TTC's Policies and Procedures > Human Resources and Employee Relations > 8-11-1 Grievance and Appeal
8-11-1 Grievance and Appeal
TITLE NUMBER APPROVED DATE
GRIEVANCE AND APPEAL 8-11-1 9-01-99
 
BASED ON POLICY NUMBER AND TITLE
TTC POLICY 8-11-0 GRIEVANCE AND APPEAL
SBTCE POLICY 8-6-100 GRIEVANCES AND APPEAL

THE LANGUAGE USED IN THIS PROCEDURE DOES NOT CREATE AN EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT BETWEEN THE EMPLOYEE AND TRIDENT TECHNICAL COLLEGE. TRIDENT TECHNICAL COLLEGE RESERVES THE RIGHT TO REVISE THE CONTENTS OF THIS PROCEDURE, IN WHOLE OR IN PART.

  1. INTRODUCTION

    The State Employee Grievance Procedure Act (hereinafter referred to as the "Act") provides that Trident Technical College shall establish a written employee grievance procedure for covered employees, which shall be approved by the State Human Resources Director. A copy of the approved grievance procedure must be made available to covered employees. A covered employee means a permanent employee occupying a part or all of an established full-time position, who has completed the probationary period with a "meets" or higher overall rating on the employee’s performance evaluation and who has grievance rights. Employees choosing to file a grievance or appeal must not be disciplined or otherwise prejudiced for exercising rights or testifying under the provisions of this policy.

  2. DETERMINATION OF GRIEVABLE ISSUES

    1. As used in this Act, the following actions are grievable:

      • Terminations
      • Suspensions
      • Involuntary reassignments in excess of thirty (30) miles from the prior workstation except in situations where there is no closer campus available
      • Demotions
      • Salary decreases, based on performance as indicated on EPMS or FPMS evaluations, are adverse employment actions and may be considered grievable.

    2. As used in this Act, the following are not grievable:

      • Lateral reclassifications
      • Reassignments
      • Transfers

    3. As used in the Act, the following actions may be considered grievable in limited circumstances:

      • Reclassifications are not grievable unless the State Human Resources Director determines that there is a material issue of fact as to whether the action is a punitive reclassification.
      • Promotions are not grievable unless the President of Trident Technical College, or in the case of appeals, the State Human Resources Director, determines that there is a material issue of fact as to whether or not TTC has considered a qualified covered employee for a position for which the employee formally applied, or would have applied if the employee had known of the promotional opportunity. Further, when an employee is promoted only one organizational level above the employee’s former level, that action is not grievable for any other qualified employee. Failure to be selected for a promotion is not considered an adverse employment action, and therefore is not grievable.
      • Reductions in force are not grievable adverse employment actions unless the State Human Resources Director determines that there is a material issue of fact as to whether TTC inconsistently or improperly applied its reduction in force policy or plan.

    4. Waiver of Time Limits

      The time periods for each step in the Grievances and Appeals Procedure may be waived upon the written agreement of both parties. The forty-five (45) calendar day period for action may also be waived by written agreement of both parties.

III. PROCEDURE FOR FILING A GRIEVANCE


  1. Step One

    The employee must initiate the grievance in writing with the college’s Human Resources Director within fourteen (14) calendar days of the effective date of the original action, which the employee is grieving.

    Prior to filing a grievance, the employee may first attempt to resolve a dispute or problem informally with his immediate supervisor. This informal presentation may be made verbally or in writing. However, this is merely an informal attempt to resolve the matter and cannot be substituted for the requirements of the grievance procedure, including the fourteen (14) day deadline for originally filing a grievance in writing.

    If the matter was not resolved informally with the employee’s immediate supervisor, the employee must notify the college’s Human Resources Director in writing of the fact and to initiate a formal grievance within 14 calendar days of the event or issue being grieved.

    The college’s Human Resources Director, or other official as designated by the President, shall initially review the grievance to determine whether the complaint involves a grievance as defined by the State Employee Grievance Procedure Act and as outlined above. The Human Resources Director, or other designated official, may conduct appropriate investigations and fact-findings, as she/he may consider necessary to make this determination. The President will make a determination, upon the recommendation of the Human Resources Director, as to whether the matter is grievable. If the President has determined that the matter is not grievable, the employee shall be so advised in writing by the Human Resources Director, normally within five (5) calendar days of receipt of the grievance. The President’s determination shall be a final decision within the college. However, this determination may be appealed to the Executive Director of the State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education.

    Any initial determination by the Human Resources Director or other designated official that the matter may be grieved shall only entitle the employee to have the matter considered in accordance with this grievance procedure and shall in no way be construed to be an adjudication of the merits of the grievance.

