New Library Directors Handbook

Grievance Procedures

We talked about the importance of having a type of grievance procedure. Employees need to have a method of expressing concerns or differences. Employees should be told to follow the procedures. Sometimes an employee may try to go directly to the library board rather than the supervisor on staff. Board members should be informed of any staff problems when this might happen, and they should be reminded of the proper procedure.

Your library may have to follow a labor union's grievance procedure. If so, then you can skip this next part. If you don't have a procedure then you may want to keep reading. Grievances should be filed in writing. The first step in the grievance procedure usually is fact finding and mediation between the employee and supervisor, if it is warranted. Fact-finding and mediation should be done by a superior in the organization, or if that is not possible by a competent, disinterested outsider. In small libraries the library board usually mediates. If it is found that the grievance was warranted, appropriate action should be taken.

If it is found that the grievance was unfounded, the supervisor should be warned not to take retaliatory action. If the grievance involves an ongoing dispute involving disciplinary action against the employee, the normal disciplinary procedures should continue.