A grievance is defined as any dispute which involves the interpretation or application of any provision of this MOU, excluding those provisions of this MOU which specifically provide that the decision of any County official shall be final, the interpretation or application of those provisions shall not be subject to the grievance procedure.
The grievant is defined as the Association or the affected employee. The Association or any employee may file a grievance.
33.3 Grievance Process
The grievance must be filed at either Step 1 or Step 2 within twenty-eight (28) calendar days from the date of the employee’s knowledge of the alleged grievance or within fourteen (14) calendar days if grieving a demotion, suspension or dismissal from employment. The grievant shall state the grievance in writing and the resolution desired.
Step 1. Department Head or Designee
The grievant may discuss the complaint with the department head or designee. The department head or designee shall provide the grievant a written or oral response within fourteen (14) calendar days from the grievance meeting. If the grievance is not resolved the grievant may move the grievance to Step 2 within fourteen (14) calendar days from issuance of the written or oral response from the department head or designee. However, all complaints involving or concerning the payment of compensation shall be in writing to the Human Resources Director. If the department head or designee does not provide a written or oral response within the fourteen (14) calendar day timeline, then the grievant may advance the grievance to Step 2.
Step 2. Human Resources Director
Any employee or official of the Association may notify the Human Resources Director in writing that a grievance exists, stating the particulars of the grievance and, if possible, the nature of the determination desired. Such notification must be received within fourteen (14) calendar days of the written or oral response of the department head or designee as described in Step 1. If the grievant did not file a Step 1 grievance but instead proceeded directly to Step 2, then such notification must be received within twenty-eight (28) calendar days from the date of the employee’s knowledge of the alleged grievance. Any grievances involving demotion, suspension or dismissal must be received within fourteen (14) calendar days of the above specified action. If appropriate, the parties will then schedule a grievance meeting. The Human Resources Director or designee, who in the case of a grievance alleging discrimination shall be the Equal Employment Manager, shall have thirty-five (35) calendar days from the grievance meeting in which to investigate the merits of the grievance and to provide the grievant a written response. The County will notify the Association if a reasonable extension of this timeline is necessary. If the grievance is not resolved to the satisfaction of the grievant, then the Association may move the grievance to Step 3 within fourteen (14) calendar days from the issuance of the written response from the Human Resources Director or designee. No grievance may be processed under Step 3 which has not first been filed and investigated in accordance with Step 2.
Step 3. Arbitration
Either the Association or the County may require that the grievance be referred to an impartial arbitrator, if the moving party notifies the other in writing of its desire to arbitrate within fourteen (14) calendar days of the issuance of the Step 2 response. Only the Association or the County may maintain the grievance before the arbitrator. The grievance shall be submitted to an arbitrator mutually agreed upon by the parties or, failing mutual agreement, to that arbitrator who is selected by lot from an agreed upon panel. The fees and expenses of the arbitrator and of the court reporter shall be shared equally by the Association and the County. Each party shall bear the costs of its own presentation, including preparation and post-hearing briefs, if any.
33.4 Scope of Arbitration Decisions
(a) Decisions of arbitrators on matters properly before them shall be final and binding on the parties hereto, to the extent permitted by the Charter of the County.
(b) No arbitrator shall entertain, hear, decide or make recommendations on any dispute unless such dispute involves a position in a unit represented by the Association which has been certified as the recognized employee organization for such unit and unless such dispute falls within the definition of a grievance as set forth in subsection 33.1.
(c) Proposals to add to or change this MOU or written agreements or addenda supplementary hereto shall not be arbitrable and no proposal to modify, amend or terminate this MOU, nor any matter or subject arising out of or in connection with such proposals, may be referred to arbitration under this Section. The arbitrator shall not have the power to amend or modify this MOU or written agreements or to establish any new terms or conditions of employment.
(d) If the Human Resources Director or an arbitrator resolves a grievance which involves suspension or discharge, they may agree to payment for lost time or to reinstatement with or without payment for lost time.
(e) If any award by an arbitrator requires action by the Board of Supervisors or the Civil Service Commission before it can be placed in effect, the County Manager and the Human Resources Director will recommend to the Board of Supervisors or the Civil Service Commission that it follow the award.
(f) No change in this MOU or interpretations thereof (except interpretations resulting from arbitration proceedings hereunder) will be recognized unless agreed to by the County and the Association.
33.5 Compensation Complaints
Complaints involving or concerning payment of compensation shall be initially filed in writing with Employee Relations. Only complaints which allege employees are not being compensated in accordance with the provisions of this MOU shall be considered as grievances. Any other matters of compensation are to be resolved in the meet and confer process if not detailed in the MOU. No adjustment shall be retroactive for more than 60 days from the date upon which the complaint was filed.
33.6 County Charter and Civil Service Commission
(a) The provisions of this section shall not abridge any rights to which an employee may be entitled under the County Charter, nor shall it be administered in a manner which would abrogate any power which, under the County Charter, may be within the sole province and discretion of the Civil Service Commission.
(b) All grievances of employees in representation units represented by the Association shall be processed under this Section. If the County Charter requires that a differing option be available to the employee, no action under Step 2 of subsection 33.3 above shall be taken unless it is determined that the employee is not availing himself/herself of such option.
(c) No action under Section 33.3 Step 2 shall be taken if action on the complaint or grievance has been taken by the Civil Service Commission or if the complaint or grievance is pending before the Civil Service Commission.
33.7 Involuntary Transfers for the Alleged Purpose of Punishment
Any sworn peace officer in the Sheriff’s Department who believes they have been subjected to a transfer for the purpose of punishment may appeal said transfer through the chain of command to the Sheriff (or, in cases where the Sheriff has been personally involved, to the Human Resources Director or designee). In cases where the transfer involves a loss of compensation, they shall have the option of appealing either to the Sheriff or to an ad hoc panel as described hereafter. All such appeals shall be filed, in writing, within five calendar days after the date of transfer. The following procedure shall apply:
Step 1. Human Resources Department
The employee or any official of the Association shall notify Employee Relations in writing of the alleged punitive transfer. Employee Relations shall have thirty-five (35) calendar days after the meeting in which to investigate and resolve the dispute informally. No appeal may be processed under Step 2 below which has not first been filed and investigated in accordance with Step 1.
Step 2. Advisory Panel
If the parties are unable to satisfactorily resolve the dispute, the employee may have the appeal submitted to a three (3) member panel comprised of two (2) members of the Civil Service Commission and one (1) individual who is not a Commission member. This panel will be charged with the responsibility of making findings of fact and recommendations in connection with the employee’s appeal for presentation to the Sheriff and the Human Resources Director. Such recommendations shall be advisory in nature. If the employee elects to have their appeal heard before such a panel, the employee shall choose one (1) Civil Service Commissioner and the Sheriff shall choose a second Commissioner. These two (2) members shall select a third member of the panel, who shall be the panel’s chairperson and cannot be a member of the Civil Service Commission. If the two (2) commissioners selected by the employee and the Sheriff cannot agree on a third member, the Human Resources Director shall choose the third member.
Upon conclusion of its hearing the panel shall present its finding of fact and recommendations to the Human Resources Director and Sheriff. If the Sheriff and Director reject the panel recommendation they must so inform the employee, with reasons in writing. Any decision reached by the Sheriff and the Human Resources Director shall be final.