34.0 DISCIPLINE AND DISMISSAL OF PERMANENT UNIT MEMBERS

Discipline and dismissal of permanent unit members shall take place in accordance with the appropriate provisions of the Education Code. Unit members may be disciplined for the following causes:

  1. Willful or negligent violation of District policies, rules and regulations or the rules and regulations of a federal, state or local government agency which are applicable to public schools.
  2. Failure to perform adequately the duties of the position held and/or failure to maintain licenses or certificates required by law, District requirements, or job description.
  3. Immoral or unprofessional conduct.
  4. Dishonesty.
  5. Conviction of a felony or of any crime involving the illegal use, possession or intent to distribute controlled substances which would be a violation of the law in California, or of any crime involving moral turpitude.
  6. Possession of, or ingesting, or being under the influence of alcohol, or a controlled substance (including prescription drugs where unreported) which could impact the safety of the employee or others on District property or while performing services for the District.
  7. Evident unfitness for service with children.
  8. Physical or mental incapacity to perform adequately on the job.

34.1 Guidelines for Disciplinary Action

The following guidelines shall be recognized in the discipline and/or dismissal of unit members:

a. The District’s rules, regulations and policies shall be reasonable and related to the efficient operation of the District. b. Rules, orders and penalties should be applied fairly and equitably. c. Disciplinary action should be appropriate and reasonably related to the nature of the offense. 34.1.1 Progressive discipline shall be utilized except for conduct which is of such a nature that progressive discipline normally would not result in corrective conduct or the conduct is so egregious that immediate action is warranted. 34.1.1.1 The elements of progressive discipline shall be administered in a timely manner.

34.1.2 Initially the immediate supervisor shall discuss the unit member’s acts or omissions prior to issuing a verbal reprimand.

34.1.3 The immediate supervisor will provide the unit member with a follow up written notice of communication (e.g., email) confirming the verbal reprimand. This communication shall not be placed in the employee’s personnel file unless it is later attached to a written reprimand or notice of suspension as set forth in this Article.

34.1.4 If a verbal reprimand does not result in corrective conduct, a written reprimand may be issued.

34.1.5 If suspension without pay is recommended as a disciplinary action it shall be preceded by a written reprimand. Exceptions may occur where conduct is of such a nature that written reprimands normally would not result in corrective conduct or where there has been no improvement after the first written reprimand.

34.1.6 Normally, any initial suspension of a unit member pending a disciplinary hearing shall be with pay.

34.1.7 Emergency Suspension - The Union and the District recognize that emergency situations can occur involving the health and welfare of students, employees, or the public.

34.1.8 If the unit member’s presence would lead to a clear and present danger to the lives, safety, or health of students, employees, or the public, the District may suspend the unit member without pay immediately after informing the unit member of the reason for the suspension.

34.1.9 Within three (3) workdays, the District shall hold an informal hearing as described in Section 34.2.1 and serve on the employee a written notice of discipline and notice of right to a formal hearing in accordance with this Article.

34.1.10 If, as a result of either the informal or formal hearing, the suspension is found unwarranted or of undue length, the unit member shall be reimbursed the appropriate back pay.

34.1.11 a unit member may be represented, upon request, at any disciplinary meeting or hearing.

34.2 Disciplinary Procedure

34.2.1 Informal Hearing

By mutual agreement, an employee against whom disciplinary action is being recommended may meet with the Superintendent or their designee prior to written notification of official charges. The employee shall be informed orally of the reasons for disciplinary action and the action to be taken and given an opportunity to respond. The employee may be represented at the hearing by a representative of their choice.

34.2.2 If no agreement is reached at the informal hearing the District will give written notification of official charges and notice of a right to a formal hearing.

34.2.3 Written Notice

When the District seeks the imposition of any disciplinary punishment, notice of such discipline shall be made in writing and served in person or by registered or certified mail to the employee at the last known address. A copy of the notice shall be mailed to the Union at the same time unless the employee requests otherwise.

34.2.4 Statement of Charges

A statement of the specific charges against the employee shall be written in ordinary and concise language, shall include the cause and the specific acts and omissions, including times, dates, and location, on which the disciplinary action is based and shall state the penalty proposed.

34.2.5 No disciplinary action shall be taken for any cause which arose prior to the employee’s becoming permanent, nor for any cause which arose more than two (2) years preceding the date of the filing of the notice of cause, unless such cause was concealed or not disclosed by such employee when it could be reasonably assumed that the employee should have disclosed the facts to the District.

34.2.6 The employee may, upon request, have copies of materials upon which the charges are based.

34.2.7 Right to a Hearing

The Unit member may request a hearing in writing either by mail or personal delivery within five (5) workdays after service of the statement of charges. A card or letter shall be provided to the employee, the signing of which shall constitute a demand for a hearing and a denial of all charges. In the absence of a request for a hearing within the five (5) workdays, the disciplinary action shall be effective without a hearing on the date set forth in the written notice.

34.2.8 If, after requesting a hearing, the employee fails to appear for the hearing, the disciplinary action shall be effective without a hearing on the date set forth in the written notice.

34.3 Hearing

34.3.1 A hearing shall be held before the Superintendent or their designee.

34.3.2 The employee may be represented at the hearing by a representative of their choice.

34.3.3 The Superintendent or designee shall render a written decision within ten (10) workdays.

34.3.4 The decision of the Superintendent or designee shall be submitted to the governing board for action unless the matter is moved to arbitration. The request for arbitration shall be made within fifteen (15) days after receiving the decision of the Superintendent or designee.

34.4 Arbitration

The Union has the exclusive right to appeal the Superintendent/designee’s decision to arbitration.

34.4.1 The Union and the District agree to meet for the purpose of mutually selecting a panel of arbitrators. Until the panel is established, CSMCS’s rules regarding arbitrator selection will apply.

34.4.2 Technical rules of evidence shall not apply at the arbitration.

34.4.3 The cost of the arbitration and the reporter, if any, shall be borne equally by the District and the Union.

34.4.4 The arbitrator shall submit a written decision, including the findings of fact and determination of the issues, within thirty (30) calendar days. A copy shall be sent to the employee, the Union and to the Superintendent.

34.4.4.1 For discipline issued after ratification of this CBA, binding arbitration for suspension; advisory arbitration for termination – the Board of Education may accept or reject findings of arbitrator. The parties will meet within 30 days to discuss establishing an expedited arbitration process for suspensions.

34.4.4.2 If an advisory arbitration decision on a dismissal is rejected upon review by the District’s Board, the District will pay the arbitrator’s fee and costs incurred by the Union.

34.5 Release of Probationary Classified Employees

Probationary employees are excluded from the provisions of the disciplinary article. At any time prior to the expiration of the probationary period, the District may, at its discretion, release a probationary employee.

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