Superior School District
Bylaws & Policies
 

4340 - GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to set forth the procedure to be followed with respect to grievances by employees. The terms of this policy shall control unless other valid and enforceable relevant grievance procedures exist and a collective bargaining agreement applies to the matter prior to June 30, 2012. Thereafter, this procedure shall apply to all grievances.

Definitions

A grievance is defined as a dispute or misunderstanding regarding the actions of School District officials with regard to the following:

 

A.

employee termination

 
 

B.

employee discipline

 
 

C.

workplace safety issues

Preliminary Procedures

 

A.

Preliminary Grievance Steps.

 
 

Step 1: Prior to filing a written grievance, employees should discuss any issues, problems, or complaints with his/her immediate supervisor to determine if the grievance can be resolved.

 
 

Step 2: If the grievance cannot be resolved at Step 1, the employee must file a written grievance with the immediate supervisor no later than ten (10) calendar days from when the employee first becomes aware of the termination, discipline, or workplace safety condition which gave rise to the grievance. The immediate supervisor shall respond to the grievance in writing within ten (10) business days of receipt of the written grievance.

 

B.

Appeal to District Administrator.

 
 

Step 3: If the grievance is not resolved in Step 1 or 2, the employee may appeal a denial by filing a written appeal of the grievance to the District Administrator within ten (10) calendar days from the immediate supervisorís decision. The District Administrator shall meet with the parties to discuss the matter at a time that both parties are available. Within ten (10) calendar days of the meeting the District Administrator shall issue a written decision regarding the grievance and either sustain or deny the grievance.

Hearing Officer Arbitration.

 

A.

Appeal to Independent Hearing Officer.

 
 

Step 4: If the grievance is not resolved at Step 3, the employee may appeal a denial of the grievance by the District Administrator by filing a written request for a hearing before an Independent Hearing Officer. This request must be received in writing by the District Administrator no later than fourteen (14) calendar days after the employee receives the District Administratorís written response to the grievance under Step 3.

 
 

The employee may waive the appeal to the Independent Hearing Officer and appeal directly to the School Board as provided in the School Board Review section below as hereinafter set forth.

 

If the employee determines to proceed with a hearing before an Independent Hearing Officer, the Independent Hearing Officer shall be chosen by the grievant from a list maintained by the School District of attorneys admitted to practice in the State of Wisconsin who are not involved in representing the Superior School District and are willing to act as Independent Hearing Officers pursuant to the requirements of School District policy. As soon as a Hearing Officer is chosen, the District Administrator shall transmit to the Hearing Officer all of the written grievance materials and the responses and the record, including the HR file, of the employee involved. The Hearing Officer shall then schedule a conference to arrange for a date for a hearing between the District Administrator, the School Districtís attorney, the Grievant, and the Grievantís representative. At that initial conference, the Hearing Officer shall establish the following:

 
 

1.

The parties and Hearing Officer shall set a date for a hearing. The hearing will take place within thirty (30) days of the scheduling conference or as otherwise agreed upon by the parties.

 
 

2.

The Hearing Officer shall set a reasonable duration of the hearing and determine of whether or not a transcript is requested by the Grievant.

 
 

3.

Arrange for payment in advance of the hearing by the Grievant for the cost of the Hearing Officer and a transcript if one is requested.

 
 

4.

At least five (5) days prior to the hearing, the Grievant shall make payment in full of the estimated cost of the Hearing Officer and the transcript (if any). Failure to make said payment in a timely manner will constitute a waiver of the request for a hearing by the Independent Hearing Officer. In the event that the cost of the Hearing Officer or the transcript exceeds the estimate, grievant will be responsible for any additional cost. In the event that the cost of the Hearing Officer and the transcript is less than the payment, any excess sum will be refunded to the grievant.

 

B.

Hearing Procedure.

 
 

The Hearing Officer shall have the authority to administer oaths and issue subpoenas at the request of the parties and shall be responsible for the fair and orderly conduct of the hearing and the preservation of a record if a transcript is requested. Any party requesting a subpoena from the hearing officer is responsible for the fees associated with a subpoena. All testimony shall be taken under oath and shall be recorded by a Court Reporter, if requested, under the supervision and control of the Hearing Officer, unless another method of recording is mutually agreed upon by the parties and approved by the hearing officer including a digital recording. The standard for the Hearing Officer shall be that the Hearing Officer may only overrule a disciplinary action if the action taken was arbitrary, capricious and/or discriminatory. The Hearing Officer may allow for hearsay evidence in lieu of testimony if relevant to the proceeding at the Hearing Officerís discretion.

 
 

C.

Hearing Officer Decision.

 
 

The Hearing Officer shall submit a written decision reversing or affirming the actions grieved with his/her reasons in writing to the District Administrator and the Grievant within thirty (30) calendar days of the close of the hearing or the submission of the parties written briefs, if any, whichever is later, or at a later date mutually agreed upon by the parties at the conclusion of the hearing. The parties shall provide to the hearing officer the address for the hearing officer to mail the decision to them.

School Board Review.

 

A.

Appeal to School Board.

 
 

Step 5: Within fourteen (14) calendar days of the date that the Hearing Officerís decision is mailed, either party may file with the District Administrator a written notice of appeal of the Hearing Officerís determination to the Board of Education of the School District of Superior (hereinafter "School Board"). Such appeal of the Hearing Officerís decision shall be De Novo. The School Board may consider the Hearing Officerís opinion but is not bound by the Hearing Officerís decision. The School Board shall arrange for a hearing within thirty (30) days of the written request of the grievant after the District Administratorís decision under Section III B if the hearing before a Hearing Officer is waived or within thirty (30) days of the notice of appeal of the Hearing Officerís decision if such procedure has taken place.

 

B.

Hearing Procedure for the School Board.

 
 

The School Board may retain an attorney or other individual to preside over the hearing as the hearing officer during the School Board proceeding. Said counsel will administer oaths, rule on admissibility of evidence and shall not vote in making any decisions. A transcript of the hearing before the School Board shall be recorded by a Court Reporter under the supervision and control of the Hearing Officer chosen by the School Board. All costs associated with the Court Reporter and preparation of the transcript of the hearing before the School Board shall be evenly split between the parties. Hearsay evidence may be admissible if relevant to the proceedings.

 
 

C.

The School Board will hear evidence, consider written materials and the testimony of witnesses concerning the grievance. The decision by the majority of the members of the School Board in attendance at said hearing shall be final and binding on the parties. There shall be no subsequent right of appeal of the School Board decision except as provided by law.

Settlement of Grievance.

A grievance shall be considered waived if it is not filed or appealed within the grievance timeline or if payment to an Independent Hearing Officer, if one is chosen by the grievant under Step 4 of this procedure, is not made in a timely manner. The grievance shall be deemed settled and dismissed at any point in the grievance procedure all parties concerned are mutually satisfied, the grievance has not been timely processed to the next level, or if a written settlement has been achieved between the employee and the District. Settlement shall be in writing and signed by the employee in question with the appropriate District officials involved at the Step level that the grievance was settled.

Revision/Updating.

This policy may be revised, updated, or repealed by the Board of Education of the School District of Superior at any time.

Adopted 9/13/11
Revised 7/10/12