Can we call an executive session for a superintendent updating our board about possible grievances?

Most collective bargaining agreements include a grievance procedure. The grievance procedure is used when an employee believes that there has been a violation of the collective bargaining agreement. When an employee files a grievance the immediate supervisor usually makes the first determination if a violation has occurred. If an employee is unhappy with this decision he or she can appeal the decision, which can lead to the grievance being presented to the board. Board meetings are considered a public hearing for the purpose of public hearing statutes. While the meeting is intended to be open to the public, under certain conditions the board can move into an executive session, which allows the board to discuss an issue in private.

There are no executive-session statutes that allow for general personnel discussions to occur in executive session. If it is a specific situation, it may be appropriate under ORS 192.660(2)(b), discipline and dismissal, although the employee must be notified and has the right to be present. It may also be possible to hear the information under ORS 192.660(2)(f) – exempt public records. The specific nature of the circumstance will decide the issue. You should get advice from an attorney before proceeding.

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