Employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement have a right to a union representative in certain scenarios. Pursuant to the United States Supreme Court decision in NLRB v. J. Weingarten, Inc., employees have a right to a union representative during investigatory interviews or questioning when the employee has a reasonable belief that discipline or other adverse employment consequences may result from what he or she says. This does not apply to normal supervisor/employee interactions where discipline is not contemplated, even when the feedback is critical.
Though as a general rule, the University makes efforts to offer a union representative when appropriate, it is ultimately the responsibility of the employee to request and arrange for representation. An employee may not be retaliated against for this request. Additionally, it is the practice of the University to, when possible, provide sufficient notice so as to allow the presence of a union representative should one be requested.
The Role of the Union Representative
During an investigatory interview, the union representative may:
- be informed of the subject matter of the interview
- take the employee aside for a private conference before questioning begins or between questions
- speak during the interview
- request to have questions clarified so that what is being asked is understood
- give employee advice on how to answer a question (not answer for employee)
- provide additional information to the supervisor at the end of the questioning
Employees wishing to file a grievance should familiarize themselves with the process to ensure that their grievance is not dismissed due to procedural deficiencies. An effective grievance has sufficient specificity that the grievance officers understands what is being alleged and has enough information to adequately investigate the matter.
For employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement, grievance procedures and requirements are outlined in your CBA in the following places:
Officers of Administration and Unrepresented faculty may file a grievance procedure pursuant to University Policy: Grievance Procedure Policy.