Grievance Committee Training Presentation

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  • List parts 5 to end. All material covered in this training is governed by E-55 Administrative Regulation, California Education Code Section 76224(a), and Title V s55025 Grade Changes, which specify that certain procedures be followed, and in a timely manner.
  • The purpose of LACCD E-55 Administrative Regulation is found on page one (1) of the regulation. It states: (Read Statement above), and a copy of the E-55 Regulation and all of this information can be found on the LATTC website, Office of Administrative Services’ page. We have also provided a copy in your packet.
  • Read slide material.
  • Read Slide content. So, this is the structure overview, let’s look at the roles of participants within this structure.
  • Part 2 provides a brief overview of the roles of the grievance participants. We will start with Grievance Committee Members – read remainder of slide.
  • E-55 outlines the following responsibilities for Committee Members. Once you commit to participation, you are required to all meetings. You will need to attend the initial orientation meeting, a pre-conference hearing if scheduled, and the Formal Hearing. Read remainder of slide content.
  • Each grievance committee will select a chair from among it members. Read remaining slide content.
  • Let’s briefly discuss the roles of the Grievant and Respondent.
  • I mentioned that the Ombudsperson will conduct an orientation and will ask if anyone has a conflict of interest, at the initial committee meeting. According to E-55 regulation – read slide content.
  • Also at the initial committee meeting, the committee will make a determination regarding the matter. Read slide content for Form 3.Then E-55 Form 3 is used to communicate the committee’s decision to the Ombudsperson, the Grievant, and the Respondent. Copies will also be sent to the Department Chair, Department Dean, and the Vice President of Academic Affairs. If the committee has decided the matter does not warrant a Formal Hearing, and the matter is not appealed, the form will also be forwarded to the College President for a final decision. We will discuss this further later on in this training.Read slide content for Form 4.
  • Defining the grounds for grievance is key to this process. LATTC has defined them as follows….. Read Slide Content.
  • How to apply the terms. Let us look at “Bad Faith” as an example. According to E-55 Administrative Regulation, there is not …. read slide.
  • After the initial committee meeting, if it is determined there will be a formal hearing, prior to the hearing a Pre-Hearing Conference will be held.At the pre-hearing conference, the Committee has the opportunity to make sure everyone understands the nature of the grievance; to clearly identify the issues that need to be addressed, and to prepare all parties for the Formal Grievance Hearing. At the pre-hearing conference, the Committee does not hear evidence or arguments about the merits of the grievance but rather seeks to elicit from the parties the specific matters in dispute. The grievant should be asked to specify what decision(s) are being challenged, what relief is requested, and why.Identifying the issues in dispute and reaching an agreement on the facts can reduce the length of time required to hear the grievance as the testimony of witnesses or introduction of additional documentation at the hearing may not be necessary.Identifying the issues in dispute permits the respondent to prepare a response directed to specific issues in dispute and enables the Chair to set time limits on testimony, determine how many witnesses will be heard, and the length of time necessary to hear the grievance.If the parties agree to develop a statement of agreed upon facts, the facts should be introduced at the beginning of the Formal Grievance Hearing. This allows all parties attending the Hearing to address the agreed upon facts, rather than try to determine them at this time.
  • The next phase in the process is a Formal Hearing. Read Slide Content.
  • Structure of the Hearing. The chair will follow this discrete basic structure during the hearing. Read Slide Content.
  • After the hearing has concluded, the committee will deliberate the matter. Read slide content.
  • This next step in the process is very important, as again, the committee is acting as agents of the President of the College during this process, therefore… Read Slide Content.
  • Read slide content.
  • E-55 Form 5 is used to communicate to the College President the findings and recommendations of the Committee. Read slide content.
  • There are two areas in the process that allow parties to file an Appeal. The first occurs if the….. Read Slide Content.
