Guideline 3-4 Grievances
The San Jacinto College District, a public junior college district in the state of Texas, finds that harmonious relations between this college and its employees are a necessary and vital factor in the effective and efficient operation of government, and that a proper procedure and forum for the understanding and resolution of employee grievances will contribute to the establishment and maintenance of harmony, good faith, quality, and productivity of public service. Accordingly, it is hereby declared to be the policy of this college that it shall receive, process and resolve employee grievances fairly, equitably and promptly, and that its employees are free to make use of the grievance procedures herein established without fear of prejudice, discrimination, restraints, coercion or reprisal of any nature whatsoever.
No administrator or appointee will be allowed to serve as a hearing officer or investigator presiding over, nor participating in, grievance proceedings, involving his or her family members as defined by the college nepotism policy.
Definitions As used herein the word or term:
- “College” shall mean The San Jacinto College District, a public junior college district of the state of Texas;
- “Chancellor” shall mean the chief executive officer of the district;
- “Employee” shall mean any person employed by the college;
- “Grievance” shall mean a dispute or disagreement alleging a violation of a specific policy of the Board of Trustees or a specific administrative procedure applied to the grievant which is related to wages, hours or conditions of work.A grievance also includes specific factual allegations of discrimination in employment based upon sex, race, religion, national origin or handicapping condition, or upon the exercise of First Amendment rights.A grievance must have a remedy.
- The non-renewal of an employment contract shall not be subject to this grievance procedure except when an employee makes specific factual allegations that the non-renewal of employment was in violation of his or her constitutional or civil rights.Terminations of contractual and noncontractual employees are not subject to this grievance procedure. Employee performance evaluations are not subject to this grievance procedure.Concerns which do not fall within this definition of a grievance may be presented through the Concern Policy.
- “President” shall mean the President of the Central Campus, President of the North Campus, and President of the South Campus, as the officer charged with the responsibility for the personnel administration of each campus.
- “Immediate Supervisor” shall mean the officer or employee of the college who regularly supervises the day-to-day work of an employee.
- “Grievant” shall mean the employee bringing the grievance.
Freedom of Action
No employee of the college shall be disciplined, penalized, restrained, coerced or otherwise prejudiced in employment in any manner whatsoever for exercising any rights or remedies under the grievance procedures hereby established.
In exercising any rights and remedies under these grievance procedures, an employee may represent himself or herself or may choose to be represented by a fellow employee, attorney, person or organization that does not claim the right to strike.
Any employee having a grievance shall first discuss the same with his or her immediate supervisor. If not settled to the employee’s satisfaction, or if the immediate supervisor fails to or refuses to discuss the grievance within five business days, the employee shall present the grievance in accordance with the following procedures:
- Within twenty business days of the date the employee knew or should have known of the event which is the basis of the grievance, the employee shall present the grievance in writing to the President or to a designated district official on the form approved by the college.The President or district official shall within five business days from receipt of the grievance, schedule a meeting with the employee, discuss the grievance with the employee and the employee’s representative, if any, and reply in writing within five business days after the meeting.
- In the event the decision of the President or district official is not satisfactory to the employee, the employee may within five business days request in writing that his or her grievance be submitted to the Grievance Committee.The Grievance Committee shall be composed of three impartial college individuals, one selected by the college administration, one by the employee, and the third by the first two committee members.The Grievance Committee shall choose a chairman who shall assume administrative responsibility for the meeting.The Grievance Committee shall schedule a meeting with the employee to be held within five business days from receipt of the grievance, hear the grievance of the employee and render its decision to both parties in writing.The decision of the Grievance Committee shall be advisory only.The hearing before the committee shall be recorded so a transcript can be prepared if an appeal beyond Step 2 is taken.
- If the Grievance Committee concurs with the President or district official, but the decision is still unsatisfactory to the employee, he or she may continue his or her grievance procedure as set forth in Steps 3 and 4.
- However, if the decision of the Grievance Committee is contrary to the decision of the President or district official, the President or district official shall promptly reconsider his or her decision, giving consideration to the findings and the recommended decision of the Grievance Committee. Within five business days of receiving the decision of the Grievance Committee, the President shall convey in writing to the grievant the results of his or her reconsideration.
- If the decision of the President or district official is not satisfactory to the employee, the employee may appeal in writing to the Chancellor or his or her designee.After receiving the decision of the President or district official, the transcript of the hearing before the Grievance Committee, the Chancellor shall schedule a meeting with the employee within five business days from receipt of the grievance, discuss the grievance with the employee and the employee’s representative, if any, and reply in writing within five business days after the meeting.The meeting with the Chancellor shall be based on the grievance record and transcript developed in Steps 1 through 2, and no new information will be received by the Chancellor.
- If the decision of the Chancellor is not satisfactory to the employee, the employee may present the grievance to the Board at the next regular meeting in accordance with the policy for hearing of citizens.If the grievance involves the appointment, employment, evaluation, reassignment, duties, discipline or dismissal of the employee bringing the grievance, or if the grievance involves a complaint or changes against another employee that are incidental to the complaining employee’s appointment, employment, evaluation, reassignment, duties, discipline or dismissal, or if the grievance involves complaints or charges against another employee and the other employee is the focus of the complaint, it shall be heard by the Board in executive session.
The Board will not deliberate, discuss, or decide the employee’s grievance other than to propose to place it on the agenda for a subsequent meeting if the Board wants to take action on the employee’s grievance.
In order to prevent the filing of a multiplicity of grievances where the grievance covers a question common to a number of employees (three or more), it may be processed as a single grievance commencing at the first common level of supervision.
- All the time limits stated in Section E are in working days.All time limits may be extended by mutual consent.
- Should a decision not be rendered within the time limits provided for in Section E, the employee may immediately proceed to the next step of the procedure.
- The grievance shall be considered settled if the decision at any step is not appealed within the given time limit or mutually agreed extension thereof.
- At each step of the formal grievance procedure, the person(s) hearing the grievance shall determine whether the allegation states a grievance under this policy.
- An employee and the employee’s representative, if a fellow employee, shall be allowed time off from regular duties with pay for attendance at scheduled meetings under the grievance procedures with the specific knowledge of his or her respective immediate supervisors.The fellow employee representative may also have up to a maximum of three hours time off with pay for investigation of the grievance.
- Costs of any grievance shall be paid by the party incurring them.
Nothing in this procedure shall be construed to limit, terminate or waive any right of an employee to seek relief in a court of proper jurisdiction for any employee grievance for which a remedy is provided under the laws of the state of Texas or the United State of America.
(Re: Policy IV-J; Board of Trustees Policy Manual)