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Policy Manual

4470 - Grievance Procedures

Purpose

The purpose of this procedure is to secure, at the lowest administrative level, the resolution of claims arising from a violation, application, or misinterpretation of School Board policies or administrative action. The provisions of this policy do not apply to employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement. No employees may use the grievance procedure to appeal:

  A. a suspension or termination of employment;

 

  B. a non-renewal of a contract and/or nonreappointment; or,

 

  C. the professional judgments and conclusions of the supervisor in concluding a performance evaluation.

 

Definitions

As used in this policy, the following terms have these meanings:

  A. A grievance is a written and signed complaint by one (1) or more employees that alleges a violation, misinterpretation, or misapplication of Board policy or complains of an adverse administrative action, excluding a complaint of discrimination or harassment prohibited by any Board policy for which a complaint procedure is established.

 

  B. The term "employee" means every employee of the Board not covered by a collective bargaining agreement.

 

  C. The term "grievant" or "grievants" means an employee or group of employees who allege a violation, misinterpretation, or misapplication of Board policy or complain of an adverse administrative action. No grievance may be processed anonymously.

 

  D. The term "supervisor" means the principal, director, area superintendent, assistant superintendent, superintendent or other administrative who has the direct responsibility of supervising or managing the grievant and who has the authority to take action necessary to resolve the grievance.

 

  E. The term "days" will mean work days unless a calendar day is specified.

 

Procedure

The following procedure will apply to all grievances not otherwise excluded above. The failure of the grievant to appeal the grievance to the next level will be deemed to be acceptance of the decision rendered at the decision rendered at the last level. The failure of the administration to render a decision within the time limits set forth herein will allow the grievant to appeal to the next highest level above the level at which the decision was not timely filed. The time limits specified herein will be considered a maximum unless the time is extended by mutual consent.

  A. Level One - Informal Conference
    Within ten days after the employee knows or reasonably should have known of the grievable incident, the employee will discuss the matter with the immediate supervisor with the objective of informally resolving the matter. The grievant shall inform the supervisor that she/he is availing himself/herself of the grievance process. The supervisor shall summarize the conversation in writing within ten work days of the discussion, and that writing must be signed by the employee making the informal complaint or marked as "refused to sign", if appropriate.

 

  B. Level Two – Filing a Written Grievance

 

    1. Within 15 work days after the informal conference described in Level One, if no satisfactory disposition is made, the employee may file a written grievance with the supervisor. The written grievance shall set forth specifically the event(s) upon which the grievance is based, citing the policy and/or directive alleged to be violated, the date the alleged infraction took place, and grounds upon which the grievance is made. The employee must sign and date the grievance.

 

    2. Within 15 work days after receiving the written grievance, the supervisor shall schedule another meeting with the employee. Within 15 work days of the second meeting, and after investigating the allegations, the supervisor shall issue a written decision to the employee.

 

  C. Level Three – Review by the Supervisor’s Superior

 

    1. Within 15 work days after the supervisor’s decision, if the employee is not satisfied with the supervisor’s decision or if no decision has been issued, the employee may forward the written grievance and the supervisor’s decision to the supervisor’s superior or to the applicable chief officer. The written grievance shall set forth specifically the event(s) upon which the grievance is based, citing the policy and/or directive alleged to be violated, the date the alleged infraction took place, and grounds upon which the grievance is made. The employee must sign and date the grievance. If the grievance is not forwarded to the superior or chief officer within the designated time, the grievance is considered withdrawn from the grievance process and shall be so noted in the grievance file.

 

    2. Within 15 work days after receiving the grievance, the superior or chief officer will schedule a meeting with the employee. Within 15 work days of that meeting, and after further investigating the allegations as appropriate, the superior or chief officer shall issue a written decision to the employee. A copy shall be provided to the supervisor.

 

  D. Level Four – Appeal to the Applicable Chief Officer

 

    1. Within 15 work days after the superior issues a written decision, if the employee is not satisfied with the decision (or if no decision has been issued within 15 work days of the meeting), the employee may appeal the decision, in writing, to the applicable chief officer. If the grievance is not forwarded to the applicable chief officer within the designated time, the grievance is considered withdrawn from the grievance process and shall be so noted in the grievance file.

 

    2. The appropriate chief officer/designee may appoint an ad hoc grievance review committee. The chair of the committee will be the highest-ranking District official on the committee. The committee will consist of:

 

      a. one member from District management, selected by the Superintendent;

 

      b. one member selected by the grievant, and

 

      c. a third member selected by agreement of the first two members. If the third member is not selected by the other committee members within seven calendar days, the Superintendent/designee shall appoint a third member to serve on the committee.

 

    3. In an effort to resolve the grievance, within 15 work days after the committee is designated, the committee shall meet with the grievant and the supervisor or superior of the person alleged to have violated, misinterpreted, or misapplied a policy or directive. Other persons may be presented as witnesses at the meeting by either the grievant or the supervisor/superior. The committee shall issue a written recommendation within 15 work days after the meeting, determining whether any violation has occurred, and if so, an appropriate remedy. A copy of the recommendation shall be provided to the grievant, supervisor or superior, the General Manager of Employee Relations, and the Superintendent.

 

    4. The recommendation of the committee shall be forwarded to the Superintendent for review. The Superintendent/designee shall review the recommendation of the committee and the record of the grievance. If the Superintendent/designee finds that a meeting with the grievant would assist in the final determination, the Superintendent/designee may schedule a meeting for the purposes of this review. The Superintendent/designee’s decision is the final and binding decision of the District.

 

Rights of Employees

  A. During any of the grievance levels, the employee may be represented by a person of the employee’s choice once the grievance is filed with the supervisor. For grievances that are filed by employees who choose to be represented by legal counsel, the process will begin at the chief officer phase of Level 3 of the grievance process.

 

  B. No retaliation or reprisals of any kind shall be taken by any member of administration or other employee against the employee, representative, or any other participant in the grievance procedure by reason of such participation.

 

General Provisions

  A. Grievance report forms for filing a grievance will be available on the Board website. Employees are to be notified of the procedures in this policy through its posting on the Board policies website.

 

  B. Failure of the employee to advance the grievance through the procedure within the time lines designated will result in immediate dismissal of the grievance.

 

  C. If a preliminary investigation is begun regarding a complaint, the written complaint and documents relating to the investigation are confidential, pursuant to F.S. 119.07(3)(p) & (u), 1012.33, and 1012.796, until the investigation is either concluded or ceases to be active.

 

  D. All records pertaining to a grievance may be filed in a separate grievance file and may not be kept in the official "personnel file" of the employee/applicant, but this grievance file will be treated as provided by F.S. 119.07 and 1012.31. All decisions of management are to be forwarded to the labor relations department, which shall be designated as the custodian of those records for grievances. The grievance file is subject to disclosure pursuant to the Public Records law and F.S. 1012.31.

 

  E. If a grievance is filed under the grievance procedure in a collective bargaining agreement, the employee shall not pursue the grievance under this procedure.

 

  F. The filing of a grievance shall not interfere with the right of the Board to carry out its responsibilities, subject to the final decision on the grievance.

 

F.S. 119.07(3)(p) & (u), 1001.41, 1001.42, 1001.43, 1012.23, 1012.31
F.S. 1012.796
F.A.C. Chapter 6A-19
34 C.F.R. 104.7

Adopted 4/1/14

© Hillsborough 2014

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