GRIEVANCE AND ARBITRATION PROCEDURE
A. The term “grievance” shall include those claims or disputes which allege a violation of a specific provision of this Agreement.
B. Since it is important that grievances be processed as rapidly as possible, the number of days indicated at each level should be considered as maximum, and every effort should be made to expedite the process. The time limits specified may, however, be extended by mutual agreement.
In the event a grievance is filed on or after June 1 which, if left unresolved until the beginning of the following school year, could result in irreparable harm to a party in interest, the time limits set forth herein will be reduced so that the grievance procedure may be exhausted prior to the end of the school term or as soon thereafter as is practicable. During the summer recess, school days will mean calendar days.
Failure to institute a grievance or to advance a grievance to an appropriate level following an initial filing within the time limits set forth in the provisions of this Article shall conclusively be deemed to constitute a waiver of all rights under this Article unless mutually waived by the parties.
C. Grievances shall at all levels, including Level One, be submitted in writing on a formal grievance instrument to be mutually developed by the parties. (See Appendix E). The grievance shall be signed by the employee and/or a representative of the Association, stipulating the sections of the Agreement which have been violated. There shall be a twenty (20) school day limit for filing a grievance, to be computed from the date of the event or condition which gave rise to the filing of the grievance or from when the individual first became aware of the condition giving rise to the grievance. Responses to the grievance shall be in writing, as specified in Section E.2 of this Article, and shall set forth the reasons for the decision.
D. 1. Level One. A teacher with a grievance will first discuss it with his/her principal or immediate superior, either directly or through the Association’s School Representative, with the objective of resolving the matter informally.
2. Level Two. If the teacher and/or the Association are not satisfied with the disposition of the grievance at Level One or if no decision has been rendered within five (5) school days after the presentation of the grievance, the teacher and/or the Association may file the grievance with the Superintendent of Schools within ten (10) school days following the Level One response (or the due date for such response if none is rendered). The Superintendent will hear the grievance within five (5) school days after receiving the grievance and shall respond to the grievance within five (5) school days following the Level Two hearing.
3. Level Three. If the teacher and/or the Association are not satisfied with the disposition of the grievance at Level Two or if no decision has been rendered within five (5) school days after the hearing with the Superintendent, the teacher and/or the Association may file the grievance with the School Committee within fifteen (15) school days following the Level Two response (or the due date for such response if none is rendered). The School Committee will hear the grievance no later than the second regularly scheduled School Committee meeting after receiving the grievance and shall respond to the grievance within five (5) school days after the Level Three hearing.
4. a. Level Four. If the Association is not satisfied with the disposition of the grievance at Level Three or if no decision has been rendered within five (5) school days after the hearing with the School Committee, the Association may submit the grievance to arbitration within twenty (20) school days following the Level Three response (or due date for such response if none is rendered.)
b. Within ten (10) school days after such written notice of submission to arbitration, the Committee and the Professional Rights and Responsibilities Committee will agree upon a mutually acceptable arbitrator and will obtain a commitment from said arbitrator to serve. If the parties are unable to agree on an arbitrator or to obtain a commitment within the specified period, a request for a list of arbitrators may be made to the American Arbitration Association by either party. The parties will be bound by the rules and procedures of the American Arbitration Association in the selection of an arbitrator.
c. The Arbitrator so selected will confer with representatives of the School Committee and the Professional Rights and Responsibilities Committee and hold hearings promptly and will issue his/her decision not later than thirty (30) days from the date of the close of the hearings. The arbitrator’s decision will be in writing and will set forth his/her findings of fact, reasoning, and conclusions on issues submitted. The decision of the arbitrator will be binding on all parties concerned.
d. The costs for the services of the arbitrator, including per diem expense, if any, and actual and necessary travel and subsistence expenses, will be borne equally by the School Committee and the Association, but each party shall bear its own expense for the presentation of its case.
E. 1. If, in the judgment of the Professional Rights and Responsibilities Committee, a grievance affects a group or class of teachers, the Professional Rights and Responsibilities Committee may submit such grievance in writing to the Superintendent directly and the processing of such grievance will be commenced at Level Two. The Professional Rights and Responsibilities Committee may process such a grievance through all levels of the grievance procedure.
2. Decisions rendered at Level One, Two and Three of the grievance procedure will be in writing setting forth the decisions and the reasons therefore and will be transmitted promptly to all parties of interest and to the chairman of the Professional Rights and Responsibilities Committee.
Decisions rendered at Level Four will be in accordance with paragraph I of Level Four. The settlement will be written by the employee and signed by the employee and by the one to whom the grievance has been presented.
3. All documents, communications, and records dealing with the processing of a grievance will be filed separately from the personnel files of the participant.
4. Forms for filing grievances, serving notices, taking appeals, making reports and other documents will be prepared by the Association and given appropriate distribution so as to facilitate operation of the grievance procedure.
5. Nothing in this Agreement shall affect the right of the School Committee to renew or not renew a contract of employment for teachers without professional teacher status.
F. The Committee, will upon request, provide the Association with any documents which will assist the Association in developing intelligent, accurate, informed and constructive programs on behalf of the teachers and their students, together with any other available information which may be necessary for the Association to process grievances under this Agreement provided these documents are not in themselves confidential.CTA Grievance Form