  • The second …. Read Slide Content
  • Here at LATTC, we have eliminated E-55 Form 2, Request for Hearing, and incorporated its content with Form 1, allowing facilitation of the informal resolution phase in hopes that the matter is resolved at that level, but if not, that the matter quickly goes before a Grievance Committee.LACCDE-55 Administrative Regulation, Section 11 Item “e,” states the Chancellor or his/her designee may issue and update forms as appropriate to carry out the duties of this regulation. Once this process was separated from Compliance by the District Office, and after review of the forms, it was felt we could best facilitate the process by combining the Statement of Grievance and Request For Hearing into one form, and allow 30 days for informal resolution.We covered Form 3, which is the decision by the Committee grant or deny the request for formal hearing; Form 4, which allows the committee to request additional information; and Form 5, which communicates the committees findings and recommendations to the College President after a Formal hearing.Form 6 is the Request for Appeal, which as we covered can occur in two areas, and Form 7 is the form the Appeals Committee uses to communicate their findings and recommendations to the College President after review of the matter. The form offers three recommendation options: Uphold the Grievance Hearing Committee’s Recommendation; Reverse the Grievance Hearing Committee’s Recommendation; or, Order a new Formal Grievance Hearing because proper procedures were not followed. This form is then forwarded to the College President for review and his final determination on the matter.E-55 Form 8, is the form used to Communicate the President’s Final Decision to the parties.E-55 Form 9 is an Optional form, that can be used by the Ombudsperson, the Vice President of Administrative Services, and the Vice President of Academic Affairs to communicate their opinion on the matter to the College President.
  • Grievance Committee Training Presentation

    1. 1. Offered by: Dr. Mary GallagherVice President of Administrative Services Los Angeles Trade-Tech College
    2. 2. Introduction The purpose of this training is to provide grievance committees with basic information on the grievance process. The goal is to provide a resolution process that is efficient and fair to all parties. It will also help Committees hear and decide grievances in a manner that ensures that their decisions will be upheld during appeal and/or presidential review.
    3. 3. Training Outline Part 1: Grievance Structure Part 2: Roles of Respective Participants  Grievance Committee Members  Grievance Committee Chair  Grievant and Respondent Part 3: Initial Grievance Committee Meeting  Description, Responsibilities and Pre-Hearing Part 4: Hearing of the Grievance  Purpose and Composition
    4. 4. Training Outline Part 5: Committee Deliberations Part 6: Writing the Decision Part 7: Appeal Process E-55 Forms Assessment Question & Answer Evaluation of Training
    5. 5. LACCD E-55Grievance Procedures The purpose of the E-55 Regulation is to provide a prompt and equitable means for resolving student(s) grievances. In the pursuit of academic goals, the student should be free of unfair or improper action by any member of the academic community. The grievance procedure may be initiated by one or more students who reasonably believe he/she/they have been subject to unjust action or denied rights involving their status or privileges as students.
    6. 6. Part 1: Grievance Structure A grievance involves:  Grievant(s) (the person(s) who files the complaint)  Respondent(s) (the individual(s) responsible for the action that has resulted in the grievance)  Grievance Hearing Committee (consisting of one administrator, two faculty members, and two students, who hear the grievance and makes a recommendation)  Committee Chair (the individual selected by committee members to preside over all meetings pertaining to the grievance matter)  Advocates (third party participant(s) who may attend pre-hearing and hearing)  Ombudsperson (facilitator of the grievance process, and not an advocate for either grievant or respondent)  Appeals Committee (consists of Chief Instructional Officer, Chief Student Services Officer, Academic Senate President (or designee), and one faculty member selected by the Academic Senate)
    7. 7. Part 1:Grievance Structure The grievance procedure provides for a five (5) member Committee that hears and decides the grievance. A non-voting Ombudsperson presides over the process to ensure it complies with procedure. The grievance hearing consists of the following phases:  Initial Meeting of Grievance Committee  Pre-Hearing Conference  Formal Hearing  Deliberations  Writing the Decision
    8. 8. Part 1:Grievance Structure The grievant and respondent, the parties, are normally in an adversarial posture and the grievance procedure calls for certain exchanges of information between these parties. It is the Committee’s role to interact with the parties and ensure that the process followed is fundamentally fair to all parties and complies with State and District policy and procedures.
