Louisiana Department of Education                                              Employee Policies

Special School District (SSD)                                                           Effective Date: 8/12/2013

 

Grievances (Unclassified Employees)

 

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Applicability

 

This policy applies to all unclassified SSD employees.

 

General Provisions

A.    Purpose - The goal of this grievance procedure is to provide an orderly and efficient method for airing and resolving employee complaints about conditions and policies within SSD schools through the normal chain of command within the schools. 

 

B.    Representation - The employee may be accompanied at any level beyond the Informal Step by a representative of the employee’s choosing. 

 

C.    The employee must indicate with his filing at each level beyond the Informal Step who, if anyone, will accompany or represent him/her in any meetings or hearings that might be conducted.

 

D.    No reprisals of any kind shall be taken by either party as a result of the use of this procedure. However, the filing of grievances or the pendency of grievances alone shall not preclude the SSD Superintendent from taking any adverse actions in accordance with applicable law.

 

E.    All decisions rendered at all levels beyond the Informal Step of the grievance procedure shall be in writing setting forth the decision and the reasons therefore and shall be transmitted to appropriate parties. Decisions rendered at any administrative level shall be binding unless and until a timely appeal is made and the decision is reversed at an appeal level. Appeals of decisions rendered must contain point(s) of disagreement with the decision.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Applicability

 

A.    The procedure provided for herein shall be followed in processing grievances for unclassified employees, including teachers, in SSD schools.

 

B.    Employees shall enter the grievance process at the step wherein their immediate supervisor is identified as the person designated to receive the grievance. In cases where a grievance is lodged against the employee’s immediate supervisor or where other extenuating circumstances exist, the employee may proceed to the next higher level. The supervisor, at the requested step, shall review the grievance justification for bypassing the lower step(s) and either act on the grievance or return the grievance to the lower level. 

 

C.    An employee appealing a personnel action resulting from the implementation of a reduction in force will enter the grievance process at the Second Formal Step (Level I if a SSD employee and Level II if an LSS employee).

 

D.    This grievance policy shall not apply to disciplinary action or any matter wherein an administrative process for filing a grievance or an appeal is established by law or rule (for example, Performance Evaluations for Teachers and Administrators).   

 

E. An employee loses the right to pursue a pending grievance or to initiate a grievance when the employee separates from his/her employment with SSD, unless the employment was terminated as a result of a Reduction in Force.

 

Processing the Grievance

 

A.    The steps of the grievance process shall be as follows:

        1.  Informal Step

        2.  First Formal Step

        3.  Second Formal Step – Level I

        4.  Second Formal Step – Level II (applicable to LSS employees only)

        5.  Third Formal Step – Level I

        6.  Third Formal Step – Level II

     

 

B.    The following principles shall apply to the steps of the grievance process

 

1.  Compliance with Procedures and Timelines

               

Grievances must comply with procedures and timelines established in this section.  Failure to comply with procedures and/or timelines, except for documented extensions, shall:

 

a.    Result in dismissal of the grievance if violated by the employee.

 

b.    Result in the grievance being moved to the next higher level in the process for review and decision if violated by the official at the applicable level in the process. The official at the next higher level may address the grievance if he/she determines that the procedures and/or timelines were not complied with or remand the grievance to the appropriate level in the process.

 

2.  Grievance Forms and Content

 

a.    Grievances must be submitted on the appropriate grievance form beginning with the First Formal Step. Forms for filing grievances are available from the Human Resources Office.

 

 

 

Informal Step

 

All grievances shall be presented within fifteen (15) workdays from the date the employee became aware or should have become aware of the cause of such grievance. The employee shall present the grievance to his/her immediate supervisor, and if possible, it should be settled at that level through informal discussion.  The immediate supervisor shall meet with the employee. The meeting may take place in person or by telephone and should take place within 10 workdays of the employee presenting the grievance to the supervisor. The supervisor must render a written summary of the informal discussion and/or decision within fifteen (15) workdays of the meeting.  If the employee does not wish to appeal this decision, the employee shall be entitled to submit a written statement to supplement the immediate supervisor’s written summary.  The immediate supervisor shall maintain all relevant documentation for a period of three (3) years.  

