A grievance is claim by the Association or an Employee that the Employer has violated, misinterpreted, or misapplied this Agreement.
Grievances shall be processed as rapidly as possible. The number of days indicated at each step shall be construed as a maximum and every effort shall be made to expedite the process. All time limits shall consist of calendar days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, holidays as designated by the Illinois School Code, and other days falling during the school term which the Employer has established as “school holidays.” A grievance shall be handled as follows:
4.2.1 Step One.
An attempt shall be made to resolve any grievance by informal discussion between the grievant involved and the building principal. Such discussion shall be held at a time agreeable to the grievant and such principal.
4.2.2 Step Two.
If the grievance cannot be resolved at step one, the grievant may file a grievance in writing with the building principal. Such grievance shall be filed within ten (10) days after the date of occurrence of the facts upon which the grievance is based or within ten (10) days of knowledge of the occurrence of the facts upon which the grievance is based. The written grievance shall state the nature of the grievance, the provision(s) of this Agreement which the Employer allegedly has violated, and the relief sought. Within ten (10) days after such written grievance is filed, the grievant and the principal or other administrator who has authority to make a decision on the grievance shall meet to resolve the grievance. Within ten (10) days after such meeting, the grievant and the Association shall receive a written answer to the grievance which shall explain the reasons for the decision on the grievance.
4.2.3 Step Three.
In the event the grievance has not been satisfactorily resolved at step two, or the step two time limits expire without the issuance of a written reply, the aggrieved or the Association may file a written appeal of such grievance with the Superintendent of Schools by giving written notice of such appeal within ten (10) days of the step two answer or expiration of the time limit for the step two answer. A copy of such appeal also shall be filed with the administrator who prepared the step two answer. Within ten (10) days after such appeal is filed, the aggrieved, representative of the Association, and the Superintendent or his designee shall meet to resolve the grievance. Within ten (10) days after such meeting, the Superintendent or his designee shall give the aggrieved Employee and the Association a written answer to the grievance, which answer shall state the reasons for the decision of the Superintendent or his designee.
4.2.4 Step Four.
If the step three answer is not acceptable to the Association or the step three time limits expire without the issuance of a written reply, the Association may appeal the grievance to final and binding arbitration by giving written notice of such appeal within twenty (20) days after receipt of the step three answer or expiration of the time limit for the step three answer. If the Employer and the Association cannot agree upon an arbitrator within seven (7) days after the Association files such appeal, the American Arbitration Association will be requested to provide a panel of seven (7) arbitrators. Either party may reject the first panel of arbitrators by giving the other party written notice of such rejection. Upon receipt of an acceptable panel of arbitrators, the parties shall meet at a mutually agreed time, and each party shall alternately strike one (1) name from the panel until only one (1) name remains, who shall be the arbitrator for the given grievance. The first party to strike a name shall be determined by coin flip. Such arbitrator shall be under and in conformance with the “Voluntary Labor Arbitration Rules” of the American Arbitration Association; provided, however, if the parties mutually agree, such arbitration may be conducted under the “Expedited Labor Arbitration Rules” of such Association.
(a) Neither the Employer nor the Association shall be permitted to assert any argument or evidence before the arbitrator which was not previously disclosed to the other party.
(b) The arbitrator shall have no authority to alter, delete, or add to the terms of this Agreement.
(c) Each party shall bear the full costs for its representation in the arbitration. The cost of the arbitrator shall be divided equally between the parties.
(d) The arbitrator is empowered to include in any award such financial reimbursements or other remedies as he judges to be proper.
(e) If either party requests a transcript of the proceedings, that party shall bear the full costs for that transcript. If both parties order a transcript, the cost of the two (2) transcripts, three (3) transcripts if a copy is requested by the arbitrator, shall be divided equally between the parties.
4.3 Other Provisions
The following, when applicable, shall apply in processing a grievance.
If the Association and the Superintendent or his designee mutually agree, lower steps of the grievance procedure may be by?passed and the grievance taken directly to step four of this grievance procedure.
Class grievances involving one (1) or more Employees or one (1) or more supervisors and grievances involving an administrator above the building level may be initially filed by the Association at step three.
The Employer acknowledges the right of the Association’s grievance representative to participate in the processing of a grievance at any level, and no Employee shall be required to discuss any grievance if the Association’s representative is not present.
Should the investigation or processing of any grievance require that an Employee or an Association representative be released from his regular assignment, he shall be released upon mutual agreement of the Superintendent and the Association President to such release, and such release shall be without loss of pay or benefits.
All documents, communications, and records dealing with the processing of a grievance shall be filed separately from the personnel files of the participant.
A grievance may be withdrawn at any level without establishing a precedent.