits may be extended by mutual agreement.
  2. Failure to file a grievance or appeal a decision within the time limits specified herein shall result in dismissal of the issue.
  3. Failure to submit a decision in writing within the time limits specified herein will cause the grievance to proceed to the next level.
  4. If a grievance affects a group or class of certified employees, the Association may file the grievance within fifteen (15) days of the act that caused the grievance, at the appropriate supervisor’s level, or if the appropriate supervisor does not have the authority to remedy the matter, at the Superintendent’s level.

D. Informal Level

  1. The employee, who may be accompanied by an Association representative, shall first meet informally with his/her immediate supervisor in an effort to resolve the grievance. This meeting shall be scheduled within fifteen (15) days of the event of the act or discovery of the act that caused the grievance
  2. The supervisor shall have five (5) days to respond to the grievant.

E. Level One

  1. A Level One Grievance file will be established that will contain all Level One grievances and their resolutions. This file will be kept separate from Human Resources personnel records. Any grievance placed in this file will be removed after five (5) years following the year in which a resolution was reached. Grievance files may be retained longer if they involve issues of pending litigation.
  2. If the grievant is not satisfied with the resolution of the grievance at the informal level, the grievant may present the grievance on a form developed by the parties. Grievance forms will be available in the office of each location and/or from the Association President. The date of occurrence shall be the date the grievant had knowledge of the event giving rise to the grievance.
  3. The grievant shall hand deliver the completed grievance form to his/her immediate supervisor within five (5) days of the supervisor’s answer at the informal meeting. The form shall specify the date of the occurrence, date of the informal meeting, description of the grievance and the specific article alleged to have been violated, and relief sought by the grievant.
  4. The grievant’s immediate supervisor shall have five (5) days from the date the grievance form is submitted to hand deliver a written answer to the grievant.

F. Level Two

  1. If the grievant is not satisfied with the answer at Level One, or if no decision was provided within the required time limit, the grievant shall have the right within five (5) days of receipt of the Level One answer to hand deliver the grievance to the Superintendent or his or her designee.
  2. The Superintendent or his or her designee shall schedule and meet with the grievant and the grievant’s representative, in an effort to resolve the grievance, within five (5) days of receipt of the Level Two request.
  3. The Superintendent or his or her designee shall hand deliver his/her answer to the grievant within five (5) days of the date the meeting occurred.

G. Level Three

  1. If the aggrieved is not satisfied with Level Two answers to the grievance, the grievant may submit within fifteen (15) days a demand for binding arbitration to the Superintendent or his or her designee. Within five (5) days of receipt of the demand for arbitration, the Grievant or his or her designee shall submit to the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services (FMCS) a request for a list of seven (7) arbitrators from the region that includes New Mexico.
  2. If any question arises as to the ability to arbitrate a grievance, the arbitrator, prior to hearing the merits of the grievance, shall rule upon such question.
  3. Arbitration shall be conducted by one (1) arbitrator who shall be selected as follows:
  4. The parties will strike names from the list of arbitrators within ten (10) days of the receipt of the panel.
  5. Each party will strike one name, until single name remains, which shall become the arbitrator. The party required to strike the first name will be determined by the flip of a coin.
  6. The arbitrator shall have no power to alter, amend, add, or subtract from the terms of the Agreement nor make any decisions requiring the commission of an act prohibited by law.
  7. The arbitrator shall submit a determination to the District and the Association or grievant within fifteen (15) days after the conclusion of the hearing. The determination shall be final and binding on the parties, subject to appeal to District Court as an award issued under the Uniform Arbitration Act.
  8. All costs of the services of the arbitrator shall be borne equally by the parties to the grievance. All other costs, such as a transcript or recording made of the hearing, shall be paid by the requesting party.
  9. Unless the aggrieved is represented by the Association, the arbitrator may require the aggrieved party to post the party’s share of the expenses in advance of the hearing.

H. Representation by the Association

  1. An employee may present a grievance individually, without the intervention of the exclusive representative (the Association). An adjustment shall not be inconsistent with or in violation of the Agreement.
  2. Nothing contained herein will be construed as limiting the right of any employee having a grievance to discuss the matter informally with any appropriate member of the administration, and to have the grievance adjusted without intervention by the Association, provided that the adjustment is consistent with the terms of the Agreement.

I. Rights of Employees

  1. The District will ensure that grievances are conducted in a professional manner. No negative actions will be taken by the District or the employee’s immediate supervisor against any aggrieved employee, any party of interest, any Association grievance representative, or any other participant in the grievance procedure based solely on such participation.
  2. All employees may be represented at all levels of the grievance procedure by himself/herself at his/her option or by an Association representative. If the Association does not represent an employee in the grievance procedure, the Association has the right to be present and to state its view at all formal levels of the grievance procedure.

 

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