    9. 9. Part 2:Roles of Respective ParticipantsGrievance Committee Members The Committee’s role is to determine whether the grievance presents a matter that is within jurisdiction of the grievance Committee, and if so, to hear the grievance.(E-55 Section 4(d) items 1-6) The Grievance Committee acts as agent of the President of the College. As a result of their delegated authority, members of the Committee must at all times remain neutral to the parties of the grievance. (E-55 Section 6) To be a fair and impartial decision maker, a Committee Member should keep an open mind and not presume either party to the grievance is right or wrong. (E-55 Section 6(f)) The Committee is responsible for making written findings of fact and recommendations with regard to the grievance. (E-55 Section 4(h)) The Committee’s authority is only to recommend a reassessment, and to suggest actions deemed necessary to correct the situation. These are then forwarded to College President for a final decision on the matter. (E-55 Section 4(h))
    10. 10. Part 2:Roles of Respective Participants Pursuant to District Policy, Committee members have the following responsibilities: Attend the initial orientation meeting, pre-conference hearing, and all scheduled hearing dates. Make preliminary determinations about whether the grievant has presented a matter within the jurisdiction of the Grievance Committee or, if not, whether the grievant should be allowed to amend the grievance or if the grievance should be dismissed. Carefully listen and review all testimony and documentary evidence presented. Weigh the credibility of the evidence, make specific findings of fact and determine whether the grievant has substantiated the allegations. Assist with findings for the written report of the Committee’s decision. Keep all matters pertaining to the grievance confidential and not participate in any ex-parte communications on matters related to the grievance.
    11. 11. Part 2:Roles of Respective ParticipantsGrievance Committee Chair The Grievance Committee Chair is selected by the committee members. The Chair convenes and presides over all meetings. The Chair exercises control over all stages of the grievance hearing. The Chair provides information to Committee Members and participants about the grievance process. The Chair makes procedural rulings regarding all stages of the hearing, such as number of witnesses who may be called and length of each party’s presentation. The Chair is responsible for ensuring the Committee’s work is completed in a timely manner. The Chair is responsible for preparing a written report of the Committee’s findings and recommendations, and compiling the official record to the Ombudsperson for delivery to the College President.
    12. 12. Part 2: Roles of Respective Participants Grievant Respondent The grievance process is initiated  A grievance may only be brought by a student who must file a written against an instructor who has grievance petition (E-55 Form 1). rendered a decision adversely The petition must set forth the exact effecting a students academic nature of the grievance, the identity capacity. of all parties against whom the  California Education Code Section grievance is filed, the grounds, and 76224(a) states all grades the redress sought. determined by the instructor are final No grievance may be entertained unless there is a mistake, fraud, bad unless the grievance is filed in a faith, or incompetence on the part of timely manner. the instructor. The grievant bears the burden of  The respondent is required to proving grounds for the grievance, answer all committee requests for by a preponderance of evidence. information in a timely manner.
    13. 13. Part 2: Roles of ParticipantsOmbudsperson The role of the Ombudsperson is that of a facilitator of the grievance process, and not that of an advocate for either Grievant(s) or Respondent(s). The Ombudsperson shall provide information to Grievant(s) and Respondent(s) concerning the grievance procedures at any stage in the grievance process. The Ombudsperson may collect information, documents and records pertinent to the case. The Ombudsperson may hold and facilitate meetings and discussions that may lead to a resolution of the grievance. The Ombudsperson shall sit with the Grievance Hearing Committee and may answer questions upon request but shall not serve as a member or vote. During the formal hearing stage, the Ombudsperson shall coordinate preparation and conduct of the Grievance Hearing. The Ombudsperson shall ensure that the entire grievance process is conducted in an orderly, fair, and respectful manner. The Ombudsperson has the authority to exclude any individuals who fail to conduct themselves in an orderly, fair, or respectful manner.
