3013: Grievance Procedure

Definition of Grievance. A grievance is an allegation by an employee or group of employees that there has been a violation of a provision of the negotiated agreement or a policy of the board of education.

Procedural Steps. The procedure for handling grievances is as set forth below.

Step 1 - Oral Notice to Administrator. The grievant shall initiate the grievance by presenting it to his or her administrator or immediate supervisor within seven (7) days from the date that the grievant knew or should have known of the incident giving rise to the grievance.

Step 2 - Written Grievance to the Administrator. If the grievance is not resolved to the satisfaction of the grievant within five (5) days of the meeting with the administrator, the grievant representative may present the grievance in writing to the principal.

The administrator shall schedule a meeting within three (3) days of receipt of the written grievance to discuss the elements of the grievance. The administrator shall submit his or her determination in writing to the grievant within five (5) days of the meeting. 

Step 3 - Appeal to the ESU Board. If the determination of the administrator is not satisfactory to the grievant, the grievant may appeal it to the board within five (5) days of receipt of the administrator's decision. The board shall hear the grievance within thirty (30) days in open or closed session in accordance with the law. The board shall notify the grievant of its decision within five (5) days of hearing the grievance.

Written Presentation. All grievances presented at Step 2 and subsequent steps of the procedure shall set forth in writing all facts giving rise to the grievance, the provision(s) of the Agreement or policy alleged to have been violated, the names of the grievant(s), the names of all witnesses, and the remedy sought by the grievant. All grievances at Step 2 and appeals at Step 3 shall be signed and dated by the aggrieved employee. All written answers submitted by the ESU shall be signed and dated by the appropriate ESU representative.

Grievance Meetings or Hearings. All meetings and hearings conducted under this procedure up to and including Step 2 shall be conducted in private and shall include only the administration's representatives, the grievant, the grievant's representatives, and witnesses as necessary.

Association Representation. A grievant shall have the right to have an Association representative present to represent the grievant at each level of the grievance procedure.

Reprisals. No reprisals of any kind shall be taken against any employee who uses this grievance procedure in good faith.

Withdrawal of a Grievance. A grievant may withdraw his or her grievance at any level of the procedure without fear of reprisal from any party.

Advanced Step Filing. A grievance shall be filed initially at the level at which the decision resulting in the grievance was made.

Time Limitations. Time limitations herein are critical. All references to days are to calendar days. No grievance shall be accepted by the ESU unless it is submitted or appealed within the time limits set forth in this Agreement. If at any time during the grievance process, it is discovered that the grievance was not filed or appealed in a timely manner, the grievance shall be dismissed. If the grievance is not submitted in a timely manner at Step 1 or Step 2, it shall be deemed to be waived. If the grievance is not appealed to Step 3 in a timely manner, it shall be deemed to have been settled in accordance with the ESU's Step 2 determination. If the ESU fails to answer within the time limits set forth in this Agreement, the grievance shall automatically proceed to the next step.

When the deadline for taking an action falls on a Saturday, a Sunday or a legal holiday, the time for taking the action shall be extended to the next working day.

Requirement to Grieve. This grievance procedure is not discretionary and cannot be waived except through the express written consent of the board. No administrator or board member, individually, has the authority to waive the requirements of this procedure. Any grievance covered by this procedure but not raised pursuant to the requirements herein, including any grievance abandoned, will be forfeited.

Bad Faith or Serial Filings. The purpose of the grievance procedure is to resolve complaints and grievances regarding covered matters at the lowest level possible within the chain of command. Grievances filed without any intention to attempt to resolve the issues raised; for the purpose of adding administrative burden; or for purposes inconsistent with the professional obligations of ESU staff members may be dismissed by the administrator without providing final resolution other than noting the dismissal on a basis in this section.

Adopted on: June 9, 2008
Revised on: Sept. 10, 2018
Reviewed on: May 9, 2011
Reviewed on: Oct. 11, 2021