Grievances shall be processed in the following manner:
- Step 1. Department Head and/or the Designated Representative
Any employee who believes that he/she has a grievance may discuss his/her complaint with such management official in the department in which he/she works as the department head may designate. If the issue is not resolved within the department, or if the employee elects to submit his/her grievance directly to the Union recognized as the representative of his/her classification, the procedures hereinafter specified may be invoked, provided, however, that all complaints involving or concerning the payment of compensation shall be in writing to the Human Resources Director.
- Step 2. Human Resources Director
Any employee or any official of the Union 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 filed (as determined by postmark) within twenty-eight (28) calendar days from the date of the employee’s knowledge of an alleged grievance. Any grievances involving demotion, non-punitive discipline, suspension, reduction in step or dismissal must be received within fourteen (14) calendar days (as determined by postmark) after receipt of written notification of such disciplinary action. The Human Resources Director or his/her designated representative shall have twenty-eight (28) calendar days in which to investigate the merits of the complaint, to meet with the complainant and, if the complainant is not the Union, to meet also with the officials of the Union, and to settle the grievance. No grievance may be processed under paragraph (c) below which has not first been filed and investigated in accordance with this paragraph (b).
- Step 3. Adjustment Board
If the parties are unable to reach a mutually satisfactory accord on any grievance which arises and is presented during the term of this Memorandum of Understanding, the Union may advance the grievance to an Adjustment Board by submitting a written request to the Human Resources Director within twenty-eight (28) calendar days from the date that the grievance is denied at Step 2. The Adjustment Board shall be comprised of two (2) representatives designated by the Union and two (2) representatives designated by the County. Either party may request that one member of the Adjustment Board for the other party not be a County employee. Adjustment boards shall be convened within twenty-eight (28) calendar days from the date such notification is received. A majority decision of the Adjustment Board on all issues, including procedural issues, is final and binding.
- Step 4. Arbitration
If an Adjustment Board is unable to arrive at a majority decision, the Union may advance the grievance to arbitration by submitting a written request to the Human Resources Director within twenty-eight (28) calendar days after receipt of the Adjustment Board decision. When arbitration is invoked in a timely manner, an impartial arbitrator shall be designated by mutual agreement between the Union and the Human Resources Director. The fees and expenses of the arbitrator and of the Court Reporter shall be shared equally by the Union and the County. Each party, however, shall bear the costs of its own presentation, including preparation and post-hearing briefs, if any.