On March 26, 2015, our Alliance presented a grievance in front of the SAISD Board of Trustees on behalf of several SAISD police officers. The officers contended that the internal promotion process for the Police Department was not a fair or transparent process. As it currently stands, the process does not provide consideration for experience, level of state certification, performance evaluations, or work history, among other factors. Given this, the police officers questioned the impartiality of the process and promotions that resulted from the process.
While the school board agreed not to annul the promotion, they did agree that a new promotion process was needed. Both the district and the grievants shared with the Board that it had already been agreed by both sides that a new promotion process would be developed. Trustee Steve Lecholop asked to make a statement for the record, on behalf of the Board, during the meeting. He said that the Board is certainly conflicted when administrative staff and employees disagree with regard to the implementation of policies and procedures. He said that the Board has sympathy on both sides. He said that the Board loves all of the SAISD employees and knows that they are all hard workers. Mr. Lecholop said that the Board did not believe, as evident by the vote, that the Sergeant should be demoted and the position reopened.
Lecholop continued saying that the Board is very happy that in the Level II grievance the District staff and the grievants agreed to come together to contribute to a policy that really does need improvement. He also said that there needs to be more transparency and more accountability in the hiring practices within our SAISD Police Department. Mr. Lecholop said that he thinks it was very apparent by the testimony and also by the exhibits and the anecdotes that everyone heard. He said that the Board trusts that staff and the employees are going to collaborate to make a policy, which the Board promises to review, that will create an environment of trust and mutual respect with a new Police Department. Mr. Lecholop said that the Board is happy with the outcome and that the District is going to employ this new strategy soon because there is another Sergeant position opening.
He said that he hopes each of the gentlemen who were grievants will consider applying for the position. He said that the Board thinks that the right conclusion was reached and look forward to watching as everyone works together to make the Police Department the best place that it can be, collaboratively and transparent. Mr. Lecholop thanked the officers for raising their voices on an issue that they deemed to be important. He said that the officers are very passionate about what they do and are very invested in it. He said that this is all that the Board can ask from employees. He thanked the officers for their service, the Human Resources staff for their work, and said that he looks forward to seeing everyone work together to reach a mutually agreeable end. Trustee Olga Hernandez thanked the officers, and said that she looks forward to approving whatever is established that will help with transparency in the department.