BUNCOMBE COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD POLICY 730
PERSONNEL GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES
GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES FOR EMPLOYEES OF THE BUNCOMBE COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION
It is the policy of the Buncombe County Board of Education that each employee shall have the right to present for resolution all problems arising within his employment situation and shall be encouraged to do so without fear of recrimination.
The Board of Education feels that every effort should be made to ensure that each employee shall receive fair and impartial treatment. To that end, the Board hereby adopts the following grievance procedures which are intended to facilitate the handling of all employee/employer complaints and provide avenues for resolution of problems.
The Board believes that most problems and complaints can be settled amiably, at the source, through an open and honest discussion between the employee and the immediate supervisor. Therefore, the first level in the grievance procedure is the informal procedure. At this level, the employee shall first discuss the matter with his immediate supervisor.
If this informal discussion does not result in a satisfactory solution, the employee shall commit his grievance to writing.
A "grievance” is a claim made by an employee or his representative based upon the interpretations, application, or violation of school board policies or administrative decisions affecting an employee or group of employees. A"grievance” does not include:
A complaint or problem that is the subject matter of a proceeding under 115C-325, such as a teacher dismissal or the nonrenewal of a teacher’s contract;
A complaint that is grievable under the Board's Differentiated Pay Plan such as failure to achieve Career Status I or II; or
A complaint for which a rebuttal may be filed, such as a rating(s) on the summative evaluation.
A “grievant” is the employee making the claim or for whom the claim is made.
A “party of interest” is the employee or employees making the claim and any person who might be required to take action, or against whom action might be taken in order to resolve the claim.
“Day” shall mean Monday through Friday excluding legal holidays.
Since it is important that grievances be processed as rapidly as possible, THE NUMBER OF DAYS INDICATED AT EACH LEVEL SHOULD BE CONSIDERED A MAXIMUM, and every effort should be made to expedite the process. Further, failure to adhere to the timelines specified, by the grievant, (unless waived by mutual agreement of parties of interest) shall result in the forfeiture of the grievance. Additionally, if the party of interest against whom the grievance is filed fails to provide his written decision by the time specified, the grievant shall be entitled to proceed to the next level of the procedure.
Level 1 – Informal
An employee with a grievance shall bring the grievance to the attention of his immediate supervisor within thirty (30) days after the employee knew or should have known of conduct or acts giving rise to a grievance. The employee will first discuss the grievance with his immediate supervisor with the objective of resolving the matter informally at the earliest, mutually agreed upon time and place.
Level 2 – Formal
If an employee feels that his grievance has not been settled to his satisfaction at the informal level, the employee shall commit the same to writing specifying the particular grounds for the grievance and the action or relief sought. The employee will submit to his immediate supervisor with whom the grievance has been filed within ten (10) working days of the informal discussion meeting date.
The immediate supervisor, within ten (10) days of receipt of the written grievance, shall arrange and hold a formal discussion of the grievance with the parties of interest and their representatives only. The Supervisor shall render a written decision to the employee within ten (10) days of the meeting.
Level 3 – Formal
If the grievance is not resolved to the employee’s satisfaction at Level 2, the employee within ten (10) days of receipt of decision shall submit the written grievance to the Superintendent.
If Level 2 results in a written grievance to the Superintendent as immediate supervisor, Level 3 will be omitted, and Level 4 is the next level.
The Superintendent, or his designee, within ten (10) days of receipt of the written grievance, shall meet with the party(s) of interest for the purpose of hearing and resolving the grievance. Either party may call witnesses to help in the resolution of the matter. The Superintendent shall render a written decision within ten (10) days of the meeting and provide copies of the decision to all parties of interest.
Level 4 – Formal
If the grievance is not resolved to the employee’s satisfaction at Level 3, the employee, within ten (10) days of receipt of the Superintendent’s decision, shall submit the written grievance to the Chairperson of the Board of Education. The grievance shall be heard by the Board within ten (10) days.
All parties of interest shall be given seventy-two (72) hours notice of the date and site of the meeting. Further, all parties have the right to appear before the Board to be heard, to call witnesses, and to introduce records and documentary evidence relevant to the grievance.
The School Board shall render a written decision on the grievance within ten (10) days of the meeting and immediately provide a copy of the decision to all parties of interest.
Written grievances at all levels need to be delivered by hand or by certified mail so that a receipt may be obtained.
No reprisals of any kind will be taken by the School Board or any member of the administration against any party of interest or any other participant in the grievance proceedings solely because of his participation in the grievance proceedings. Such action shall constitute grounds for subsequent grievances and appropriate disciplinary action will result.
Any party of interest may be represented at all stages of the grievance procedure by a person of his choosing except that a party of interest may not be represented by an attorney except at a Level 4 hearing.
The School Board agrees to make available to any grievant and/or his representative, all information not privileged under law and which is relevant to the issues raised in the grievance.
The employee shall be informed of the nature of any separate interviews or conferences and shall have an opportunity to rebut the information obtained.
When meetings are held during working hours, no employee shall suffer loss of pay or benefits for time away from his duties, nor shall he receive extra pay when meetings are held at a time other than regular working hours.
All decisions at Levels 2, 3, or 4 shall be in writing, stating the reasons for the decisions with copies provided to all parties of interest. Documents generated in the grievance process shall be filed and retained in accordance with N. C. General Statutes.
An effort will be made to resolve any pending grievances prior to the close of the school year in which the grievance was filed.
If the principal (immediate supervisor) does not have the authority to resolve the grievance, the grievance may be filed at the next appropriate level.