Grievances Regulation

REGULATION # 432

 

ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATION TYPE: Human Resources

Responsible Administrator: Vice President of Human Resources

Location of Related Procedures: Office of the VP of Human Resources

Administration Regulation Purpose:

The college has established a grievance procedure available for employees to use to address concerns regarding discipline, termination, or workplace safety. The college expects employees and management to exercise reasonable efforts to resolve any questions, problems, or misunderstandings prior to using this procedure. This procedure is intended to comply with the requirements of state law, Stat., § 66.0509.

Purpose:

Madison College values a positive and productive working relationship amongst all employee groups. In the event there is a concern regarding discipline, termination, or workplace safety, the college needs a mechanism by which it addresses these concerns.

December 2017


Grievances Procedure

Procedure # 432

ELIGIBILITY

This procedure applies to full-time and part-time Madison College employees.

Except in cases of workplace safety, this procedure does not apply to:

  • Temporary employees;
  • Casual employees;
  • Student employees; or,
  • Work study student employees.

DEFINITIONS

Grievance: Grievance means any concern regarding discipline, termination or workplace safety as defined in this procedure.

Days: All days listed in this policy are regular business days when the College is open for business. Weekends, holidays and days when the campus is closed for business are excluded.

Immediate supervisor: All supervisors included in the employee’s chain of command up to and including, the supervisory position immediately subordinate to the employee’s cabinet-level executive. An employee whose immediate supervisor is a Vice President or above may submit a formal written dispute to the next level of supervisory authority.

GRIEVANCE PROCESS STEPS

Steps in the Process:

  1. Informal meeting with immediatesupervisor;
  2. Formal written grievance to the Vice President of Human Resources or assigned designee and immediate supervisor;
  3. Appeal to Impartial Hearing Officer(IHO);
  4. Appeal to the college President or assigned designee; and,
  5. Final appeal to the Board of Trustees.

Operational Procedures:

Step 1: Informal Meeting with Immediate Supervisor

  • An employee will first attempt to resolve a grievance informally with his or her immediate supervisor through an informal meeting and discussion.

  • The employee should indicate to the supervisor that this is Step 1 of a grievance situation if that is the case.

  • The informal grievance must be made within 20 days of the date the employee knew or reasonably should have known of the event giving rise to the grievance.

  • The immediate supervisor will meet with the employee and respond to the grievance within 10 days of its initiation, unless the supervisor determines that more time is needed due to special circumstances.

Step 2: Formal Written Grievance to the Vice President of Human Resources

  • If the grievance is not resolved informally at Step 1, the grievant may file a written grievance to the Vice President of Human Resources and immediate supervisor within 10 days of the decision in Step 1 or, if no response was given, within 10 days of the deadline for the response.

  • The written grievance must contain:

    • A statement of the pertinent facts surrounding the grievance including witnesses if applicable;

    • All pertinent dates including the date the event occurred;

    • The steps taken to informally resolve the grievance;

    • The individuals involved in the attempt at resolving the grievance and the results of such discussion;

    • The specific remedy requested; and,

    • Procedures or policies violated or a description of the workplace safety rule allegedly violated, if applicable.

  • The Vice President of Human Resources or designee will respond with a decision within 15 days after the written grievance is filed, including rationale for the decision.

Step 3: Appeal to Impartial Hearing Officer

  • The college President or designee first determines if the applicable issue qualifies for resolution under this procedure (i.e., discipline, termination, or workplace safety). If the issue qualifies, the process proceeds.

  • If the grievant does not agree with the result of Step 2 or in the event the Vice President of Human Resources or designee does not respond in a timely manner, the grievant may appeal the decision to an Impartial Hearing Officer (IHO). The IHO has the authority to determine whether the grievance is covered by the procedure.

  • To appeal, the grievant, within 10 days of the issuance of the decision at Step 2, or if no reply is received, within 25 days after the submission at Step 2, must provide to the Vice President of Human Resources or designee a clear and concise statement of the grievance in writing to include:

    • All information provided in previous steps;

    • Any additional information; and,

    • Rationale regarding why the grievant disagrees with the previous decisions.

  • The College Assembly or designee will create a pool of qualified IHO candidates and determine the process for selection of an IHO. The IHO must not be an employee of the district and must not have an interest in the outcome. The IHO may be an employee of another district, a retired administrator, a lawyer, a professional mediator/arbitrator, or other qualified individual.

  • The following applies to the hearing before an IHO:

    • Neither the grievant nor the college can discuss the case with the IHO in advance of the formal hearing;

    • The hearing date will be scheduled as soon as possible following the selection of the IHO with the hearing conducted within 45 days of the appeal request. The parties may mutually agree to extend the timelines;

    • The IHO cannot have an interest in the case. The IHO determines whether they have a conflict or interest in the case and reports so to the Vice President of Human Resources or designee and to the employee;

    • If there are costs incurred for the IHO, the college pays the costs;

    • The hearing is documented by a court reporter and paid for by the c ollege. Either party may request a transcription of the hearing and bear those costs. In the event the hearing examiner requests a brief on any matter raised in the hearing, including, but not limited to, a closing brief, a copy of the hearing transcript will be provided to both parties by the college; and,

    • At least one week prior to the hearing, the college and the grievant will meet to determine joint exhibits and stipulations to be introduced at the outset of the hearing. With the consent of both parties, joint exhibits may be provided to the IHO in advance of the hearing.

Hearing Process:

  • The hearing is be presided over by the IHO. The grievant and the college are allowed to present necessary information at the hearing. The grievant goes first for both the initial statement and presentation of witnesses in grievances concerning workplace safety. In other cases, the college goes first. The IHO has discretion to allow additional witnesses with time given to both parties equally.

  • The IHO only considers information provided at the hearing. The IHO may uphold the decision in Step 2 or may over-rule it if it is determined that the college acted in violation of a specific provision of an applicable employee policy, District Board policy or administrative regulation, which affects the employee, and, in such cases, the IHO may recommend appropriate action. The IHO will issue a timely written decision, making every effort to make a decision within 15 days after the close of the hearing.

  • The decision includes:

    • A summary of facts and evidence;

    • A summary of relevant policies;

    • Analysis of above; and,

    • Decision.

Step 4: Appeal to the President

  • If the grievant does not agree with the result of the IHO’s decision in Step 3 or in the event the IHO does not respond in a timely manner, the grievant may appeal to the President.

  • To appeal, the grievant, within 10 days of the issuance of the decision at Step 3 or within 10 days of the deadline for the response, must provide to the college President a clear and concise statement of the grievance in writing to include:

    • All information provided in Step 3;

    • Any additional information; and,

    • Rationale of why the grievant disagrees with the Step 3 decision.

  • The college President or designee meets with all appropriate parties to discuss the grievance. The college President or designee also has the right to decide the matter without a meeting.

  • After the meeting, the college President may affirm, reverse, or modify the IHO’s decision in its sole discretion.

  • The college President or designee will respond with a decision within 15 days of the meeting, including rationale for the decision. If no meeting is held, the college President or designee will respond with a decision within 25 days after the submission at Step 3.

Step 5: Final Appeal to the Board of Trustees

  • If the grievance is not resolved satisfactorily at Step 4, the non-prevailing party may appeal the decision of the President or designee to the Board of Trustees.

  • The appeal must be filed within 10 days of the President or designee’s decision.

  • The Board of Trustees will meet in a timely manner to hear the appeal.

  • After the meeting, the Board of Trustees may affirm, reverse, or modify the President or designee’s decision in its sole discretion. The Board of Trustees’ decision is final and binding and may not be appealed.

Updated 12-14-17