(This article was first reported in the September 2017, Local Newsletter)
Written by: Kathy Kustner Clerk Craft Director of APWU, SJAL #0526
When being called to do a PDI with an employee, it’s best to have a few moments with the employee alone before being brought in the room where the PDI is being held to talk to them. When the Supervisor notifies you that they will need you for a PDI they are going to hold, always ask who the employee is and what is reason for the PDI, so that you can explain this to the employee, before it starts. Before the PDI begins, write down the time and date.
Record the employee’s name, the Supervisor’s name and write your name down as being the Steward. Ask the Supervisor what documentation they have to show the employee and record this also. For Attendance, the employee should be given a copy of his/her 397l’s and the 3972 or the Key Indicator Report. Record what dates and what type of leave was requested for issues concerning job performance, record such things as the date & time it occurred, the machine the employee was on, the employee’s partner. So if discipline is issued as a result of this PDI, all these facts must be checked against the letter of discipline, so if management has made a mistake you will have evidence of the fact, and will use this to have the discipline expunged. Taking very good notes by recording all the facts at the PDI, will enable the Steward for the Step One Interview of asking questions to show who, what, when, where and why.
Making sure that time limits and other procedural requirements under Article 16 have been followed is the Steward’s main objective. Always remember: “Management bears the burden of proof in disciplinary grievance.”
When the result is discipline has been issued after the PDI, the proper steps must be taken. To assign the discipline a grievance number and create a folder for the letter and any documentation that you will acquire. An RFI needs to be submitted to the issuing SDO. For an example, for an attendance grievance the following reports should be requested:
- Request for Discipline
- Copy of PDI notes
- 3971’s for all dates cited
- TACS Everything
- Absences Occurrence Report (Non-FMLA Related)
- Sick/FMLA Usage Log
- Message List Report
- Action Report
- Employee Key Indicator
- Leave Usage Report
- Removed Leave Log
You must then go over these reports and checks all the occurrences to see if they match what has been cited on the discipline. Check to see if the grievant has FMLA on file and if he/she has called out using it, that it matches their 3971’s.
After doing so, you can now initiate a Step One interview with the SDO. Ask has the grievant been give an Attendance Review, if so, when and where did it take place. Always make sure that your Step One has a “date and time” on it. And the end of the Step One, have a slot, so you offer the SDO the chance to sign & date what has been discussed. If the SDO signs you may give them a copy if they request it. If they refuse to sign you do not give them a copy. Management has five days from this date to give an answer to what you are asking for as a remedy. If you are not a Step Two Advocate, you must give the case folder to the Steward who is, after your Step One and familiarize them with the case, so that the case can be moved to the next Step within the time limits. If you have reached a settlement with management at Step One, have it typed and signed off on, giving the grievant a copy.