    14. 14. Part 2: Roles of ParticipantsAdvocates The grievance procedure permits each party to have an Advocate. E-55 Section 10 states the College President (or his/her designee) shall annually establish a standing panel from which grievant Advocates can be selected. It is recommended the panel consist of a minimum of three (3) students recommended by ASO, and three administrators/supervisors or staff selected by the College President (or his/her designee). The Advocate will receive training on process, regulations, and procedures from the Ombudsperson. The training shall take place prior to the Advocates assumption of the duties of the position.
    15. 15. Part 3: Initial Grievance MeetingCommittee Members The work of the Committee begins with an initial meeting of Committee members convened by the acting Ombudsperson. The Ombudsperson will conduct a brief orientation to ensure that the members of the Committee are familiar with the grievance procedures, and that no member has any conflicts of interest. The Committee will then review the grievance petition to determine whether the grievance is to go forward or be dismissed. At this initial meeting the committee should select a Chair from its members. Once the matter has been reviewed, and the Chair selected, the Committee will then render a fair and impartial decision on the matter based solely on the evidence before them.  Does the grievance statement challenge a decision made by an instructor that is adverse to the grievant?  Was the grievance filed in a timely manner?  Do the allegations, if true, constitute a grievance of mistake, fraud, bad faith, or incompetence?  Is the remedy requested by the Grievant appropriate for the act that is alleged?  Is any additional information required to decide the grievance?
    16. 16. Part 3: Initial Grievance MeetingConflicts of Interest According to E-55 regulation: “No person shall serve as a member of the Grievance Hearing Committee if that person has been personally involved in any matter giving rise to the grievance, Has made any public statement on the matters at issue, Or could otherwise not act in a fair manner. The Grievant(s) or Respondent(s) may challenge for cause any member of the Grievance Hearing Committee prior to the beginning of the Hearing by addressing a challenge, in writing, to the Ombudsperson. (E-55 Section 6, Item (f)).
    17. 17. Part 3: Initial Committee Meeting Forms E-55 Form 3 E-55 Form 4 After reviewing the jurisdictional matters  In certain cases, the committee may the Committee must make a decision and decide that it needs additional notify the parties using E-55, Form 3. information to decide the issues. In the case of dismissing a grievance, the  In such an event, the Chair may request, grievant may appeal an adverse in writing, additional information from the decision, a written decision will be parties. prepared in either event setting forth the  Pursuant to LACCD Administrative reasons for the Committee’s decision. Regulation E-55, Section 4(a) the In cases where the grievant has not Committee may ask that this information stated a grievable matter, but the be provided to the Ombudsperson as grievant has provided information that soon as possible, but not later than indicates that the grievant can do so with five(5) days prior to the Formal an amended grievance petition, the Grievance Hearing date. Committee may permit the amendment.  A copy of E-55 Form 4, The Committee should discuss potential Information/Documentation Request is dates for pre-hearing conference and provided to both parties. formal hearing.
    18. 18. Part 3:Initial Grievance Meeting Defining the Terms Mistake Something that is incorrect such as a calculation or clerical error. Fraud A deliberate misrepresentation of the truth or facts intended to deceive. Bad Faith Actions that do not accord with stated intentions or intentional refusal to perform some duty or obligation as previously stated. Incompetence Lack of ability, qualification, fitness, or performance.
