The Grievance Policy provides a fair and consistent method in which to grieve and/or request an appeal of a decision made by a GC member, or the GC itself, affecting a member’s garden privileges. The system is a tiered process which, if need be, culminates in a peer review (Appeals Board) and results in a final decision.
The Appeals Board is composed of three members who are appointed yearly by the outgoing GC before the beginning of a new garden season (March 1st). Members on the Appeals Board serve on an as-needed basis, receiving unlimited work hours for their service. Appeals Board members operate under confidentiality and with respect for all those concerned. In the event that a member of the Appeals Board brings a grievance to the GC, the board member will be recused from duty and an alternate Appeals Board member will be appointed by the GC for the specific grievance.
Grievance Procedures and Appeal:
- Coordinators make decisions based on existing policy, guidelines and procedures as developed by the Governing Committee (GC) and posted on the Putney Community Garden website.
- When there is no clear policy relating to a specific issue or concern, Coordinators will consult with At Large Members in order to proceed equitably and reasonably.
- All parties are encouraged to resolve differences through open conversation assuming best intentions of all those concerned.
- If a garden member disagrees with a decision made by the PCG garden coordinators and no viable solution can be agreed upon, the garden member may grieve the decision to the GC.
- Grievances must be written in a letter to the Chair of the GC, and be grounded in what the member considers to be a violation of garden policy, procedures or guidelines. Letters are to be kept confidential and not posted online or sent via email.
- The Chair will bring the grievance to the GC to review. The GC will review the concern and decide to either affirm or overturn the coordinators’ decision.
- The GC decision will be communicated in writing within two weeks.
- If the garden member is still unsatisfied, he or she may ask the Chair to have the Appeals Board review the GC’s decision. The Appeals Board will make a final determination within 30 days unless extenuating circumstances preclude a decision from being made within 30 days.
- Appeals Board decisions are final.