32.1.    Definition  

A grievance is any dispute which involves the interpretation or application of any provision of this MOU excluding side letters and letters attached to this agreement, and excluding, however, 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 not being subject to the grievance procedure. If an employee files an EEOC, DFEH or administrative EEO complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Manager, the issue will no longer be subject to this grievance procedure, but will be processed in accordance with regulations or procedures governing the processing of said complaints. The provisions of Section 31 of this MOU are not subject to the grievance procedure but employees may appeal disciplinary actions, as defined in Section 31, to the Civil Service Commission.

32.2.    Procedure  

Any employee or official of the Council 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 twenty-eight (28) calendar days from the date of the employee’s or Council official’s knowledge of the alleged grievance. The Employee Relations Unit will review the matter at issue and make a recommendation to the Public Works Director concerning resolution. The decision of the Public Works Director, if not satisfactory, may be appealed to the County Manager whose decision shall be final.

32.3.    Compensation Complaints

All complaints involving or concerning the payment of compensation shall be initially filed in writing with the Director of Human Resources. Only complaints which allege that 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 meeting and conferring process and if not detailed in the MOU which results from such meeting and conferring process shall be deemed withdrawn until the meeting and conferring process is next opened for such discussion. No adjustment shall be retroactive for more than sixty (60) days from the date upon which the complaint was filed.

No change in this MOU or interpretations thereof (except interpretations resulting from Adjustment Board or arbitration proceedings hereunder) will be recognized unless agreed to by the County and the Council.

32.4.    No Strike 

The Council, its members and representatives agree that it and they will not engage in, authorize, sanction or support any strike, slowdown, stoppage of work, curtailment of production, concerted refusal of overtime work, refusal to operate designated equipment (provided such equipment is safe and sound) or to perform customary duties; and neither the Council nor any representatives thereof shall engage in job action for the purpose of effecting changes in the directives or decisions of management of the County, nor to effect a change of personnel or operations of management or of employees not covered by this MOU.

In the case of a legally declared lawful strike against a private sector employer which has been sanctioned and approved by the labor body or council having jurisdiction, an employee who is in danger of physical harm shall not be required to cross the picket line, provided the employee advises their supervisor prior to leaving the picketed location, and provided further that an employee may be required to cross a picket line where the performance of their duties is of an emergency nature and/or failure to perform such duties might cause or aggravate a danger to public health or safety.

32.5.    County Charter and Civil Service Commission

(1)       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.

(2)       All grievances of employees in the bargaining unit shall be processed under this Section. If the County Charter requires that a differing option be available to the employee, no action under paragraph (b) of subsection 32.2 above shall be taken unless it is determined that the employee is not availing themselves of such option.

(3)       No action under paragraph (b) of subsection 32.2 above 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.