Assessment of Grievance Procedures in Austin and large Texas City Governments
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The purpose of this research is fourfold. First, this study develops a model grievance procedure. The second purpose is to identify the state of grievance procedures in large Texas Cities. The third purpose is to gauge whether the City of Austin grievance procedure fits the ideal model and to determine how Austin’s procedure can be improved using the criteria of the practical ideal model identified. Finally, recommendations to improve Austin’s grievance procedure as well as Texas Cities are developed.
Overall, five of the six Cities who responded to the survey provide a grievance procedure for their employees. A little more than one-half of Texas large Cities, however, provide all five essential components that should be found in an ideal and effective grievance procedure. From the data collected, it is apparent that Cities are meeting some of their employees’ needs yet failing to meet others. In other words, by not providing an effective grievance procedure for their employees, the employees within these Cities will not utilize this procedure to their advantage.
Three key recommendations were made for the City of Austin and the other large Texas Cities participating in the research. The recommendations are: 1) Cities should post bulletins about the grievance procedure to enhance communication and knowledge of the procedure, 2) Clearly identify which disciplinary and employee protection actions can be grieved using the grievance procedure and 3) Provide assistance or training on effective communication skills and evidence preparation and presentation to employees and managers. These recommendations will ensure the grievance process runs smoothly because both employees and managers are aware of the expectations.