Progressive Discipline Policy for Librarians

Progressive Discipline Policy for Librarians

Approved by Library Negotiations Committee – April 6, 1999
Approved by the Board of Governors – March 27, 2002

DISCLAIMER: If there is a discrepancy between this electronic policy and the written copy held by the Policy owner, the written copy prevails.

INTRODUCTION

It is expected that librarians will observe all relevant policies and procedures of the Library and the University, and will meet expectations for professional practice and service. Inadequate performance will be discussed and reviewed with the librarian with an emphasis on correction and improvement. It is expected that informal discussions will be sufficient to resolve problems and concerns. However, if the problem or issue persists following joint informal attempts to improve performance to meet expectations, progressive formal discipline will be initiated according to the procedure below.

A progressive discipline procedure will provide the librarian with a clear indication of the seriousness of the problem or issue, and will afford sufficient time for the librarian to make the required changes in order to maintain his or her employment with the University.

Application

This policy applies to librarians holding a continuing appointment as a professional librarian in the McMaster University Library System. Excluded from this policy are librarians working through an employment probationary period or librarians with a temp orary appointment of less than twelve months. Problems and concerns regarding the performance of such librarians will be addressed in a timely and consistent manner outside this policy.

Supervisory Responsibility

It is the responsibility of the supervisor to:

1. ensure that the standards for professional practice and service are clearly communicated to the librarian;

2. discuss problems and concerns with the librarian and to jointly seek constructive means of addressing these; and

3. address performance and disciplinary problems and issues in a timely and consistent manner.

PROCEDURE

This procedure begins after informal discussions between the librarian and his/her supervisor have taken place if the expected changes and/or improvements have not occurred. The librarian and the supervisor may each invite a colleague to witness any of the meetings arranged for formal discipline at any of the stages described below. The librarian may place a response to any letter of discipline into his or her personnel file. A librarian may request in writing through her or his supervisor that letters of discipline given under the terms of this policy be removed from her or his personnel file when there has been no disciplinary issue raised within two years from the date of the letter.

STAGE ONE: ORAL WARNING

The supervisor must review in advance with her/his supervisor a decision to issue an oral warning.

At this stage, the supervisor meets with the librarian and describes verbally the problem or issue, the expectations to be met by the librarian, and clearly states the serious nature of the situation, noting that further action will be taken if the problem or issue is not resolved.

A letter signed by the supervisor describing the oral warning is given to the librarian and a copy placed in the librarian’s personnel file.

STAGE TWO: WRITTEN WARNING

The supervisor must review in advance with her/his supervisor a decision to issue a written letter of warning.

If the oral warning at Stage One has not resulted in the expected changes, the supervisor meets with the librarian and gives a written letter of warning to the librarian that documents the problem or issue, efforts made to date to resolve it, the expectations to be met by the librarian, and a clear statement indicating that further action will be taken which could include suspension and/or termination of employment with the University.

The written letter of warning is signed by the supervisor. The librarian is asked to sign a copy of the written letter of warning to acknowledge receipt of the letter which shall be placed in the personnel file of the librarian.

STAGE THREE: SUSPENSION

Decisions to suspend must be reviewed in advance with, and approved by, the University Librarian or Director of Health Sciences Library and Computing Services, as appropriate. The appropriate Human Resources Office must also be consulted. Other forms of action may be taken at this stage depending upon the circumstances of the individual case in the event that suspension is not appropriate.

If the written letter of warning at Stage Two has not resulted in the expected changes, the supervisor meets with the librarian and gives a written letter of suspension to the librarian. The letter given to the librarian will describe the conditions of the suspension and restate the contents of the written warning in addition to any new relevant information. This letter will also clearly state that further action will be taken, which could include further suspension and/or termination of employment with the University.

The written letter of suspension is signed by the supervisor. The librarian is asked to sign a copy of the written letter of suspension to acknowledge receipt of the letter, which shall be placed in the personnel file of the librarian.

STAGE FOUR: TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT

Decisions to terminate a librarian from employment must be reviewed in advance and approved by the University Librarian or Director of Health Sciences Library and Computing Services, as appropriate. The appropriate Human Resources Office must also review the decision.

If the written letter of suspension at Stage Three has not resulted in the expected changes, the supervisor meets with the librarian to inform the librarian that his or her employment with the University has been terminated. A written letter of termination which has been signed by the supervisor is given to the librarian documenting this decision.

INDIVIDUAL ASSESSMENT

Before any disciplinary action is taken, the problem or issue must be clearly identified. The facts of the matter must be documented and discussed. The circumstances and the nature of the matter should also be considered. Under certain circumstances, e .g. wilful misconduct wilful neglect of professional responsibilities, or the endangerment of University employees or property, etc., formal discipline may begin at any stage, including Stage Four, Termination of Employment.

 

Approved by Library Negotiations Committee – April 6, 1999
Approved by the Board of Governors – March 27, 2002