The Foothill-De Anza Community College District
Grievance Process - Overview
The Faculty Association is the exclusive bargaining agent for all full- and part-time faculty members in the Foothill-De Anza Community College District. Every three years, the District and the FA bargain a new Agreement, and by ratifying it, all District faculty and the Board agree to abide by all of its provisions.
Occasionally, faculty members or the Association allege that the Board (meaning, any manager authorized to act for the Board) has committed a violation, misapplication or misinterpretation (VMM) of specific provisions of the Agreement. In written form, that allegation becomes a grievance. The FA and Board have agreed to resolve all grievances with a uniform process described in Article 5 of the Agreement. An outline of the Article 5 Grievance Procedure appears in the following flowchart. Note that flowchart event deadlines are defined in terms of "school days." A school day is any day the colleges are in session during the regular academic year. There are 175 school days in the academic year (see Appendices H1, H2 and H3 in the Agreement), beginning with opening day in the fall quarter and ending with the last day of finals spring quarter. This means that the grievance clock stops during summer sessions and inter-quarter breaks.
There are four main grievance process steps: discovery, conciliation, internal review and arbitration. A summary of what happens at each of these step appears below. Click on a link here, or at the bottom of the page, to see a full discussion of what happens at that step in the grievance process.
The date when the grieving faculty member (grievant) discovered, or reasonably could have discovered, the circumstances leading to the grievance.
The informal, confidential effort to resolve the grievance between the faculty member and the Board at the lowest possible administrative level before a formal grievance can be filed. This effort is normally assisted by a FA-appointed campus conciliator.
An informal meeting scheduled by the college president, or the president's designee. The president listens to the grievant, the responding administrator and their representatives as they address the allegations contained in a timely Notice of Grievance that has been filed with the District. The president writes an Internal Review Hearing decision regarding the Notice of Grievance allegations.
A formal hearing before an arbitrator chosen from a list of seven possible candidates supplied by the State Conciliation Service. Legal counsel represents both parties and all testimony by witnesses is under oath. After reviewing evidence, testimony and argument briefs from both parties, the arbitrator renders a written decision that is binding on both parties.
Article 5 Contract Language
This page provides an informal description of the grievance process used in the Foothill-De Anza District. To read the current contract language that defines the process, click on the Agreement cover shown below.