Section 1. The purpose of this article is to provide for a mutually acceptable procedure for the prompt and equitable settlement of grievances. This shall be the exclusive procedure available to all members of the bargaining unit, either individually or jointly, and to the Guild in its own name and on behalf of the bargaining unit and to the Library for matters which fall within its coverage.
A grievance is any complaint:
- by an employee concerning any matter relating to a condition of employment of the employee;
- by the Guild concerning any matter relating to a condition of employment;
- by an employee or the Guild concerning:
- the effect or interpretation or a claim of breach of this Agreement, or
- any claimed violation, misinterpretation, or misapplication of any law, rule, or regulation affecting conditions of employment; or
- by the Library concerning any claimed breach of a personnel regulation or any agreement by the Guild or its officers or agents.
- Excluded from the definition of grievances against the Library and therefore nongrievable under this article are the following matters:
- the content of any published Library policy, except that a grievance may include the application of a policy;
- change to lower grade (return to employee's regular position after temporary promotion);
- non-adoption of a suggestion or disapproval of a quality salary increase, incentive award, or other kind of honorary or discretionary award [LCR 2017-3 (Suggestion and Incentive Awards Program) and LCR 2013-4 (Within Grade Increases)];
- separation of reemployed annuitants;
- selection of another applicant under the provisions of Article 16 (Merit Employment and Promotions), unless it is shown that the provisions of a regulation or this Agreement have not been followed properly;
- non-promotion under the provisions of Article 14 (Classification Promotion Plans), unless it is shown that the provisions of a regulation or this Agreement have not been followed;
- termination of temporary appointments and time limited indefinite appointments;
- health and life insurance determinations [LCR 2019-1 (Health Benefits) and LCR 2019-2 (Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance)];
- details of employees, unless it can be shown that provisions of this Agreement or an applicable regulation have not been followed;
- denial of excused absence, unless it can be shown that provisions of this Agreement or an applicable regulation have not been followed;
- separation (disqualification) during the qualifying period;
- oral and written warnings issued pursuant to LCR 2017-5 (Obligations of Management and Staff to Fulfill Position Requirements); and
- the Approving Official’s final decision to deny an application for offsite work, or to terminate offsite work, provided that any complaint concerning the violation, misinterpretation, or misapplication of the Collective Bargaining Agreement shall be grievable.
- Excluded from the definition of grievances against the Guild and therefore nongrievable under this article are the following matters:
- the content of any Guild publication or communication;
- the proper exercise of Guild representational duties as defined in Article 6 (Guild Representation);
- the conduct of Guild internal affairs; and
- the filing of a complaint, grievance, or appeal by the Guild or one of its representatives.
Section 3. The following matters, though not grievable under this article are appealable through other procedures:
- Position Classification Appeals in the Library (see LCR 2016-2);
- Grade and Pay Retention (see LCR 2013-3.7);
- personnel security determinations [see LCR 2024-1 through 2024-10 (Personnel Security Program in the Library of Congress)]; and
- non-promotion, in and of itself, in a classification promotion plan (see LCR 2016-2). However, procedural violations of this Agreement or Library regulations regarding non-promotion are grievable.
Section 4. An employee who charges the Library with discrimination on account of race, color, sex, age, religion, national origin, or non-disqualifying disability may file either a grievance or a complaint under LCR 2010-3.1 (Resolution of Problems, Complaints, and Charges of Discrimination in Library Employment and Staff Relations under the Equal Employment Opportunity Program), but not both. An employee shall be deemed to have exercised his/her option at such time as the employee timely initiates an action under the above regulation procedure, or timely files a grievance in writing, whichever comes first.
An employee who charges the Library with discrimination on account of creed, marital status, or sexual orientation may file a grievance according to Article 36 (Negotiated Grievance Procedure), but not a complaint under LCR 2010-3.1.
Section 5. An employee covered by this Agreement may present a grievance directly to the Library without Guild representation, so long as the adjustment of the grievance is not inconsistent with the terms of this Agreement, and the Guild has been given the opportunity to be present at the adjustment or resolution of the grievance. The initiation or presentation of a grievance by an employee will not adversely reflect on his/her standing with or loyalty to the Library.
Section 6. The Guild has the following rights in employee grievances:
- to be notified of the time and place of meeting;
- to be present during the grievance procedure. This right of the Guild to be present, however, may not impair the right of the grievant to self-representation if so desired;
- to be furnished with a copy of the written decision at any step at which a written decision is involved, if such decision will become part of the record. A copy shall be furnished to the Guild at the same time that it is furnished to the grievant or to any other concerned party by the official responsible for making the decision; and
- to state its position on the grievance, in writing, if it is not the designated representative of the grievant.
Section 7. A copy of each document presented in the course of meetings under this article shall be furnished to all other parties by the person presenting the document and shall become part of the grievance record.
Section 8. If any management official fails to render a decision within a time limit set forth in this procedure, the grievance may proceed to the next step in the procedure. If the Labor Management Relations Office fails to render a decision within the time limit set forth in this procedure, the grievance shall be sustained on a non-precedential basis.
