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Madison Metropolitan School District

Employee Handbook 2021-2022

4.4 Grievance Processing Procedure

Grievances shall be processed in accordance with the following procedure:

Preliminary Step

In work locations where Collaborative Problem Solving Teams have been established, employees are encouraged to seek assistance from such collaborative problem solving teams to resolve the dispute.

Step One - Written Grievance Filed with the Supervisor

Within thirty (30) days after the facts upon which the grievance is based are known or should have reasonably become known the employee, or his/her representative, shall present the written grievance to his/her immediate supervisor. The immediate supervisor shall give a written answer within ten (10) days of receipt of the grievance, with a copy to the Executive Director of Human Resources. If the supervisor determines that additional factual investigation is needed or is ongoing and should be completed in order to properly respond to the grievance, the supervisor may extend the time limit for issuing an initial response by giving written notice of such extension to the employee, generally not to exceed fifteen (15) additional days.

Step Two - Review by the Executive Director of Human Resources

If the grievance is not satisfactorily resolved at Step One, it may be submitted by the employee, or his/her representative, to the Executive Director of Human Resources within ten (10) days after having received the written answer in the Step One, or in the event no written answer was issued by the supervisor, within ten (10) days of the deadline for providing a written answer.

After receipt of the written grievance, the Executive Director of Human Resources or his/her designee will meet with the employee in an effort to resolve the issue(s) raised by the grievance. Within ten (10) days after the meeting, the Executive Director of Human Resources or his/her designee shall respond to the grievance in writing. If the Executive Director of Human Resources or his/her designee determines that factual investigation is needed and should be completed in order to properly respond to the grievance, the Executive Director of Human Resources or his/ her designee may extend the time limit for issuing a response by giving written notice of such extension to the employee, generally not to exceed fifteen (15) additional days.

If the grievant’s immediate supervisor is the Executive Director of Human Resources, the grievant shall skip Step Two and proceed directly to Step Three if he/she is not satisfied with response of his/her immediate supervisor at Step One (or if no answer is provided in the above timeframe).

The Executive Director of Human Resources or his/her designee shall also determine if the grievance is timely, if the subject matter of the grievance is within the scope of this procedure and otherwise properly processed as required by this procedure.

Step Three - Appeal to Impartial Hearing Officer

If the grievance is not satisfactorily resolved at Step Two, the employee, or his/her representative, must notify the Executive Director of Human Resources within ten (10) days after having received the written answer in the Step Two, or in the event no written answer was issued by the Executive Director for Human Resources, within ten (10) days of the deadline for providing a written answer, that the employee requests review by the Impartial Hearing Officer (IHO).

The IHO will be mutually selected by the Executive Director of Human Resources or his/her designee and the grievant/grievant’s representative. The selection may include use of Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission personnel or other agreed upon individuals. If the grievant is represented, any costs incurred by the IHO will be shared equally by the District and the grievant/grievant’s representative. If the grievant is not represented, any costsincurred by the IHO will be paid by the District. The IHO will convene a hearing in the manner the IHO determines necessary. The IHO is responsible for ensuring that he/she is creating and preserving a record of the proceedings that will enable Board of Education review. The IHO shall have the authority to administer oaths, issue subpoenas at the request of the parties, and decide if a transcript is necessary. The IHO may require the parties to submit grievance documents and witness lists in advance of the hearing to expedite the hearing. The IHO shall decide disputed facts based on “a preponderance of the evidence” standard. This process does not involve a hearing before a court of law; thus, the rules of evidence will not be followed. Upon completion of this review and hearing, the IHO shall render a written decision to the administration and the grievant and if applicable the grievant’s representative. The IHO may deny the grievance or conclude that the grievance should be sustained in whole or in part and recommend a remedy.

The IHO may only consider the matter presented in the initial grievance filed by the grievant. The IHO shall have no power to add to, subtract from, or modify the terms of the Board policy or rule that forms the basis for the grievance.

Step Four - School Board Review

Either party may appeal an adverse determination at Step Three to the Board of Education, by filing written notice appealing the decision of the IHO in the District Office within ten (10) days of the decision of the IHO. The notice of appeal must clearly identify the issues being raised for a decision by the Board. The Board of Education shall within thirty (30) days after submission of the appeal schedule the review of the IHO’s decision. In its consideration of the appeal, the Board of Education’s review is limited to the evidence and record presented at the hearing before the IHO, and the decision rendered by the IHO. The Board may affirm, reverse or modify the decision of the IHO. A simple majority vote of the Board membership shall decide the appeal within twenty (20) days following the last session scheduled for review. The Board will issue a final written decision which shall be binding on all parties.