The Foothill-De Anza Community College District
Grievance Process - Discovery
All Things Grievable
You can’t grieve everything. In fact, District faculty can only grieve specific terms of the Agreement. And since the Agreement is a collective bargaining agreement between labor (faculty) and management (the Board) about working conditions (e.g., load, schedule, evaluations), compensation (e.g., salary, health benefits, Professional Development Leaves) and employee status (tenure procedures, layoff procedures, retirement programs), every grievance must allege some contractual foul play done by the Board to faculty in one of these three areas. Here are some examples.
Faculty members must file “timely” grievances. The filing deadline is 50 school (not calendar) days from “discovery,” the date when the faculty member discovered, or reasonably could have discovered, when the alleged violation, misinterpretation or misapplication (VMM) occurred. Under highly unusual circumstances, the deadline may be extended up to one calendar year from discovery with good reason.
The Grievance Clock
For example, faculty member Dave cannot file a grievance in spring quarter because his dean placed an inaccurate administrative evaluation in his campus personnel file in fall quarter. The grievance clock starts ticking when Dave discovers (or reasonably could have discovered) that he is actually harmed. In this example, Dave would have 50 school days from the time the evaluation was placed in his campus personnel file – not from the date Dave signed, or refused to sign, his evaluation. The reason for fixing harm at this date is twofold; (1) the District cannot dismiss, suspend or reprimand Dave on the basis of written material not contained in his campus personnel file (see Article 8.9), and (2) the dean might decide to discard Dave's evaluation and do another, thereby rendering the signing date superfluous.
Because faculty members may be unavailable during summer sessions and inter-quarter breaks, the 50-day grievance clock stops ticking during those periods. It starts up again the first contractual day of the academic year (normally District flex day), and continues for the entire 175-school-day academic year (until the last day of finals week, spring quarter).
Shades of Gray
Most potential grievances are not as clear-cut as the examples above, and the FA does not expect District faculty to resolve the “timeliness” and “grievability” issues before picking up the phone and calling the Association. The FA-appointed campus conciliators are contract experts who are trained to extract contract issues from convoluted circumstances, and to refer District faculty to the proper outside resources if the FA doesn’t have jurisdiction. Click on the “Conciliation” link at the bottom of this page to learn more about this step in the grievance process.