Section 9. Failure of the grievant and/or the Guild to process a grievance to the next step within the prescribed time limits, unless an extension is granted by the Library, shall render the grievance null and void upon the expiration of those time limits on a non-precedential basis. However, should the grievance be submitted to an inappropriate management official within the prescribed time limit, it shall be forwarded by the grievant or his/her representative to the appropriate management official within that same prescribed time limit, without prejudice or penalty.
Section 10. Absence of the grievant, his/her representative, or the deciding official from the Library on leave or official absence shall constitute an automatic extension of the time limits set forth herein for the period of time of absence. At the time the grievance is filed, the Library will designate the deciding official and inform the employee and his/her representative.
Section 11. The Library agrees to make available to the grievant upon reasonable request any non-privileged, non-confidential record relevant and necessary to the presentation at each step of the grievance provided such records or data are normally maintained by the Library in the regular course of business. Unresolved issues relating to the availability of documents or staff members with relevant knowledge or information may be submitted to the arbitrator preliminarily to the hearing.
Section 12. Informal Grievance Process
A matter may be presented orally by a concerned employee, acting alone or with a representative, by a steward, or by another Guild representative to the immediate supervisor of the employee or the appropriate management official to settle the matter.
Section 13. Formal Grievance Process
Step One. Immediate Supervisor
- The grievance must be presented in writing on the prescribed grievance form within ten (10) workdays from the date when the grievant knew, or reasonably should have known, of the condition or occurrence which prompted the grievance. The management official against whom the grievance is filed shall respond in writing within ten (10) workdays after receipt of the written grievance.
- A written grievance alleging discrimination on account of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, religion, national origin, or non-disqualifying disability, hereinafter referred to as a discrimination grievance, must be presented on the prescribed grievance form within twenty (20) workdays from the date when the grievant(s) knew, or reasonably should have known, of the condition or occurrence which prompted the grievance. The management official against whom the grievance is directed shall respond in writing within twenty (20) workdays after the receipt of the written grievance.
- A grievance may be presented for mediation under the terms of Article 35 (Alternative Dispute Resolution).
Step Two. Labor Management Relations Office
- If the grievance is not resolved in Step One or in the dispute resolution process, the grievant may present the grievance to the Labor Management Relations Office. The grievance presented to the Labor Management Relations Office shall include a copy of the appropriate form presented to the supervisor/ management official or Dispute Resolution Center, any response, and other relevant documents. The grievance must be presented to the Labor Management Relations Office within ten (10) workdays after receipt of the supervisor/management official's response. The Labor Management Relations Office shall respond in writing within twenty (20) workdays after the receipt of the grievance. This response shall constitute the Library's final decision of the grievance.
- A discrimination grievance must be presented to the Labor Management Relations Office within twenty (20) workdays after receipt of the supervisor/management official's response. The Labor Management Relations Office shall respond in writing within thirty (30) workdays after receipt of the grievance.
- Two (2) copies of the decision shall be delivered to the Chief Steward or his/her designee. The decision shall conform to the following general outline:
- identification number and description of the grievance and date of decision;
- brief statement of the Library's position;
- summary of findings; and
Section 14. Referral to Arbitration
- If the response in Step Two is not acceptable, within twenty (20) workdays the Guild may refer the grievance to arbitration in accordance with the procedures set forth in this Agreement.
- If the response in Step Two to a discrimination grievance is not acceptable, within thirty (30) workdays the Guild may refer a discrimination grievance to arbitration.
Section 15. A Guild grievance is defined as a matter which affects (1) the Guild as an organization, or (2) a general condition of employment, as distinguished from a matter affecting only one individual. In the case of a Guild grievance, the Guild may, within twenty (20) workdays from the date the Guild knew, or should have reasonably known, of the condition or occurrence which prompted the grievance, submit the written grievance and any supporting documents or arguments to the Labor Management Relations Office. The Labor Management Relations Office shall render a written decision on the matter within twenty (20) workdays. The decision shall be forwarded to the President of the Guild. If the decision is not acceptable to the Guild, the Guild may invoke arbitration within twenty (20) workdays under Article 37 (Arbitration), by notifying the Labor Management Relations Office in writing of its intention to do so.
Section 16. All grievances involving common issue(s) of law or fact may be consolidated into a single grievance by agreement of the Parties, or, in the absence of agreement of the Parties, by an arbitrator at the arbitration stage.
Section 17. Library Grievance Procedure
- Any grievance concerning a claimed breach of personnel regulation, the provisions of this Agreement, or of any other agreement entered into between the Parties must be presented orally by the Library to the Guild Chief Steward or President. If the grievance is not satisfactorily settled at the oral stage, the Library may present the grievance in writing to the Guild Chief Steward or President. The written grievance must be presented on the prescribed grievance form within twenty (20) workdays from the date when the grievant knew or should have reasonably known of the condition or occurrence which prompted the grievance. The Guild President shall respond in writing within twenty (20) workdays after receipt of the written grievance.
- When an Adverse action pursuant to LCR 2020-3 (Policies and Procedures Governing Adverse Actions) for misconduct is taken against a Guild representative, the Library will not also file a grievance against the Guild unless it alleges the Guild has violated a separate institutional obligation as specified in this Agreement.
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