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Grievances & Disputes

What is a Grievance?
A grievance can be defined as a 'violation of the collective bargaining agreement against a faculty member'.  In other words, if you think your rights under the contract have been violated, you might have a grievance.
 
It is always advisable for a faculty member to have a full and complete understanding of the contract. Please click on the contract link for the current contract. If you believe that your rights have been violated, it will be helpful if you could “point to” where in the contract your rights have been violated. Typically, if a grievance were to go to arbitration, the arbitrator will look first at the contract to see if the issue has merit. If, for some reason, the issue is not delineated in the contract this may not mean you don't have a grievance, but it will add a persuasive complexity to the issue.
 
Please familiarize yourself with the various links below. Hopefully, this will help you understand what a grievance is how the process works and the necessary information you will need to provide to win your case. Please check on the dispute link as well, for sometimes a faculty member believes they have a grievance when in fact they may have a dispute.
What is a Dispute?
A dispute is different from a grievance. A grievance involves a violation of the contract. A dispute means that there is a difference in interpretation of an event or incident that has occurred.
How do I file a Grievance?
The first action a CCFA  member should do, is contact the current VP of the Association. The vice president of CCFA is the “grievance chair”. This person can assist you in determining if your claim qualifies for grievance and the grievance process. Sometimes, an issue may qualify for a dispute procedure rather than a grievance procedure. Either way the vice president of the Association can assist you.
 
The second action a member should do, is download the attached PDF form and as best as practical fill out all of the information. The purpose of this form is to organize and document a timeline and/or chain of events involving the issue. This is helpful for several reasons; first, it aids the CCFA grievance committee in understanding what the issue is and how to best proceed. Secondly, it aids the grievant. By organizing and documenting the events, the grievant has a better chance of recalling the exact nature of the issue.
 
The third action a member should do, is fill out the official grievance form which can be found on the Citrus College Website. Go to the human resources link, then find the human resources homepage link. Once you are on that page, scroll down to miscellaneous forms. Click on faculty grievance form level I. This is the form that needs to be filled out and submitted to the district office. Please note that there is a timeline involved from the moment of discovery of the grievance to the submission to the district office. It will aid the process if you submit your claim in a timely manner.
What is Grievable?
A grievance involves a violation of the contract.  A grievance cannot be filed against a fellow faculty member. Remember, a grievance involves an issue between you and district management.  A grievance does not involve an issue between one faculty member and another.
 
A grievance could, conceivably, involve an unlimited variety of issues affecting the contract. However, there have been in the past many grievances for a few issues. .
 
Grievances have been in the past been filed concerning:
 
Workload
Schedule
Overload schedule
 
Through its history CCFA has won some grievances, and lost a few.  Be sure to contact the VP of the Association for more information.
What is the Grievance Process?
There are several parts to the grievance process. It the first part that you should be concerned with, is the discovery of the grievance. When you believe a  violation of the contract has occurred, you may wish to use the form on the website to help organize the various issues that are involved. The more information that you can document, will aid not just you, but the grievance committee in advancing your claim.
 
A grievance must be filed with the district office within 90 business days of discovery. It is best that the grievance be written indicating a chain of events. The district must respond to your grievance within 10 days.
 
If the district response does not meet your satisfaction, you can advance it to the next level. This level involves the vice president of instruction.
 
If the district's response from the vice president of instruction does not meet your satisfaction, there is another option available; arbitration.
What is an Arbitration?
According to the bylaws of CCFA, the grievance committee, upon investigation of the grievance, can vote to advance the grievance to the arbitration stage. In doing so the grievance will have the backing of CCFA. If this backing were to occur, CCFA and CCA would help you by providing the necessary resources for an arbitration hearing.
 
An arbitration hearing involves an independent third-party, an arbitrator. Arbitrators are usually attorneys or even retired judges. The CCFA contract has binding arbitration. This means the decision of the arbitrator is “bound” to the district. That is, the district must do what the arbitrator tells them to do.
 
If the grievance committee does not feel a grievance claim has merit, the grievance committee could decline to back the grievance at an arbitration. If this were to occur, the grievant could still file for arbitration. The only difference is, the grievant would be responsible for half of the costs involved in the hearing.
 
How do I get an Attorney?
Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions concerning CTA legal assistance.
Kaye Amdon
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