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ARTICLE 19. GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

19.1 The Employer shall recognize stewards selected in accordance with Union rules and regulations as the grievance representative of the bargaining unit.  The Union shall notify the Employer in writing of the names of the stewards and of their successors when so named.

19.2 It is recognized and accepted by the Employer and the Union that the processing of grievances as hereinafter provided is limited by the job duties and responsibilities of the employees and shall therefore be accomplished during working hours only when consistent with such employee duties and responsibilities.  The steward involved and a grieving employee shall suffer no loss in pay when a grievance is processed during working hours, provided the steward and the employee have notified and received the approval of their supervisor to be absent to process a grievance and that such absence would not be detrimental to the work programs of the Employer.

Designated and certified stewards and the chair officers of the Local Union shall be granted reasonable time off, with pay, in order to investigate and/or present grievances to the Employer and to attend meetings at which an employee is formally questioned during an investigation into conduct which may lead to disciplinary action during their normal working hours.  Such stewards and chair officers, however, shall not leave their work stations without first obtaining the permission of their immediate supervisor and shall notify their immediate supervisor upon returning to work.  The permission of the supervisor shall not be denied without good cause.  Stewards and other representatives of the Union shall not interfere in any way with the Employer’s operation or with the performance of work by its employees. 

19.3 The procedure established by this Article shall be the sole and exclusive procedure, except for the appeal of disciplinary action as provided by Article 17, for the processing of grievances, which are defined as an alleged violation of the terms and conditions of this Agreement.

19.4 Grievance shall be resolved in conformance with the following procedure:

Step 1. Upon the occurrence of an alleged violation of this Agreement, the employee involved with or without the steward shall attempt to resolve the matter on an informal basis with the employee’s supervisor.  If the matter is not resolved to the employee’s satisfaction by the informal discussion, it may be reduced to writing and referred to Step 2 by the Union.  The written grievance shall set forth the nature of the grievance, the facts on which it is based, the alleged section(s) of the Agreement violated, and relief requested.  Any alleged violation of the Agreement not reduced to writing by the Union within fifteen (15) workdays of the first occurrence of the event giving rise to the grievance shall be considered waived. 

Step 2. Within ten (10) workdays after receiving the written grievance, a designated Employer supervisor shall meet with the Union steward and attempt to resolve the grievance.  If, as a result of this meeting, the grievance remains unresolved, the Employer shall reply in writing to the Union within five (5) workdays following this meeting.  The Union may refer the grievance in writing to Step 3 within ten (10) workdays following receipt of the Employer’s written answer.  Any grievance not referred in writing by the Union within ten (10) workdays following receipt of the Employer’s answer shall be considered waived.

Step 3. Within ten (10) workdays following receipt of a grievance referred from Step 2, a designated Employer supervisor shall meet with the Union Business Manager or his/her designated representative, the Employee, and the steward, and attempt to resolve the grievance.  Within ten (10) workdays following this meeting, the Employer shall reply in writing to the Union, stating the Employer’s answer concerning the grievance.  If, as a result of the written response, the grievance remains unresolved, the Union may refer the grievance to Step 4.  Any grievance not referred in writing by the Union to Step 4 within ten (10) workdays following receipt of the Employer’s answer shall be considered waived.

Step 4. If the grievance remains unresolved, the Union may within ten (10) workdays after the response of the Employer in Step 3, by written notice to the Employer request arbitration of the grievance.  The arbitration proceedings shall be conducted by an arbitrator to be selected by mutual agreement of the Employer and the Union within ten (10) workdays after notice has been given.  If the parties fail to mutually agree upon an arbitrator within the said ten (10)-day period, either party may request the Bureau of Mediation Services to submit a panel of arbitrators.  The Union shall strike the first (1st) name; the Employer shall then strike one (1) name.  The process will be repeated and the remaining person shall be the arbitrator.

19.5 The arbitrator shall have no right to amend, modify, nullify, ignore, add to or subtract from the provisions of this Agreement.  The arbitrator shall consider and decide only the specific issue submitted in writing by the Employer and the Union and shall have no authority to make a decision on any other issue not so submitted.  The arbitrator shall be without power to make decisions contrary to or inconsistent with or modifying or varying in any way the application of laws, rules or regulations having the force and effect of law.  The arbitrator’s decision shall be submitted in writing within thirty (30) days following close of the hearing or the submission of briefs by the parties, whichever be later, unless the parties agree to an extension.  The decision shall be based solely on the arbitrator’s interpretation or application of the express terms of this Agreement and to the facts of the grievance presented.  The decision of the arbitrator shall be final and binding on the Employer, the Union, and the employees.

19.6 The fees and expenses for the arbitrator’s services and proceedings shall be borne equally by the Employer and the Union, provided that each party shall be responsible for compensating its own representatives and witnesses.  If either party desires a verbatim record of the proceedings, it may cause such a record to be made, providing it pays for the record.

19.7 The time limits in each step of this procedure may be extended by mutual agreement of the Employer and the Union.

19.8 It is understood by the Union and the Employer that if an issue is determined by this grievance procedure, it shall not again be submitted for determination in another forum.  If an issue is determined by any other forum, it shall not again be submitted for arbitration under this grievance procedure.  This provision is not intended to abrogate rights under state or federal statutes.

19.8.1        Notwithstanding that portion of Article 27.2 referring to laws of the City of Saint Paul, no issue regarding actions taken under this Agreement shall be submitted to the Civil Service Commission, except as permitted in Article 17.8, for persons covered by veterans preference.

19.9 The District agrees that the exclusive representative shall be copied on all disciplinary actions.


ARTICLE 18. EMPLOYEE RECORDS                                      TABLE OF CONTENTS                                 ARTICLE 20. TEMPORARY EMPLOYEES