Article 4: Grievance and Arbitration Procedure

4.1 A grievance is defined as a statement by a unit member or the Association that the District has violated or misapplied one or more provisions of this Agreement.

4.2 There shall be an earnest effort on the part of the parties to this Agreement to promptly settle grievances through the steps listed below:

Step 1 The grievance will be reduced to writing by the grievant, fully stating the facts surrounding the grievance, the specific provision of this Agreement alleged to have been violated, and the remedy sought. The statement shall be signed and dated by the grievant or his/her representative and presented to the immediate administrator within thirty (30) days after the grievant knew or should have known of the event giving rise to the grievance. A meeting between the grievant and immediate administrator will be arranged to review and discuss the grievance. Such meeting will take place within (5) working days from the date the written grievance is received by the immediate administrator. The immediate administrator and grievant may each invite one other person to be present at this meeting. The immediate administrator will give a written reply by the end of the fifth working day following the date of the meeting, and the giving of such reply will terminate Step 1.

Step 2 If the grievant is not satisfied with the reply at Step 1, or if there has been no reply within the proscribed time limit, the grievant may present the grievance to the Superintendent or designee within seven (7) working days after the Step 1 reply, or its due date, and a meeting shall be arranged to review and discuss the grievance. Such meeting shall take place within five (5) working days from the date the grievance is received by the Superintendent or designee. The grievant may be represented at this meeting by an Association representative. The Superintendent or designee may invite other District employees to be present at such meeting. A written decision shall be rendered by the Superintendent or designee within seven (7) working days from the date of such meeting, and the rendering of such decision will terminate Step 2.

Step 3 If the grievant is not satisfied with the decision at Step 2, or if there has been no decision within the proscribed time limit, the grievant may request that the Association appeal the grievance to arbitration. If the Association agrees to appeal the grievance to arbitration, it shall notify the Superintendent, within ten (10) working days after the decision at Step 2, or its due date. 5 Board approved June 23, 2015 The Association and Superintendent shall attempt to agree upon an arbitrator to hear the grievance, but if no agreement is reached within five (5) days of the Association’s notice of appeal to arbitration, the parties shall request an arbitrator from the American Arbitration Association (AAA). In any event, the parties and the arbitrator shall then be bound by the Voluntary Labor Arbitration Rules of the AAA, and the parties shall be bound by the arbitrator’s award as the final settlement of the grievance. The arbitrator shall have no power to add to, subtract from, or otherwise amend the parties’ Agreement nor order an award, which would require the District to take action in violation of law.

4.3 If a grievance is not processed by the grievant in accordance with the time limits set forth in this Article, it shall be considered settled on the basis of the last decision made, unless time limits have been extended by written mutual agreement.

4.4 If the immediate administrator, or the Superintendent, fails to respond to the grievance at any step in accordance with the time limits herein, the grievant may proceed to the next step.

4.5 In the event that a grievance is filed at such time that, with strict adherence to the time limits, it cannot be processed through all the steps by the end of the school year, the time limits as set forth herein may be reduced by written mutual agreement so that the procedures may be completed prior to the end of the school year, or as soon thereafter as is practicable.

4.6 The grievant shall be entitled, upon request, to representation by the Association at all grievance meetings. In situations where the association has not been invited to represent the grievant, the District shall not agree to the final resolution of the grievance until the Association has received a copy of the grievance and the proposed settlement, and has been given the opportunity to file a response to the matter. The District’s decision shall not be inconsistent with this Agreement.

4.7 The District shall not impose or threaten to impose reprisals on employees, discriminate or threaten to discriminate against employees, or otherwise interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees because of their exercise of rights guaranteed by this Article.

4.8 If a grievance arises from action or inaction on the part of a member of the administration at a level above the principal or immediate administrator, the grievance procedure may be initiated at Step 2.

4.9 Official blank forms for filing grievances, serving notices, taking appeals, and making reports and recommendations will be prepared jointly by the District and the Association and given appropriate distribution. The cost of preparing such forms shall be borne by the District.