Section 1. Definition of a Grievance. A grievance is defined as any unresolved difference between the Employer and the Union or any officer regarding the application, meaning or interpretation of this Agreement. This grievance procedure is subject to and shall not conflict with any provisions of the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act.
Section 2. Dispute Resolution. In the interest of resolving disputes at the earliest possible time, it is agreed that an attempt to resolve a dispute shall be made between the officer and his immediate supervisor.
The officer shall make his complaint to his immediate supervisor within ten (10) days of the occurrence giving rise to the matter. The supervisor will notify the officer of the decision within two (2) working days following the day when the complaint was made. Settlements or withdrawals at this step shall not constitute a precedent in the handling of other grievances. In the event of a complaint, the officer shall first complete his assigned work task, and complain later. In lieu of supervisory personnel, Step 1 of the grievance procedure will be heard by the Sheriff.
Section 3. Representation. Grievances may be processed by the Union on behalf of an officer or on behalf of a group of officers. The Employer may file contract grievances directly at Step 3, Section 8 of this Article. Either party may have the grievant or one grievant representing group grievants present at any step of the grievance procedure, and the officer is entitled to Union representation at each and every step of the grievance procedure upon his request. Grievances may be filed on behalf of two (2) or more officers only if the same facts, issues and requested remedy apply to all officers in the group.
Section 4. Subject Matter. Only one subject matter shall be covered in any one grievance. A grievance shall contain a statement of the grievant’s position, the Article, and Section of the Agreement allegedly violated, the date of the alleged violation, the relief sought, and the signature of the grieving officer(s) and the date.
Section 5. Time Limitations. Grievances may be withdrawn at any step of the grievance procedure without precedent. Grievances not appealed within the designated time limits will be treated as withdrawn grievances. The Employer’s failure to respond within the time limits shall not find in favor of the grievant, but shall automatically advance the grievance to the next step, except Step 3. Time limits may be extended by written agreement; such extension shall be to a date certain.
Section 6. Grievance Processing. Reasonable time while on duty shall be permitted to Union representatives for the purpose of aiding or assisting or otherwise representing officers in the handling and processing of grievances or exercising other rights set forth in this Agreement, and such reasonable time shall be without loss of pay, except that no overtime liability shall be incurred by engaging in activity under this Section. Employer shall be notified of any intended absence in advance and may deny the intended absence where such absence may interfere with the operations of the Employer. No officer shall engage in activity under this Section without prior release being provided by the Sheriff, which shall not be unreasonably denied.
Section 7. Grievance Meetings. A maximum of two (2) officers (the grievant and/or Union Rep) per work shift shall be excused from work with pay to participate in a Step 1 or Step 2 grievance meeting. The officer(s) shall only be excused for the amount of time reasonably required to present the grievance. The officer(s) shall not be paid for any time during which a grievance meeting occurs outside of an officer’s work shift. In the event of a grievance, an officer shall first perform his assigned work task and file his grievance later.
Section 8. Steps in Procedure. Disputes arising under this Agreement shall be resolved as follows:
Step 1. If no agreement is reached between the officer and the supervisor, as provided for in Section 2 Dispute Resolution, the Union shall prepare a written grievance on a form mutually agreed to and presented to the Sheriff and Chairman of the County Board no later than ten (10) working days after the officer was notified of the decision by the supervisor. Within five (5) working days after the grievance has been submitted, the Sheriff and Chairman of the County Board shall meet with the grievant and the Union Rep to discuss the grievance and make a good faith attempt to resolve the grievance. The Sheriff and Chairman of the County Board shall respond in writing to the grievant and the Union Rep within five (5) working days following the meeting.
Step 2. If the grievance is not settled at Step 1 the grievance may be referred in writing, within five (5) working days after the decision of the Sheriff and Chairman of the County Board, to a Committee consisting of the Sheriff and all members of the County Board. Within twenty (20) working days after the grievance has been filed with the Committee, the Committee shall meet with the Union and the grievant to discuss the grievance and make a good faith effort to resolve the grievance. The Committee shall respond in writing to the grievant and the Union within five (5) working days following the meeting.
Step 3. If the dispute is not settled at Step 2, the matter may be submitted by the Union to arbitration within ten (10) working days after the Committee’s written decision or the expiration of the five (5) day period if the Committee fails to render a written decision. Within ten (10) working days after the matter has been submitted to arbitration a representative of the Employer and the Union shall meet to select an arbitrator from a list of mutually agreed-to arbitrators. If the parties are unable to agree on an arbitrator within ten (10) working days after such meeting, the parties shall request the American Arbitration Association to submit a list of seven (7) arbitrators. Either party shall have the right to reject an entire list of arbitrators. The arbitrator shall be selected from the list of seven (7) by alternate strikes by the employee representative and the Union. The Employer and the Union shall take turns as to the first strike. The person whose name remains on the list shall be the arbitrator, provided that either party before striking any names shall have the right to reject one (1) of the arbitrators on the list. The arbitrator shall be notified of his selection by a joint letter from the Employer and theUnion. Such letter shall request the arbitrator to set a time and a place for the hearing subject to the availability of the Employer and a Union representative and shall be notified of the issue where mutually agreed by the parties. All hearings shall be held in the City of Jonesboro, Illinois, unless otherwise agreed to.
Both parties agree to make a good faith attempt to arrive at a joint statement of facts and issues to be submitted to the arbitrator.
The Employer or Union shall have the right to request the arbitrator to require the presence of witnesses and/or documents. Each party shall bear the expense of its witness. Once a determination is made that the matter is arbitrable, or if such preliminary determination cannot be reasonably made, the arbitrator shall then proceed to determine the merits of the dispute.
The expenses and fees of arbitration and the cost of the hearing room shall be shared equally by the Employer and Union. Costs of arbitration shall include the arbitrator’s fees, room cost and transcription costs. Nothing in this Article shall preclude the Employer and Unionfrom agreeing to use the expedited arbitration procedures of the American Arbitration Association. The decision and award of the arbitrator shall be made within forty-five (45) days following the hearing and shall be final and binding on the Employer, theUnion and the officer(s) involved. The arbitrator shall have no power to amend, modify, nullify, ignore, add to or subtract from the provisions of the Agreement.
Section 9. Waiver of Procedure. Any officer who uses this procedure waives all other review procedures that the officer or the Council may possess to review the allegations raised by the grievance. An officer who seeks to process a matter grievable hereunder, under any other procedure waives all rights to review the allegations that may be raised by a grievance filed hereunder. The Council agrees not to process such a grievance under this Agreement.