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Administration and Operations Manual

5.31 Clerc Center Teacher Grievance Procedures

Last Revised: 18 July 2013

Scope

This policy applies to regular status and extended temporary status teachers in the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center (Clerc Center) at Gallaudet University.

Policy

It is the intent of the University to provide an effective method for teachers to bring problems and complaints concerning work to the attention of the administration without fear of retribution or prejudice. Teachers are encouraged to use the formal procedures when they believe a decision or action (including dismissal) is inappropriate, unfair, or in violation of the institution's policies or procedures.

Since the grievance process is an internal review, a representative may advise the teacher but may not attend or participate in any stage of the process. Teachers electing to pursue their complaint through external remedies without first using these procedures waive their right to use these procedures.

Employees who want to discuss or attempt to resolve their problems informally, who desire counseling, or who wish to obtain clarification of their rights, may meet in confidence with the Director or Equal Opportunity Programs or the Director of Human Resources.

Approved by: Gallaudet University Administration

Definitions

Mediation

At any stage of the grievance process, the employee or the supervisor may request mediation. Mediation is a voluntary process where the employee and the supervisor (or the administrator who initiated the action causing the dispute) work together in a non-adversarial way to resolve differences and to reach a mutually agreeable solution to the conflict. The Director of Equal Opportunity Programs and/or the Director of Human Resources facilitate the process. Mediation does not prevent the employee from pursuing the grievance process as long as the process is initiated or resumes within 10 working days following conclusion of the mediation.

Administrative Appeal

A. If a teacher has a grievance, he/she should request, in writing, reconsideration of the decision or action from his/her supervisor (or from the administrator who initiated the action) within ten (10) working days of the incident.

B. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, the supervisor has up to ten (10) working days to respond in writing.


C. If the reply of the supervisor does not resolve the grievance, the teacher has up to five (5) working days after receipt of the supervisor’s response to present a formal, written appeal to the Principal (or other unit administrator if the teacher is assigned to another unit). The appeal must include the nature of the complaint, the policy or procedure which has been violated, any evidence which might be helpful, and the redress sought.


D. Upon receipt of the written grievance, the Principal consults with appropriate individuals in determining a response. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, the Principal must respond to the teacher in writing within ten (10) working days after receipt of the formal appeal.

E. If the reply of the Principal does not resolve the grievance, the teacher has up to five (5) working days after receipt of the Principal’s response to present a formal, written appeal to the Vice President, Clerc Center. The appeal must include the nature of the complaint, the policy or procedure which has been violated, any evidence which might be helpful, and the redress sought.

F. Upon receipt of the written grievance, the Vice President consults with appropriate individuals in determining a response. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, the Vice President must respond to the teacher in writing within ten (10) working days after receipt of the formal appeal.

Panel Review

A. If the response of the Vice President does not resolve the grievance, the teacher may submit a formal written appeal, within five (5) working days after receipt of the Vice President’s response, to the Dispute Resolution Panel. The appeal must include the nature of the complaint, the policy or procedure which has been violated, any evidence which might be helpful, and the redress sought.

B. The Director of Human Resources is responsible for establishing the Dispute Resolution Panel. The chair of the panel, in consultation with the Director, determines whether or not the panel is an appropriate forum for the grievance. The chair may conclude that panel members would neither be in a position nor qualified to make an informed and appropriate recommendation for the resolution of a particular grievance. If the grievance is not accepted, the employee is notified by the Director of Human Resources, and the decision of the administrative officer is final.

C. If accepted, the chair of the panel secures any additional information that may be needed to review the complaint. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, the panel meeting is held within ten (10) working days of the receipt of the appeal. The panel interviews, as necessary, all persons involved in the grievance.

D. Upon completion of its examination, the chair of the grievance panel notifies the Vice President in writing of the panel’s findings and offers recommendations for resolving the grievance. The Vice President may reconsider his/her decision, if appropriate, and responds to the teacher within ten (10) working days of the panel’s recommendation. The decision of the Vice President is final. If the panel supports the decision of the Vice President without recommendations, the chair of the pane notifies the teacher in writing within five (5) working days.

Director of Equal Opportunity Programs

In situations where there has been a potential violation of laws or regulations governing employment, the teacher may submit, within five (5) working days after receipt of the Vice President’s or committee’s response, a formal written appeal to the Director of Equal Opportunity Programs. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, the Director will investigate, if appropriate, consult with the Vice President, and respond in writing within ten (10) working days of the formal appeal.

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