What are my Rights as a Union Member? Contractual Rights & Grievances
The Contract for your bargaining unit is the document that provides an outline of your rights as a bargaining unit member. A grievance is an allegation that a supervisor or another CCP administrator has violated rights guaranteed by the Contract. Grievances are one way we maintain our contractual rights, wages and working conditions, including our right to academic freedom.
If you think that your rights have been violated, it’s important to immediately contact a union representative or the union office. If your supervisor asks you to do something that you believe is a violation of the contract, you can ask to check with a union rep first, but you cannot refuse to do the task. Often timeliness can determine whether or not a grievance is successful. As a general rule, the Federation must file a grievance within 10 working days of the occurrence of the contract violation. Also, be sure to write down as much detail as you can about the violation you think has occurred. A union member experienced with grievances will discuss the situation with you and help you decide if it makes sense to file a grievance. If you decide to go ahead with the grievance, someone will help you officially file it and present it with you at each level. Grievances are sometimes resolved at the first level (your immediate supervisor), the second level (the person above your supervisor), the third level (the College President’s representative), or, with the approval of Rep Council, the fourth level (an outside arbitrator).
The union has a legal responsibility to investigate any grievance that is filed, and to fairly and impartially represent any bargaining unit member whose rights may have been violated at each level of the grievance process.
Right to Union Representation During Disciplinary Meetings
You have the right to bring a union representative with you to all disciplinary meetings. These “Weingarten Rights” ensure that you don’t have to face discipline alone; a union representative can act as a witness, a spokesperson and an advocate. If you are called into a meeting with an administrator, you have the right to ask why you are meeting. If the administrator hints at some disciplinary action, or s/he is trying to obtain information from you, you can stop the meeting until a union representative is present. If the administrator continues to ask you questions after you request representation, you may refuse to answer. If an employee does not have a union representative in disciplinary meetings, s/he may face disciplinary action or job loss that could have been avoided if a representative had been present.
To request union representation, please contact the union office at firstname.lastname@example.org.