ARTICLE 5 – GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE
1. The purpose of the procedure set forth in this Article is to produce prompt and equitable solutions to those problems which from time to time may arise and affect the conditions of employment of the professional employees covered by this Agreement. The Committee and the Association desire that such procedure shall always be as informal and confidential as possible.
2. Nothing contained in this Article shall be construed as limiting the right of any aggrieved employee from discussing his/her grievance informally under the grievance procedure and from having his/her grievance adjusted, without the intervention of the Association, provided any such adjustment is not inconsistent with the terms of this Agreement and provided that the Association has been given the opportunity to be present at such adjustment and to state its views. All grievance discussions shall take place after the conclusion of the students’ day.
3. A grievance is defined as a question, complaint or dispute involving the meaning, application or interpretation of or compliance with the terms and provisions of this Agreement. Any matter which is not specifically covered by the provisions of this Agreement or which is reserved to the discretion of the Committee by the terms of this Agreement shall not be the subject of a grievance.
4. Grievances, except as are otherwise provided for herein, shall be processed in accordance with the following procedure:
A. Level One: The aggrieved employee shall first present his/her grievance orally or in writing to his/her principal within twenty (20) school days next following the occurrence of the grievance or the date of first knowledge of its occurrence by any employee affected by it. If the grievance is presented in writing, it shall give a summary of the facts involved, the provision or provisions of this Agreement allegedly violated and the relief desired. The principal shall advise the aggrieved employee in writing of the decision made with respect to the grievance within ten (10) days after the grievance is presented.
B. Level Two: If the grievance has not been resolved at Level One to the employee’s satisfaction, the aggrieved employee or the Association may submit the grievance in writing to the Superintendent within ten (10) school days from the employee’s receipt of the Level One decision. The written grievance shall give a summary of the facts involved, the provision or provisions of this Agreement allegedly violated and the relief desired. Within ten (10) school days after receipt of the written grievance, the Superintendent or his/her designee shall meet with the aggrieved employee and a representative or representatives of the Association in an effort to settle the grievance. Within ten (10) school days after the conclusion of said meeting, the Superintendent or his/her designee, as the case may be, shall advise the aggrieved employee and the Association in writing of his/her decision concerning the grievance.
C.Level Three: If the grievance has not been resolved at Level Two to the employee’s satisfaction, the aggrieved employee or the Association may submit the grievance in writing to the Committee within ten (10) school days from receipt of the Level Two decision. Within ten (10) school days after receipt of the written grievance, the Committee shall meet with the aggrieved employee and a representative or representatives of the Association in an effort to settle the grievance. The Committee shall, within ten (10) school days after the conclusion of said meeting, advise the aggrieved employee and the Association in writing of its decision with respect to the grievance.
D. Level Four: If the grievance has not been resolved at Level Three to the satisfaction of the Association, the Association may within fifteen (15) school days after receipt of the Level Three decision submit the grievance to the American Arbitration Association, Boston, Massachusetts, for disposition in accordance with the applicable rules of said American Arbitration Association. The Association will also serve a copy of the demand for arbitration within said fifteen (15) school days on the Committee.
(1) The arbitrator selected shall hold hearings promptly and, unless the time shall be extended by mutual agreement, shall issue his/her decision no later than thirty (30) days from the date of the close of the hearings or, if oral hearings have been waived, from the date of submission to him/her of the final statements and proofs.
(2) The arbitrator’s decision shall be in writing and shall set forth his/her findings of fact, reasoning and conclusion. The arbitrator shall be without power or authority to make any decision which requires the commission of an act prohibited by law or which is violative of the terms of this Agreement. The arbitrator shall have no authority to alter, modify or change in any way the terms and provisions of this Agreement.
(3) The decision of the arbitrator shall be final and binding upon the Committee, the Association and the aggrieved employee.
(4) The fee and expenses of the arbitrator and the expenses directly related to the arbitration hearing shall be shared equally by the Committee and the Association.
5. If in the judgment of the Association, a grievance affects a group or class of employees, the aggrieved employee or the Association may submit such grievance in writing directly to the Superintendent and the processing of such grievance will begin at Level Two as set forth above. Such grievance shall be presented at Level Two within twenty-five (25) school days next following the occurrence of the grievance or the date of first knowledge of its occurrence by any employee affected by it. The Association may process a grievance through all levels of the grievance procedure even though the aggrieved employee does not wish to do so.
6. Any grievance which is not initially presented or which is not thereafter submitted to the next level of the procedure within the time limits specified above shall be deemed to have been waived.
7. The time limits hereinabove specified for the bringing and processing of a grievance may be extended by mutual agreement of the Association and the Committee. By mutual agreement, the parties may process grievances even during non-school periods.
8. No written communication, other document, or record relating to any grievance shall be filed in the personnel file of any employee involved in presenting such grievance.
9. No reprisal of any kind shall be taken by any party to this Agreement against any employee who participates in a grievance.