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1720 Employee Grievance Procedure

1720 Employee Grievance Procedure

Grievance Procedure - Washington County School District - Adopted 8-79; Revised 11-9-04; Revised 6-6-11; Revised 8-9-11

1. Purpose:

The purpose of this grievance policy is to provide a procedure by which employees and others may present for administrative resolution, disputes regarding interpretation or application of District policies and procedures.

2. Policy:

2.1. It is the policy of the Washington County School District to provide prompt, informal administrative resolution (at the lowest possible supervisory level) to ensure the protection of due process rights. The intent of this policy is to provide a concise and orderly means of resolving grievances.

2.2. The following actions are not "grievable" under this policy:

  • Complaints regarding disciplinary actions, termination of probationary or provisional employees, and non-renewal of contract (These matters appealed as outlined in District Policy 1450.)
  • Complaints regarding educator evaluations or performance reviews (These matters appealed as outlined in District Policy 1432.)
  • Complaints regarding alleged sexual harassment violations (These matters appealed as outlined in District Policy 1420.)
  • Termination of temporary employees.
  • Job classification and compensation issues.
  • Actions grieved after resignation or voluntary request.
  • Hiring decisions.
  • Any matter where an employee alleges discrimination or other civil rights violations must be grieved following the procedures outlined in District Policy 1710.

2.3. A grievance must be filed within ninety (90) calendar days of the date the employee knew or should have known of the actions giving rise to the grievance.

3. Procedure:

3.1. Informal Procedure:

3.1.1. Step 1:The employee alleging a grievance shall first discuss the complaint with the school principal and/or supervisor with the objective of resolving the matter. Proceedings shall be informal and confidential.

3.1.2. Step 2 (If necessary):

If following the discussion with the principal and/or supervisor the matter is not resolved, the employee must put in writing the unresolved grievance and appeal again to the principal and/or supervisor within 10 calendar days of the date of the discussion (step 1). After which, the principal and/or supervisor shall make a response in writing within 10 calendar days and then hold a conference with employee to attempt to resolve the matter.

3.2. Formal Procedure (If necessary): After the informal procedure has been followed, the below-listed formal procedure shall be followed in sequence as needed.

3.2.1. Step 1:

  • An appeal to the Superintendent (or designee) shall be made in writing, within ten (10) calendar days after disposition under informal procedures.
  • A hearing by the Superintendent (or designee) shall be held within fifteen (15) calendar days after receiving the written appeal. The employee may invite one person of his or her choice to attend the hearing.
  • The Superintendent (or designee) shall make a written decision on the grievance within fifteen (15) calendar days after the hearing.

3.2.2. Step 1A: The Advisory Panel procedures outlined in this paragraph were originally negotiated by the Certificated Teachers Association on June 13, 1996 and subsequently modified on June 6, 2011.   The following provisions are limited to eligible certificated employees only.

  • At the employee's request, an appeal may be made to an Advisory Panel, as described below, or the employee may proceed directly to Step 2 of the formal procedure for further administrative review.
  • A request for an appeal to an Advisory Panel must be in writing and received by the Superintendent within fifteen (15) calendar days after notification of the decision of the Superintendent, subsequent to Step 1.
  • A hearing by a three member Advisory Panel shall be held within fifteen (15) calendar days after the request for appeal.  The employee may be represented by counsel or by a designee selected by the employee.
  • Within five (5) calendar days after the request, the Superintendent and the employee shall each select one person to be on the panel.  Each party shall also submit a list of six objective individuals.  The parties shall meet at a mutually agreed upon time to exchange lists.  If none of the names on either list are agreeable to both parties, the winner of a coin toss shall strike one name from the other parties' list.  The loser of the toss shall then strike a name from the winner's list.  The process of taking turns will be followed until only one name remains.  A record of the order in which names were struck from the list shall be kept in case the final panel member cannot serve.
  • Each party shall be responsible for its own costs for their selected member on the hearing panel.  If the third mutually acceptable member requires reasonable compensation, each party will share the expenses equally.  The District may require the posting of a bond or letter of credit or the deposit of suffiecient cash by the employee to assure payment of the foregoing expenses by the employee or the employee's association or representive.
  • Each party shall be responsible to schedule their own witnesses.  The District will allow the reasonable scheduling of essential employees, if needed, as witnesses for either party.
  • Parties shall exchange documentary evidence at least two (2) calendar days before the scheduled hearing.
  • The Advisory Panel shall be conducted informally, and the rules of evidence used in courts of law need not be stricly observed.
  • The hearing proceedings shall be recorded and preserved.  Stenographic recording shall not be required.
  • The decision of the Advisory Panel shall be in writing and issued within fifteen (15) calendar days after the hearing, a copy shall be given to the employee, and, at the employee's written request, a copy will be given to the employee's association president.
  • Either the Superintendent or the employee may appeal the decision of the Advisory Panel to the School Board (Formal Procedure Step 2) in writing within fifteen (15) calendar days after notification of the Advisory Panel's decision.