    If it is determined that the matter is grievable, the Human Resources Director, or other designated official, will contact the employee and other appropriate college employee(s), normally within five (5) calendar days of receipt of the grievance, to inform them the issue can be heard under this grievance procedure. The Human Resources Director will ask whether or not the parties desire to participate in voluntary mediation. Both parties must provide a written response to the Human Resources Director within four (4) calendar days of this notification. Failure by either party to respond within four (4) calendar days of notification is deemed a refusal to participate in the voluntary mediation.

  2. Step Two - With Mediation

    When the employee and the other appropriate college employee(s) agree in writing to participate in voluntary mediation, the Human Resources Director or other designated official will schedule a mediation conference to occur within five (5) calendar days of receipt of the notification and make the necessary arrangements for the selection of a mediator. The mediator will serve as an impartial third party that will encourage and facilitate a resolution to the dispute without advising what the result should be. The mediation conference(s) will be confidential. Each party may bring a total of three other persons, which may include legal counsel. The person filing the grievance is responsible for the cost of his legal counsel. Other persons may attend with the permission of the mediator and the parties.

    The mediator may not be compelled by subpoena or otherwise to divulge any records or discussions or to testify in regard to the mediation conference in any adversary proceeding or judicial forum. If the parties agree to settle the matter, the mediator will assist in drafting a mediation agreement, which both parties must sign. The mediator may share terms of the settlement agreement with the college’s Human Resources Director and other designated officials who need to finalize and assist in implementing the agreement. If the matter is not settled within eight (8) calendar days of the initial mediation conference, the mediator will inform the Human Resources Director or other designated official that settlement has not occurred.

    The Human Resources Director or other designated official will then schedule a conference to hear the grievance. The conference will occur between the employee’s Vice President, Associate Vice President or other supervisor as designated by the President and the employee within five (5) calendar days. At the conference the employee will have an opportunity to present his position regarding the grievance. The Vice President, Associate Vice President or other designated supervisor may conduct appropriate investigations and fact-findings to determine whether to accept, reject, or modify the action, which has been grieved. The Vice President, Associate Vice President or other designated supervisor will advise the employee of his decision in writing within five (5) calendar days of the conference.

  3. Step Two - Without Mediation

    If the matter is grievable and the employee or the college submits a written decision not to participate or fails to timely respond concerning voluntary mediation, the Human Resources Director or other designated official will promptly schedule a conference to occur between the Vice President, or the Associate Vice President, or other supervisor as designated by the President, and the employee, normally within five (5) calendar days. At the conference the employee will have an opportunity to present his position regarding the grievance. The Vice President or the Associate Vice President may conduct appropriate investigations and fact-findings to determine whether to accept, reject, or modify the action, which is being grieved. The Vice President or Associate Vice President will advise the employee of his decision in writing within five (5) calendar days of the conference.

  4. Step Three

    To continue the grievance, the employee must notify the college President or a designee in writing within five (5) calendar days after receiving the Step Two decision. The President or a designee must promptly schedule and conduct a conference with the employee, normally within five (5) calendar days. The employee will be provided an opportunity at this time to present his position regarding the grievance. The President or a designee may conduct appropriate investigations and fact-findings to determine whether to accept, reject, or modify the Vice President’s or Associate Vice President’s decision. The President or a designee must advise the employee of the decision in writing within five (5) calendar days of the conference. This decision will be final within the college.

  5. Step Four

    If the decision reached by the President is not satisfactory to the grieving employee, the matter may be appealed by the employee to the Executive Director of the State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education. The employee must submit his appeal in writing within five (5) calendar days of receipt of the President’s decision. The appealing employee shall provide a written summary of the specific facts of his complaint, copies of which shall be provided to all other parties concerned.

    The Executive Director may personally handle Step Three of the grievance, or at his discretion, may appoint an ad hoc committee. The Executive Director or the committee shall conduct whatever inquiries, investigations, and/or fact-finding sessions as necessary. Within fifteen (15) calendar days of receipt of the grievance, the Executive Director will render a decision, in writing, to all parties concerned.

    The decision of the Executive Director shall be final unless appealed by the employee as provided in Step Five below, if the grievance is subject to appeal under South Carolina Code Section 8-17-310.

  6. Step Five

    If the decision of the Executive Director is not satisfactory to the employee, the decision may be appealed to the State Employee Grievance Committee. Such appeal must be in writing and submitted directly to the State Human Resources Director. The appeal must be made within ten (10) calendar days of receipt of the Executive Director’s decision or within fifty-five (55) calendar days of the date of the initial grievance, whichever comes later. Failure to file an appeal within this time period shall constitute a waiver of the right of appeal by the employee.


    Updated August 29, 2009

 

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