    19. 19. Part 3: Initial Grievance MeetingExamples of Bad Faith According to E-55 Administrative Regulation, there is no definitive definition of bad faith, but it may exist if there is neglect or refusal to fulfill some duty or obligation not prompted by honest mistake, such as: The assignment of a final grade was made on some basis other than the performance in the course. The assignment of a final grade is a significant departure from the professor’s previously announced standards. Significant deviation from the assessment methods and method for grade calculations as stated in the initial or revised syllabus. The assignment of a final grade was issued using substantially different criteria than was applied to other students in the course (favoritism, bias). Inconsistent or inequitably applied standards for evaluation. Capricious or prejudicial evaluation. A student would submit an E-55 form based on “bad faith,” state the circumstances, and submit documentation to substantiate their allegations.
    20. 20. Part 3: Pre-Hearing Conference At the pre-hearing conference, the Committee does not hear evidence or arguments about the merits of the grievance but rather seeks to elicit from the parties the specific matters in dispute. Identifying the issues in dispute and reaching an agreement on the facts can reduce the length of time required to hear the grievance as the testimony of witnesses or introduction of additional documentation at the hearing may not be necessary. Identifying the issues in dispute permits the respondent to prepare a response directed to specific issues in dispute and enables the Chair to set time limits on testimony, determine how many witnesses will be heard, and the length of time necessary to hear the grievance. If the parties agree to develop a statement of agreed upon facts, the facts should be introduced at the beginning of the Formal Grievance Hearing.
    21. 21. Part 4:Hearing of the Grievance The purpose of the Formal Grievance Hearing is to provide the Grievant and Respondent the opportunity to present their respective cases to a Committee that will make findings of fact and recommendations regarding the grievance. The hearing is composed of four discrete segments:  Opening statements of each party  Presentation of grievant’s case  Presentation of respondent’s case  Closing remarks by each party
    22. 22. Part 4: Hearing of the GrievanceOpening Statements. Opening statements from Grievant and Respondent are invited after the Chair’sintroductory remarks and overview of hearing procedure. The Chair will ask each party to make a briefsummary of what their respective positions are regarding the grievance. Chairs should place a time limit onopening statements, and then proceed to the evidentiary phase. (Opening Statements 5 minutes)Grievant’s Case. The Grievant presents his or her case first through the introduction of documentaryevidence and testimony of witnesses. After each witness, the Respondent has the opportunity for cross-examination of the Grievant’s witness. Committee members may also ask witnesses questions. At theconclusion of the Grievant’s case, the Committee must decide if the Grievant has presented sufficientcredible evidence to sustain the allegations.Respondent’s Case. The Respondent’s presentation proceeds in similar fashion with the Grievant’s cross-examination of witnesses. The Committee may also ask questions of Respondent’s witnesses. At theconclusion of the Respondent’s case, closing statements from each party are then invited by the Chair.Closing Statements. Closing statements provide each party with the opportunity to summarize theevidence and to argue their respective positions based upon the evidence presented. Closing statementsmay not introduce new evidence. After closing statements, the Chair invites the Committee members to askany additional questions that they may have. Then the hearing concludes. The Committee remains todeliberate. (Closing Statements 5 minutes)
    23. 23. Part 5:Committee Deliberations The Committee deliberations take place in closed session. The deliberative phase allows Committee members to discuss all the issues that have been raised during the hearing and the evidence presented by each party in support of their position. Conflicting evidence is evaluated and the Committee determines which facts have been proven. The facts are then applied to the issues, and the Committee determines what recommendations it should make regarding the grievance. If the Committee is not in complete agreement on the matter, three (3) voting members shall constitute a quorum by which business may proceed. The quorum must include at least one (1) administrator/supervisor, one (1) faculty, and one (1) student.
    24. 24. Part 6:Writing the Decision The written report of the Committee’s decision must set forth the Committee’s findings and recommendations. The findings of fact should be relevant to each issue in the grievance. The recommendation addresses what action(s) the Committee has decided should be taken.
    25. 25. Part 6: Writing the DecisionDecision Recommendation The recommendation must be supported by the facts and the Committee should provide justification. A carefully reasoned decision is more likely to be persuasive and upheld. The Committee should decide if the matter being grieved was reached for improper or unfair reasons and if policy was violated. The Committee should clearly state corrective action being recommended.
