ARTICLE 7

GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

Definitions

7.1

Grievance - The term "grievance" as used in this Article refers to the filed allegation by a grievant that there has been a violation, misapplication, or misinterpretation of a specific term(s) of this Agreement.

7.2

Grievant - The term "grievant" as used in this Article refers to any bargaining unit employee who alleges in a grievance that he/she/they has/have been directly wronged by a violation, misapplication, or misinterpretation of a specific term(s) of this Agreement.

The term "grievant" as used in this Article, may refer to the Union when alleging harm to the bargaining unit due to a violation, misapplication, or misinterpretation of any specific term of this Agreement.

7.3

Representative - The term "representative" as used in this Article shall be a Union Representative or an employee who, at the grievant 's request, may be present at all levels through Level IV. Representation at Level V shall be by the Union only.

7.4

Respond and File - The terms "respond" and "file" as used in this Agreement refer to personal delivery or deposit in the U.S. mail. If mail delivery is used, the postmark shall establish the date of response or filing. If personal delivery is used, the calendar date of delivery shall establish the date of response or filing. A copy of all responses shall be concurrently delivered via mail or in person to the grievant's representative.

Level I - Informal

7.5

A grievant shall have the right to present a potential grievance and to have that potential grievance considered in good faith. The grievant and representative, if any, shall discuss the potential grievance with the immediate non-bargaining unit supervisor no later than thirty (30) days after the event giving rise to the potential grievance, or no later than thirty (30) days after the grievant knew or reasonably should have known of the event giving rise to the potential grievance.

7.6

The grievant shall attempt to resolve the potential grievance informally with the immediate non-bargaining unit supervisor. The immediate non-bargaining unit supervisor shall provide a verbal response to the grievant as soon as possible after the Level I meeting.

Level II - Formal

7.7

If the potential grievance is not resolved at Level I, Informal, the grievant may file a Level II grievance with the Head Start Executive Director or his/her designee no later than fourteen (14) days after the Level I meeting. The grievant shall state on a grievance form agreed to by the parties and provided by the Union:

  1. the specific term(s) of the Agreement alleged to have been violated;
  2. a detailed description of the grounds of the grievance including, but not limited to, names, dates, places, and times;
  3. a proposed remedy;
  4. the name, classification, mailing address, and signature of the grievant;
  5. the name and telephone number of the representative, if any;
  6. the name and address of the Union, if the representative is acting as an agent of the Union; and
  7. the date of submission.

7.8

Failure to provide the required information in items 7.7 (a) through (g) will be grounds for the return of the grievance to the union representative. If the grievance is not amended and returned within twenty-one (21) days, the grievance will be deemed withdrawn.

7.9

The Head Start Executive Director or his/her designee shall hold a meeting with the grievant and the grievant's representative, if any, at a mutually acceptable time and location within ten (10) days after receipt of the grievance filing. The Head Start Executive Director or his/her designee shall respond to the grievant or the grievantís representative no later than fifteen (15) days after the Level II meeting.

Level III

7.10

In the event the grievance is not resolved at Level II, the grievant may file a Level III grievance with the President or his/her designee no later than fourteen (14) days after the Level II response. If a settlement is proposed at Level II, the grievant should include a written statement relevant to the settlement proposal. Within fourteen (14) days after receipt of the Level III filing, the President or his/her designee shall hold a meeting with the grievant and the grievant's representative, if any, at a mutually acceptable time and location. President or his/her designee shall respond to the grievant or the grievantís representative no later than twenty-one (21) days after the Level III meeting.

7.11

The grievant shall present at Level III all issues and evidence known, or which reasonably should be known, related to the grievance. Issues and/or evidence must be made known before filing the grievance at Level II by the grievant, or they cannot be considered at subsequent levels.

7.12

Amendments and/or modifications to the grievance shall not be made by the grievant after the Level III filing date except as provided for in Provision 7.11.

7.13

Prior to the Level III response date, the parties may, by mutual agreement, waive all procedures at Level III and expedite the grievance to Level IV. Level IV time limits shall commence on the date the agreement to expedite was reached.

Level IV

7.14

In the event the grievance is not settled at Level III, the grievant may file a written request for review with the Office of the Chancellor no later than fourteen (14) days after the Level III response. The grievant shall attach a copy of the Level II and Level III responses together with any documents presented at those levels.

7.15

Within fourteen (14) days of receipt of the Level IV filing, the representative of the grievant shall schedule a conference, at a mutually acceptable time and location or via telephone conference call with a designated individual in the Office of the Chancellor for the purpose of reviewing the matter. The designated individual in the Office of the Chancellor shall respond no later than twenty-one (21) days after the conference. The original Level IV response from the Office of the Chancellor shall be sent to the Union representative handling the case at Level IV.

Level V - Arbitration

7.16

If the grievance has not been settled at Level IV, the Union alone may, no later than thirty (30) days after the Level IV response, submit the grievance to arbitration by giving notice to that effect by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the Office of the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Human Resources.

7.17

The parties hereby designate Norman Brand, Bonnie Bogue, Jerilou Cossack, Tom Angelo and other mutually agreed to arbitrators as members of the Arbitration Panel under this Agreement. The panel members shall be designated to serve in the order of rotation noted above, provided the panel member reached has an available day within one hundred and twenty days (120) of notification, or the parties mutually agree to a later date. Either party to the Agreement may peremptorily challenge one panel member at any time during the term of this Agreement and such panel member shall be removed from the panel and replaced with a mutually acceptable replacement.

7.18

If an arbitrability question exists, the arbitrator shall determine the arbitrability question prior to hearing the merits of the grievance. The arbitrator may proceed to hear the merits of the grievance prior to meeting the requirements of Provision 7.19 below.

