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26.1 Discipline shall be imposed on permanent employees of the bargaining unit only for just cause. In the event the District intends to discharge an employee, to impose a suspension without pay to demote a permanent employee or to reduce an employee's pay; the District, shall, if the employee has completed the original probationary period, utilize the following procedure.

26.2 The employee and CSEA shall be given notice in writing of the proposed disciplinary action not less than five (5) days prior to the effective date of the action. The notice shall set forth the reasons for the action, and shall be accompanied by copies of written materials, if any, upon which the action is based. The written notice shall also contain a statement advising the employee of the employee's right to a hearing on such charges and a card or paper for the employee to sign and file with the Executive Assistant to the President if the employee wishes to deny the charges and demand a hearing. For the purposes of this section only; substantial discipline is defined as discharge, demotion, or suspension of more than three (3) days without pay. Minor discipline is defined as reduced pay, or suspension for three (3) days or less without pay.

26.3 Prior to the effective date of the disciplinary action, the employee may request and, if so, shall be granted an informal hearing to discuss the proposed disciplinary action. The informal hearing shall be conducted by the authority who initially imposed the discipline. The employee may be represented by anyone of the employee's choice. The purpose of this meeting is not to gather evidence for future meetings within the grievance procedure and, therefore, no record will be made. The hearing officer shall convey the employee's decision in writing to the employee within five (5) days of the hearing. Failing reconciliation and at the option of the employee, the formal grievance procedure may be used beginning at the arbitration level, Step 4, of the grievance procedure.