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In general, it is preferred that all complaints and concerns relating to SWON Libraries be resolved informally in cooperation with SWON Libraries management1. When informal resolution is not possible, the following shall be considered as SWON Libraries’ official grievance procedure. SWON Libraries management, staff, Executive Board members and SWON Libraries members shall be expected to abide by the terms and conditions outlined herein.

  1. When a SWON Libraries member(s), staff member or other party (hereafter “complainant”) has cause to grieve due to inappropriate treatment or a serious dispute with SWON Libraries, the grievance must be submitted in writing to SWON Libraries management. The grievance shall outline the problem, date(s) of occurrence, any person(s) involved, and be dated and signed by the complainant. Sending a grievance via email is acceptable, but it must explicitly state that the complaint is an official grievance. When necessary, SWON Libraries management may have to clarify with the complainant whether a complaint is intended as an official grievance.
  2. Within 5 business days of receipt2, SWON Libraries management will notify the complainant that the grievance has been received and is being investigated. Also within 5 business days, SWON Libraries management will inform the full SWON Libraries Board (via email) that an official grievance has been received.
  3. SWON Libraries management and an Executive Board representative will begin investigating the complaint to determine the factual elements of the grievance. SWON Libraries management and the Board representative will review the grievance letter and clarify any missing information or ambiguous issues with the complainant.
  4. The complainant filing the grievance may be called upon to attend a conciliation/mediation meeting with SWON Libraries management, staff, Board members, and/or any other person(s) outlined in the grievance letter.
  5. SWON Libraries management and the Board representative will, in a timely manner, make a written determination of the best approach to deal with the grievance. Management will share this determination with the SWON Libraries Board (via email) for disagreement, if any, before sending it to the complainant. If no disagreement has been voiced by the Board within 5 business days, management is authorized to send the determination to the complainant.
  6. The outcome of the grievance will be documented by SWON Libraries management and maintained as a part of the office records.
  7. If the complainant is dissatisfied with management’s handling of a grievance, this should be expressed to management in writing, and the complainant may request a hearing with the SWON Libraries Board. The SWON Libraries Board will then move expediently to review the grievance and actions taken, and determine a timeline for response to the complainant.
  8. Dissatisfaction with the SWON Libraries Board’s handling of a grievance may be expressed to the SWON Libraries membership at the biannual SWON Libraries member meeting, as part of New Business.
  9. At any time during the grievance process, all parties have a right to legal representation, at their own expense.

Approved by the SWON Libraries Executive Board October 13, 2010

1 SWON Libraries management consists of the Executive Director and Assistant Director. Contact SWON Libraries via the About page.

2 Response will be made within 5 business days unless management is unavailable for an extended period of time (e.g., business travel, illness, etc.). If management is unavailable when the grievance is received, a response will be sent as soon as management returns, with an explanation for the lapse.

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