ARTICLE XXIV
GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

Section 1 -- Definition
  A. A grievance is a written allegation by a unit member(s) or Association that he/she/they has/have been adversely affected by an alleged violation, misinterpretation, or misapplication of a provision of this Agreement.
  B. Immediate supervisor is the lowest level administrator having jurisdiction over the grievant.
  C. "Day" means school day during which the grievant's students are required to be in attendance.

Section 2 -- General Provisions
  A. Every unit member shall have the right to present grievances in accordance with these procedures with or without representation. Nothing contained in this Article shall be construed to prevent any individual unit member from discussing a problem with an agent of the District and having it resolved without filing a grievance as provided herein.
  B. Grievances at both Level I and Level II shall contain a clear, concise description of the alleged violation, misinterpretation, or misapplication of a provision of this agreement, identifying the specific article(s), or section(s), the circumstances involved, and the specific remedy sought.
  C. The failure of the grievant to act within the prescribed time limits as stated in this Article will act as a bar to any further appeal.
  D. Any unit member at any time may present grievances to the District and have such grievances adjusted, without the intervention of the Association, as long as the adjustment is reached prior to arbitration and the adjustment is not inconsistent with the terms of the Agreement. The District shall not agree to a resolution of the grievance until the Association has received a copy of the grievance and the proposed resolution and has been given the opportunity to file a response.
  E. Hearings and conferences under this procedure shall be conducted at a time and place that will afford an opportunity for all persons entitled to be present to attend and will be held, insofar as possible, after the regular hours of instruction or during the non-teaching time of personnel involved. When such hearings and conferences are held at the request of the District during the regular workday, all employees whose presence is required shall be released without loss of pay for those hours they are required to attend such hearing or conference. However, the District will not release without loss of pay more than one (1) representative per grievance.
  F. Any investigation or other handling or processing of a grievance by a grievant or the Association shall be conducted so as to result in no interference with or interruption of the instructional program.

Section 3 -- Levels of the Grievance Procedure
  The purpose of this procedure is to secure appropriate solutions to an alleged violation, misinterpretation, or misapplication of this agreement. To that end:
  A. Informal Level: A unit member and the appropriate supervisor shall meet prior to a Level I grievance being filed in order to resolve the potential grievance. The unit member shall schedule the appointment for the meeting within ten (10) days after the unit member has knowledge or reasonably should have knowledge of the event that caused the grievance. Should the grievance fail to be resolved at the informal level or should no site administrator be available to meet at the informal level due to non-work day status or absence, the grievant may proceed to Level I. Both parties agree that these proceedings will be kept as confidential as may be appropriate at any level of the procedure.
  B. Level I: Any unit member who has a grievance may reduce such matter to writing within fifteen (15) days after the unit member has knowledge, or reasonably should have knowledge, of the event that caused the grievance, and submit it to the immediate supervisor who may meet with the unit member and/or an Association representative, in an attempt to resolve the matter. The immediate supervisor shall provide a written response to the grievance within ten (10) days after submission of the grievance to Level I.
  C. Level II: If the grievance is not resolved in Level I, an appeal to Level II shall be served by the grievant to the District within ten (10) days following disposition of the grievance in Level I. Such grievance shall be discussed at a meeting with the unit member and/or his/her representative, and the Superintendent or his designee, and whomever else the Superintendent or his designee elects to be present. Such meeting shall take place within ten (10) days after submission of the grievance into Level II. A written response to the grievance will be made within ten (10) days after the Level II meeting.
  D. Level III: If the grievance is not satisfactorily resolved in Level II, the Association may, within ten (10) days after receipt of the District's reply, submit a written notice to the District of its intent to submit the grievance to final and binding arbitration. Within ten (10) days following receipt of the Association's notice of intent to submit the grievance to arbitration, the District shall request the California State Conciliation Service to provide a list of seven (7) arbitrators from which the Parties shall strike alternately until only one (1) name remains, with the first strike determined by a flip of a coin. The remaining name shall be the arbitrator. The cost of the arbitrator's services shall be borne equally by the Association and the District. The arbitrator shall have no authority to add to, subtract from, or to alter, amend, or change any of the terms and conditions of this Agreement. The arbitrator's decision must be limited to the specific issue or issues submitted to him/her and based upon the arbitrator's interpretation of meaning or application of the language of the Agreement.

Section 4 -- Waivers
  A. Any of the time limits set forth in this Article may be waived by written agreement between the Parties.
  B. Any of the levels or procedures in this Article may be waived by written agreement between the Parties.

Section 5 -- Association Staff Representatives
  Upon notice to the immediate supervisor, Association staff representatives shall be granted access at such reasonable times and to such proper areas of the District's premises when such visits are necessitated by matters concerning the administration of this Agreement.

Section 6 -- Association Staff Representatives
  The Association will exclusively receive time off from duties for the processing of grievances for unit members who are designated as Association representatives, subject to the following conditions:
  A. By no later than ten (10) days following the signing of this Agreement, the Association will designate in writing to the Superintendent the names of seven (7) unit members who are to receive time off.
  B. Twenty-four (24) hours prior to release from duties for grievance processing, the designated representative must inform the immediate supervisor in order that substitute service may be obtained, if such is necessary.