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It should also be noted that a grievance is inherently an adversarial action.
It essentially amounts to a challenge to a decision made (or in some cases, not made) by an administrator, supervisor or your local school board.
Some policies require an informal meeting, without which an employee cannot initiate the formal grievance.
But unless you initiate a grievance, there is no requirement that your administration respond at all, no timelines applicable for a response, and no assurance that any action will be taken.
The last session of the Texas Legislature resulted in an important exception to the general rule of the “level one” stage of a grievance always being with your immediate supervisor, however.
At the request of a TCTA member, TCTA sought and facilitated passage of HB 1622, effective Sept. Under this new law, district grievance policies must allow an employee to report a grievance against a supervisor alleging the supervisor’s violation of law to a different supervisor.
Though it may be a useful catharsis to write pages of the history leading to the grievance and how the person about whom you are complaining made you feel, these items should generally not be submitted with your grievance.
Keep in mind that the superintendent and school board may be reviewing what you submit if you do not get a satisfactory resolution at lower levels of the process, and you want your image to be professional and reasonable.
If the situation becomes intolerable or is damaging to the educational process, then it may ultimately need to become the subject of a grievance, but you’re generally better served by trying to resolve issues with a difficult coworker directly.That being said, if you find your administrator unresponsive when you meet informally, a formal grievance may be appropriate.Sometimes our members express discomfort about meeting with the individual who is causing the problem at the first step of the grievance, but the entire process is designed to facilitate a resolution at the earliest level possible, and a well-drafted grievance contains everything that needs to be said.That’s why it is particularly important to follow a few key guidelines in initiating this process.Our staff attorneys can help you develop the issues that should be addressed and draft the grievance and requested remedies appropriately.