 

First Formal Step

                                               

A.    If an employee is not satisfied with the disposition of the grievance in the Informal Step, the employee may submit his/her grievance on the First Formal Step Grievance Form to the Regional Coordinator, Principal, Division Head/Program Director, or designee at the First Formal Step within ten (10) workdays of receipt of the decision.  If the employee fails to request the review by the appropriate official within the time limit set out above, the employee shall have no further right to proceed through the grievance process.

 

B. The official considering the grievance shall attempt to resolve the grievance, which may include a meeting with the employee. This meeting may be conducted via telephone conference. The official may request supporting evidence or documentation as needed for purposes of clarification but not for purposes of expanding or enlarging the grievance statement.

 

C. A written report containing any decision reached shall be rendered within ten (10) workdays of the meeting. If the employee does not wish to appeal this decision, the employee shall be entitled to submit a written statement to supplement the report. The official shall maintain all relevant documentation for a period of three (3) years

 

Second Formal Step

 

The Second Formal Step of the Grievance process involves two levels for Louisiana Special School employees.  Louisiana Special School employees may move to the Third Formal Step only after the completion of Level I and Level II of the Second Formal Step.  Special School Programs employees may move to the Third Formal Step in the grievance policy after the completion of Level I of the Second Formal Step. 

 

 

       

If an LSS employee is not satisfied with the disposition of the grievance in the First Formal Step, he/she may submit to the Director of the LSS or the Director of the LSDVI Program his/her grievance on the Grievance Appeal Form, including a statement of the specific points of disagreement, within ten (10) workdays of receipt of the written decision. If the LSS employee fails to request the review by the appropriate official within the time limit set out above, the employee shall have no further right to proceed through the grievance process.

 

b.   Special School Programs Employee

 

If an SSP employee is not satisfied with the disposition of the grievance in the First Formal Step, he/she may submit to the SSD Superintendent his/her grievance on the Grievance Appeal Form including a statement of the specific points of disagreement within ten (10) workdays of the written decision. If the SSP employee fails to request the review by the appropriate official within the time limit set out above, the employee shall have no further right to proceed through the grievance process.

 

 2.  The LSS Director, LSDVI Program Director, or SSD Superintendent shall conduct a record review within fifteen (15) workdays from receipt of the grievance. The LSS Director, LSDVI Program Director, or SSD Superintendent may also attempt to resolve the grievance by meeting with the employee and may request supporting evidence or documentation as needed for purposes of clarification, but not for purposes of expanding or enlarging the grievance statement. This meeting may be conducted via telephone conference. In the attempt to resolve the grievance, the LSS Director, LSDVI Program Director, or , SSD Superintendent, or designee may require involved parties to participate in the proceedings.

 

3.  A written report containing the decision reached shall be rendered by the LSS Director, LSDVI Program Director, or SSD Superintendent within a reasonable period of time. If the employee does not wish to appeal this decision, the employee shall be entitled to submit a written statement to supplement the report. The LSS Director, LSDVI Program Director, or SSD Superintendent shall maintain all relevant documentation for a period of three (3) years.

                               

B.   Level II

 

This level is applicable to LSS employees only and must be completed by LSS employees prior to proceeding to the Third Formal Step.

 

If an LSS employee is not satisfied with the disposition of the grievance in Level I of the Second Formal Step he/she may appeal to the SSD Superintendent.  This level of appeal shall adopt the same procedures and timelines outlined in Level I.  The grievance form to be submitted to the SSD Superintendent is the Grievance Appeal Form.  If the LSS employee fails to request the review by the appropriate official within the time limit set out above, the employee shall have no further right to proceed through the grievance process.

 

Third Formal Step

 

The Third Formal Step of the Grievance process involves two levels. 

 

A.   Level I

 

 

 

 

B.    Level II

 

 

 

 

Dismissal of Grievance

 

The official receiving the grievance may dismiss the grievance on any of the following grounds:

 

A.  The grievance has not been made in the required manner or within the prescribed period of time.

 

B.  The employee has failed to appear at the time and place fixed for a hearing on his/her grievance.

 

C.  The grievance involves facts and complaints that have been addressed in a previous grievance.