While it is hoped that member libraries will work cooperatively to prevent grievances or disputes, the LINC Dispute Resolution is designed to provide a framework for member libraries and Lincoln Trail Libraries System (LTLS) to bring about a satisfactory resolution of complaints that may occur in disputes related to LINC policies and procedures. Prior to filing a formal complaint, all interested parties are to attempt to resolve any grievance or dispute informally in the spirit of cooperation. (Order of progression in seeking resolution is: 1. LTLS Executive Director. 2. LINC Policy Council, through its Chair. 3. LTLS Board, through its President. 4. Arbitration. 5. Court of law. [LTLS goes directly to #2.])
A. The Library shall file its complaint in writing with the Executive Director of LTLS. Every complaint must contain an explanation of the grievance or dispute, including all pertinent history, a description of all efforts at informal resolution, and suggestions for resolution. Within fifteen (15) calendar days of receipt of the complaint, the Executive Director shall issue a written decision and proposed resolution to the Library.
B. If the Library is dissatisfied with the Executive Directorıs decision, the Library may seek review of the decision. The Library will file with the Chair of LINC Policy Council a request for review by the LINC Policy Council. The request for review must be filed within ten (10) calendar days of receipt of the Executive Directorıs decision. The Library must provide a copy of the request for review to the opposing party at the time of filing with the Chair of LINC Policy Council.
NOTE: Formal complaints initiated by LTLS shall be filed with the Chair of LINC Policy Council for review by the LINC Policy Council. A copy of the complaint must first be provided to the Library at least fifteen (15) calendar days prior to filing with the Chair.
Within fifteen (15) calendar days of its receipt of the complaint or request for review, the LINC Policy Council shall convene for a hearing at which both parties may appear and provide statements of their respective positions.
The Chair of LINC Policy Council shall give the parties at least ten (10) calendar days written notice of the time and place of the hearing. Either party may submit written materials, documentation, or oral statements it deems appropriate.
Within ten (10) calendar days of the LINC Policy Council hearing, LINC Policy Council will provide the parties with a written decision for resolution of the complaints.
C. If either party is not satisfied with the LINC Policy Council decision, it may file a request for review with the LTLS Board of Directors, through its President. The request must be filed within ten (10) calendar days of receipt of the LINC Policy Council decision. The filing must be made by certified mail to the LTLS Board President, with a copy to the opposing party.
Within fifteen (15) calendar days of its receipt of the request for review, the LTLS Board, through its President, shall convene a hearing at which both parties may appear and provide statements of their respective positions.
The LTLS Board President shall give the parties at least ten (10) calendar days written notice of the time and place of the hearing. The LTLS Board shall have access to all written materials and documentation submitted by the parties to the Executive Director and the LINC Policy Council. The Board may request any additional documentation or oral statements it deems appropriate.
Within ten (10) calendar days of the LTLS Board hearing, the Board, through its President, will provide the parties with a written decision for resolution of the complaint by certified mail.
D. If the Library is dissatisfied with the Boardıs decision, it may within fifteen (15) calendar days of receipt of the decision, elect to have such matter decided by binding arbitration, rather than by litigation in the courts. In such event, the Library shall serve upon the Executive Director a written notice stating that it desires to have the grievance or dispute decided by arbitration and naming the person whom it has designated to act as arbitrator.
Within fifteen (15) calendar days of such notice, LTLS shall designate a person to act as second arbitrator. The two arbitrators must decide on a third arbitrator, and if they are not able to agree on said third arbitrator, either arbitrator, on five (5) calendar days written notice to the other, or both arbitrators, shall apply to the American Arbitration Association to designate and appoint the third arbitrator.
If LTLS shall fail to designate its arbitrator within fifteen (15) calendar days after receipt of such notice, then the arbitrator designated by the Library shall act as the sole arbitrator to resolve the grievance or dispute.
The arbitrators shall promptly commence the arbitration proceedings and shall decide such dispute in accordance with rules and procedures determined appropriate to the dispute. The decision of a majority of the arbitrators or of such sole arbitrator, shall be final and binding upon all parties.
E. The cost and expenses of each arbitrator and their apportionment between the parties shall be determined by the arbitrators. The arbitration shall take place at Lincoln Trail Libraries System headquarters. This agreement to arbitrate shall be specifically enforceable.
F. If a party fails to initiate timely review, the existing decision will become final and binding upon all parties. If a decision is not issued within the time required by these procedures, the aggrieved party may seek further review as of the date the decision was due.
G. The arbitration decision and any other decision that becomes final and binding may be submitted to a court of competent jurisdiction for the purpose of having judgment entered upon such decision.