Need effective grievance procedure

Published 12:09am Wednesday, February 20, 2013

We will always remain advocates of favorable working environments for all in our school system, regardless of who it is. This is so because we understand that we represent and work for God in our assignments, even as board members. Also, we exceedingly value the importance of quality input in a process.

The quality of input determines the quality of output. Happy people produce happy results. We want our teachers, administrators and all staff members to be happy so that their happiness will invariably translate to a happy output.

It is my observation that our grievance procedure is not adequately taken advantaged of. Grievances that come to us as individual board members are almost fruitless because, there’s not much we can do until it comes to the full board through the normal, standard process.

The normal process is through the Superintendent’s referral or recommendation. We expect the superintendent never to be a blockade to grievances getting to the board.

Respect is reciprocal; it is give-and-take. We will always respect the office of the superintendent and we expect the superintendent to respect the office of the board and be fair to all employees. It bothers me a lot when a school employee comes to me for help and I cannot help, because it did not come to me from the superintendent.

To be on the safe side, we are advised by our legal experts to abstain from discussing an employee’s grievance with the employee on the grounds that we do not act in a biased way when the case comes before the board.

Our grievance procedure is not complex compared to many; even if you think it is, that’s all we have for now.

The procedure has three steps. Step one encourages the staff member to contact their immediate supervisor no latter than five days after the grievance occurred. Within five days following the submission, the supervisor should and will respond.

The employee is expected to respond within five working days as to whether the grievance is reconciled. Worthy of note is the fact that if the employee does not respond within the stated time, they will forfeit rights relative to the grievance.

Experience has proven to me that people ignore grievance procedures for three reasons. Some do not have time for the lengthy process, some are afraid of revenge or retribution and some believe that the battle is not theirs.

I easily empathize with the last reasoning because that is my background. Grievance procedures are never the first move on our course of action.

Grievance procedures or lawsuits come up when heaven advises accordingly. Our first step is, usually, to take control of the situation through prayer. We believe that if God is for us, nobody — no power —can be against us.

This column is not about the assessment or comparison of grievance procedure methods; it’s about ensuring that all Selma City School employees are contented enough to be effective educators.

It is about peace , love, joy and growth; it  is about doing good to each other regardless, for the good that people do to each other is never futile .

It is liked a good seed sown on a good soil for which reasonable harvest is inevitable.

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