Course Outline

UNION REPRESENTATION*


Course Outline**

I. What is the Job of a Union Representative?
a. Know Your Contract, Side Agreements & Past Practices
b. Duty of Fair Representation
c. Confidentiality Between Representative and Member
d. Union Goal for Discipline – Minimize the Discipline as Much as Possible
e. Know the Players on Both Sides f. What is the Chain of Command? Why is that Important?
e. Relationships with Management – Why are they Important?
f. What is Due Process?
g. What is a Fair Hearing?
h. Show Bias of Managers/Supervision
i. Have Time Limits Been Violated?

II. You Must Be Informed About These Topics:
a. What is General Harassment in the Workplace?
b. What is Sexual Harassment?
c. What is Disparate Treatment?
d. What is Considered Discrimination in the Workplace?
e. What is a Reasonable Accommodation in the Workplace?
f. What are Fighting Words?
g. Violence in the Workplace – Union Reps. Can Be in the Line of Fire Too!
h. What is “Comply and Grieve”?
i. Prior Case History in your Union and in your Company with other Unions
j. Do you have a Database to Research Prior Cases in Your Company and in Your Union?
k. The Role of the Employee Assistance Program and Your Member – How to Take Advantage of Their Services to Help Your Member

III. Disciplinary Investigations: Who, What, When, Where & Why?
a. Know your Member
b. Intake Interview of Your Member; Take notes
c. Interview Witnesses
d. Prior Case Research – What has Happened in Similar Cases?
e. Can you Distinguish this Case From Other Similar Cases?
f. Know What Your Member Wants: Retain Employment? Backpay? Clear His/Her Name?
g. Give Your Member the Facts of Life – What Can He/She Expect?
h. Your Member has the Right to the Presence of a Union Representative While Being Questioned by Management
When the Questioning Can Result in Discipline OR ELSE

IV. Settlements
a. Can You Negotiate a Settlement Before a Hearing?
b. Look for Win Win Settlements
c. Point Out the Negatives in Management’s Case
d. Bring Up Information that will be Embarrassing for Management if the Case Goes to Hearing
e. Negotiate for Less Time Served and More Time Held in Abeyance (Probationary Period) if the Employee Behaves Well Going Forward
f. Request Training and/or Counseling Instead of Suspension Time
g. A Clean or Almost Clean Record Warrants a Lighter Disciplinary Penalty
h. Many Years of Service Warrants a Lighter Disciplinary Penalty
i. Is there Something Management Wants Badly that Will Be Worth Saving This Employee? Speak to your Union Head
j. What Can Be Done with a Strong Dismissal Case to Avoid a Termination Decision?
k. How Do You Discuss A Resignation Or Retirement Option To Your Member?
l. WOLF TICKETS: 1. When Should You Make a Threat?
2. When Should You Threaten to go to an Outside Oversight Agency?

V. Hearing Basics
a. Opening Statement
b. Procedural Objections – Time Limits Violated; Bias of Hearing Officer; Discriminatory Motives
c. Questioning Management Witnesses – “It’s Not Personal, Just Business”
d. Preparing Your Member for a Hearing – Anticipate Management’s Questions
e. Cross Examination
f. Objections On The Record/Objections Off the Record
g. Recording the Hearing/Playing Back the Transcript During the Hearing
h. Taking Breaks
i. Don’t Ask A Question if You Don’t know the Answer – Why?
j. Placing Evidence into the Record k. You are Speaking to the Arbitrator, Not the Hearing Officer or the Department
l. Closing Statement

VI. Special Problems
a. Member vs. Member Cases
b. When Your Member Lies to You
c. Union vs. Union


VII. What Can You Do To Become A Better Union Representative?
a. Create & Nurture Working Relationships with Management & Other Unions
b. Sit In On As Many Hearings and Arbitrations As You Can.
c. Talk to Union Reps with More Experience From Your Union and Others
d. Attend Any Classes from Your Company or Outside that Can Help You
e. Read, Read, Read!

*Please note that this course includes many opportunities to practice the skills taught in the course through role play and practice exercises.
**This outline does not include all topics covered in this course but is meant to provide an overview of the course.