    26. 26. Part 6: Writing the DecisionE-55 Form 5 E-55 Form 5, Grievance Committee Recommendation, is used to provide the College President with a recommendation for the President’s final decision. E-55 Form 5 allows the Committee to Grant the grievance and provide remedy or Deny the grievance and provide reasons. Both parties receive a copy of E-55 Form 5, and E-55 Form 6, Grievance Appeal, as either party may appeal the Committee’s recommendation. In cases where the Committee’s report is forwarded to the College President for final decision, the Grievance procedure provides that the President may accept or reject any or all findings and recommendations of the grievance Committee. The President may also seek clarifying information from the Committee, so be as systematic as possible in your recommendation.
    27. 27. Part 7: APPEAL PROCESSGRIEVANCE HEARING COMMITTEE DENIES REQUEST FOR FORMAL HEARING If the Grievance Hearing Committee rejects the request for a Grievance Hearing, the Ombudsperson will notify the Grievant in writing of the Committee’s decision. The notification will contain the appeal rights of the Grievant (E-55 Section 7a.) The Grievant will have ten (10) instructional days after receipt of the Grievance Hearing Committee’s decision to appeal the decision in writing through the Chief Student Services Officer. (E-55 Section 7a) The Grievance Appeals Committee will meet and review the Grievance Hearing Committee’s decision not to hold a Grievance Hearing. The Appeal Committee will make a recommendation to the College President, through the Ombudsperson. (Section 7a) The College President will make a final decision. The Grievant and Respondent will be notified through the Ombudsperson of the President’s decision. (Section 7a) If the College President determines there will not be a Formal Hearing, the process is complete and the matter is resolved. The grade given to the student will be the grade originally determined by the instructor of the course. If the College President determines there will be a Formal Hearing, the Committee will proceed following Formal Hearing Procedures.
    28. 28. Part 7: APPEAL PROCESSAPPEAL OF A GRIEVANCE HEARING COMMITTEE’S RECOMMENDATION If the Grievant or Respondent is dissatisfied with the Grievance Hearing Committee’s recommendation regarding the merits of the grievance, a written appeal may be filed through the Chief Student Services Officer. The appeal must state the specific basis on which it is being made along with any supportive information. (E-55 Section 7(c)) The Grievance Appeals Committee will meet and review the Grievance Hearing Committee’s decision. The Appeal Committee will make a recommendation to the College President, through the Ombudsperson. (E-55 Section 7c) The College President will make a final decision on the matter. The Grievant and Respondent will be notified though the Ombudsperson of the President’s decison. (E-55 Section 7d) The College President’s decision is final. Upon the receipt of the President’s decision, the process is complete and the matter resolved.
    29. 29. E-55 Forms E-55 Form 1 – Statement of Grievance E-55 Form 3 – Decision on Request for Formal Grievance Hearing E-55 Form 4 – Grievance Hearing Committee Information/Documentation Request E-55 Form 5 – Grievance Hearing Committee Recommendation E-55 Form 6 – Grievance Appeal E-55 Form 7 – Grievance Appeals Committee Recommendation for College President E-55 Form 8 – President’s Final Decision E-55 Form 9 – Ombudsperson’s Report (Optional)
    30. 30. Assessment
    31. 31. Challenge Questions What regulation governs the Final Grade Grievance process? How many members participate on a Grievance Committee? List the four reasons a student may challenge a grade through the grievance process? Who makes the final decision on all grade grievance matters? Who acts as an impartial facilitator of the grievance process?
    32. 32. Challenge Questions How many members make up a quorum? Who presides over the Formal Hearing? Who carries the responsibility of “burden of proof,” Grievant or Respondent? Where can students obtain Final Grade Grievance process information and forms? Where can a student file a grievance?
    33. 33. Are there anyQUESTIONS?
    34. 34. Evaluation
    35. 35. Thank you

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