  1. When the grievance is found not arbitrable, the grievance shall be deemed null and void.
  2. When the grievance is found to be arbitrable, the arbitrator shall hear the merits of the grievance.
  3. Provision 7.18 above shall not prohibit the parties from mutually agreeing to a second arbitration hearing on the merits of the grievance or from mutually agreeing to select a second arbitrator to hear the merits of the grievance.

7.19

The arbitrator's award shall be in writing and shall set forth his/her findings, reasons, and conclusions on the issue(s) submitted.

7.20

The Voluntary Labor Arbitration Rules of the American Arbitration Association shall apply at Level V.

7.21

It shall be the function of the arbitrator to rule on the specific grievance. The arbitrator shall be subject to the following limitations:

  1. The arbitrator's award shall be based solely upon the evidence and arguments appropriately presented in the hearing and upon any post-hearing briefs.
  2. The arbitrator shall have no power to alter, add to, detract from, or amend the provisions of this Agreement.
  3. The arbitrator shall have no power to issue an award that would violate law that regulates or affects the Program.
  4. The arbitrator shall not consider any issue not raised by the parties at Level III of this Article. The arbitrator shall not consider any evidence which was known or reasonably should have been known and not raised by the parties at Level III of this Article.
  5. Under no circumstances may an arbitrator make an award that will supersede the Program Head's judgment on subjective business decisions.
  6. The award of the arbitrator may or may not include back pay. Any back pay award shall be less any compensation that the employee received, including unemployment compensation. Under no circumstances may interest be included in an award.
  7. The standard of review for the arbitrator is whether the Program violated, misapplied, or misinterpreted a specific term(s) of this Agreement.

7.22

The arbitrator's award shall be final and binding on both parties.

7.23

A witness who is an employee shall be excused from work time to appear at an arbitration hearing with no loss of pay. Other expenses of any witness called before the arbitrator shall be borne by the party calling the witness.

7.24

Each party shall bear the expense of preparing and presenting its own case. The cost of arbitration, excluding advocate, unilateral withdrawal, postponement, or cancellation fee, shall be borne equally by the parties.

7.25

The process to schedule a grievance for an arbitration hearing shall be initiated by a written request from the representative of the Union to the designated individual in the Office of the Chancellor. The request shall be for the parties to select an arbitrator pursuant to Provision 7.17. Any grievance filed into arbitration shall be considered withdrawn by the Union if it has not been scheduled within twelve (12) months of the filing to arbitration from Level IV and no written request has been made by the Union. Within the twelve (12) months the parties shall confirm with an arbitrator that a hearing date has been set.

7.26

Upon mutual agreement, the parties may agree to use the expedited AAA arbitration procedures for Health and Safety grievances.

7.27

Arbitration hearings shall be held at the programís headquarters unless otherwise mutually agreed-to by the parties.

General Provisions

7.28

Failure of the grievant or representative to comply with the time limitations of this Article shall render the grievance null and void and bar subsequent filing of this grievance. Failure by the Head Start Executive Director or his/her designee, the President or his/her designee, or the Office of the Chancellor to timely respond under this Article shall permit the grievance to be filed at the next level.

7.29

Time limits set forth in this Article may be extended by mutual agreement. If the grievant, representative, if any, or the Head Start Executive Director or his/her designee, the President or his/her designee, or the Office of the Chancellor is on a leave for seven (7) days or more, but less than one year, the time limits shall be extended by the length of time of such leave.

7.30

In cases where it is necessary for the grievant or his/her representative to have access to information for the purpose of investigating a grievance, the grievant or his/her representative shall make a written request for such information to the appropriate administrator. The grievant or his/her representative shall have access to all information within the policies and procedures defining confidentiality that would assist in adjusting the grievance.

7.31

The processing of grievances filed and unresolved prior to the effective date of the Agreement may continue under the grievance procedure in effect at the time of the initial filing.

7.32

A decision by the Union to submit a grievance to arbitration shall automatically be a waiver of all other remedies except as provided otherwise by statute.

7.33

A grievance settled prior to arbitration shall not be precedent setting.

7.34

A grievant may withdraw a grievance at any time. The grievant shall not file any subsequent grievance on the same alleged incident.

7.35

The parties, by mutual agreement, may consolidate grievances on similar issues at any level.

7.36

By mutual agreement, a grievance may be filed at the level at which the authority to resolve the grievance resides.

7.37

Prior to filing a grievance, the potential grievant and representative, if any, shall each be provided with one (1) hour release time for grievance preparation and reasonable time for grievance presentation at the informal level.

7.38

After the grievance has been filed, a representative and the grievant shall be provided reasonable release time for the purpose of preparation and presentation of the grievance.

7.39

The procedures for securing release time for grievance processing shall be:

  1. Representatives and potential grievants shall contact the appropriate administrator if release time is required to prepare and present a grievance at the informal Level. The representative and potential grievant shall be required to cite only Provision 7.37 as a statement of need.
  2. Release time requested pursuant to Provision 7.38 shall require the citation of only Provision 7.38 as a statement of need.
  3. In either case, the appropriate administrator shall grant the contractually specified release time after considering the needs of the Program.
  4. Requests for release time shall include: (1) at what time and location; and (2) the anticipated duration of the meeting.

7.40

Both parties agree that all grievance files shall be confidential. Both parties agree that specific statements made and records used in grievance meetings shall be confidential.

7.41

An employee may present grievances and have such grievances adjusted without the intervention of the Union as long as a settlement is reached prior to Level V; provided such adjustment is not inconsistent with the terms of a written agreement then in effect; and provided that the Program will not agree to a resolution of the grievance until the Union has received a copy of the grievance and the proposed resolution, and has been given the opportunity to file a response.

 

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