Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Uldis Smidchens

Second Advisor

Dr. Richard Munsterman

Third Advisor

Dr. Arthur Frock


The study sought to relate elements of grievance procedures contained in Michigan teacher negotiated contracts to grievance frequency. This was an attempt to identify grievance procedure elements that contribute to excessive or unsatisfactory use of the procedure.

The elements in the grievance procedures were identified and the following research questions were developed: (1) Is the number of steps in the procedure related to the number of grievances filed? (2) Is the board of education step of direct appeal related to the number of grievances? (3) Does the board of education, as the ultimate step of appeal, affect the number of grievances? (4) Is the scope of the definition, classified as broad or narrow, related to the number of grievances? (5) Does the procedure provide time limits for appeal and response at each step? (6) Does the procedure provide penalties for failure to meet time limitation? (7) Does grievance resolution occur more frequently at one specific step than at other steps in the procedure? Research hypotheses were formulated for each of the research questions.

Data were collected from 100 grievance procedures randomly selected from four predetermined size classifications of school districts. The procedures were obtained from contracts available in the Michigan Education Research Division Office. The data concerning grievance procedure elements were extracted through a complete reading of each procedure. Questionnaires were sent to each of the 100 selected school districts' association presidents to obtain additional data concerning grievance frequency and procedural steps where grievances were resolved. The data from the questionnaires and procedures were matched and tabulated for each school district. The four strata were considered as subgroups. The hypotheses were tested separately for each sub-group.

The number of formally filed grievances, the dependent variable, was provided by the local education association presidents through a questionnaire. Elements of grievance procedures, the independent variable, were obtained by this investigator from each grievance procedure in each district's contract between the education association and the board of education.

The major result of the study is that support for the existence of the relationship between procedure elements and grievance frequency was not found. This lack of existence of relationship may be due to changes in grievance procedures since the reviewed literature was published; the existence of unified bargaining in some of the school districts may have had an effect on the data collected.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access