3.2.3. Step 2: The employee (with respect to formal Step 1) and the employee or Superintendent (with respect to formal Step 1A) may appeal the decision of the Superintendent or Advisory Panel (as applicable) to the Washington County School District Board of Education ("School Board").

  • An appeal to the School Board must be made in writing and submitted to the clerk of the School Board (Washington County School District Business Administrator) within fifteen (15) calendar days after notification of the Superintendent's decision subsequent to an appeal at formal Step 1 or the Advisory Panel's decision subsequent to an appeal at formal Step 1A.
  • In the event of an appeal of the decision of the Advisory Panel issued upon completion of the hearing required under formal Step 1A, the School Board may review and, at its sole discretion, adopt the findings and decision of the Advisory Panel without conducting a hearing.
  • If the School Board chooses to hear the grievance or if an Advisory Panel hearing was not conducted, theSchool Board shall conduct a hearing within thirty (30) calendar days after receipt of notice of appeal. The employee may be represented by counsel or a person of his or her choosing.
  • The School Board may, at its sole discretion, select and designate one or more hearing officer(s) to conduct the hearing or to serve with one or more members of the Board during the proceeding.
  • If the School Board delegates its authority to one or more hearing officer(s) to make decisions relating to the grievance, the decision of the hearing officer(s) will be binding upon both the employee and the School Board. This provision, however, does not limit the right of the School Board or the employee to appeal to an appropriate court of law.
  • The School Board's or hearing officer's decision shall be in writing and issued within fifteen (15) calendar days of the hearing or the School Board's adoption of the Advisory Panel's decision (as applicable). A copy shall be given to the employee and, at the employee's written request, a copy will be given to the employee's association president.
  • Following the School Board's or hearing officer's decision, no further administrative appeal is provided. Additional legal review must be made to an appropriate court of law.

3.3. Miscellaneous Provisions:

3.3.1. No person shall suffer recrimination or discrimination because of participation in this grievance procedure.

3.3.2. Whenever possible, hearings should be scheduled during a mutually convenient time that does not conflict with regularly scheduled school programs.

3.3.3. Employees shall be free to testify regarding any grievance filed hereunder, and the expenses of necessary and approved release time shall be borne by the District when hearings must of be scheduled during the school day.

3.3.4. Confidentiality will be observed in accordance with the provisions set forth in the Utah Government Records Management Act UCA 63-2-101 et seq.

3.3.5. Nothing contained herein shall be construed so as to limit in any way the ability of the District and the employee and others to resolve any grievance, mutually and informally.

3.3.6. All grievable issues must attempt to be resolved pursuant to the administrative remedy stated in this policy before remedies at law are pursued by the employee.

3.3.7. Individuals alleging discrimination or other civil rights violations must follow the administrative grievance procedures outlined in District Policy 1710.

3.3.8. Notice of all decisions relative to grievances processed under this policy shall be hand delivered or delivered by certified mail, return receipt requested.

3.3.9. Written findings at of fact and conclusions shall be entered in connection with all Board level decisions made under this policy.

3.3.10. Minutes of all Board proceedings under this policy shall be taken and will be made available in accordance with the guidelines set forth in the Utah Government Records Management Act.