The concept of a “grievance” is often misunderstood. The following Q and A is designed to help clear up some of the misconceptions surrounding the grievance procedure.
Q. What is a grievance?
A. From our contract -“ “Grievance” shall mean any claimed violation, misinterpretation or inequitable application of existing laws, Board policies, rules, procedures, regulations, administrative orders, or rules governing conditions of professional service to the extent provided by law; or of the provisions of this Agreement;”
In other words a grievance is a breach of our contract or existing laws.
Q. How does a member file a grievance?
A. An individual member does not file a grievance; the Union on behalf of an individual or group of members will file the grievance. If a member feels they have a cause of action they should contact their building representative, who will assist them with the procedure.
Q. Is the Grievance procedure a one- step process?
A. No, in fact the grievance procedure involves 4 separate stages.
Stage 1 The member will discuss the matter informally with his/her supervisor. The member is entitled to discuss this matter directly or through a Union representative with the goal of resolving the matter informally. If the matter is not resolved, then the matter is reduced to writing and presented to the supervisor. A union representative should be involved in the drafting of this letter. The administrator is required to render a decision in writing.
Stage 2 If the member is not satisfied with the decision then the Grievance Committee shall file a written appeal to the Superintendent of Schools. The Superintendent shall render a decision in writing to the member and the Grievance Committee.
Stage 3 If the member or the Association is not satisfied with the decision, the Grievance Committee will file an appeal to the Board of Education. A hearing will be held on the matter and the Board will render a decision in writing.
Stage 4 If the member or the Association is not satisfied with this decision, the grievance may be submitted to an arbitrator.
Q. How long does this procedure take?
A. It is important that grievances be processed as quickly as possible in order to maintain good relationships. Each stage of the grievance procedure is governed by specific time limits. These time limits can be found in Article 33 of our Contract.
Q. Who makes up the Grievance Committee?
A. The Committee is made up of individuals from the HHHTA that have been trained in the grievance procedure.
Q. What should I do if I believe I have a grievance?
A. Step one is to speak with your Building Union Representative. If the issue can not be resolved informally, the appropriate Trustee should be contacted. The Trustee will then discuss the issue with the Grievance Chairperson.
Q. Where can I get more information about the Grievance Procedure?
A. Our contract has all the details of the procedure in Article 33. As always your union representatives are always there for you. Feel free to contact your building representative, Trustee or the Grievance Chair with any inquiry.