(This article was first reported in the April 2018, Local Newsletter)
Written by: Tony Rodriguez, Editor of APWU, SJAL #0526
I have touched on this subject in our last newsletter. I pose the question, “What are you paying Union dues for?” It is not to wait until there is a disciplinary action taken against you by management or when you feel aggrieved. YOU HAVE RIGHTS. The understanding of those rights is within the contract.
When management instructs you to perform a task that you are:
- not sure of,
- you have never done before while working in the facility,
- seems not correct in nature,
- or just because they said so,
by the contract and the ELM, it is your job to follow the last instruction given. If the task(s) fall within the above, REQUEST TO SEE A SHOP STEWARD. How do you know that something is wrong, if you’re not sure? REQUEST TO SEE A SHOP STEWARD.
Another example is, management does something wrong and you know it’s wrong. REQUEST TO SEE A SHOP STEWARD. Don’t wait until tomorrow. Don’t wait until the next time you see a steward walking in your area. REQUEST TO SEE A SHOP STEWARD at the moment you witness the event. Waiting allows you to forget all of the details.
“If an employee requests a steward, such requests shall not be unreasonably denied. Reasonable time cannot be measured by a predetermined factor.” (JCIM: Article 17.3, pg. 152) “…when an employee asks to see a steward, a union steward/employee will be released within two (2) hours of his/her request. Normally the steward/employee will be released before the end of the tour. However, if the steward/employee is not released within that time frame, the steward/employee must be released immediately upon the beginning of his/her next tour of duty. In the event a steward or employee is delayed until their next tour, the steward/employee should notify the supervisor of the prior request.” (JCAM: Q&A – Question 7, pgs. 157-158)
This requires due diligence on you (the employee) to stay on top of management when you request for a steward. Management does not or is not required to follow up for you. EVERY request by a member for a steward is important. You must know that if you have not been released to see your steward within two (2) hours, you must ask your immediate supervisor as to why your request hasn’t been fulfilled. If you have not seen your steward by the end of your shift, YOU must request to be released to see a steward as soon as you clock in the very next scheduled reporting day.
If you continue to not request to see a steward, not only do you risk possibly not having a grievance filed, but you allow management to continue to get away with violating your employee rights as clearly stated by the contract.
Get familiar & READ the contract. Download it from our local website at: https://apwusjal0526.org
- It’s located under the menu link: APWU-SJAL: CBA, JCIM, JCAM and LMOUs
- Read Articles: 1, 3, 14, 15, 16, 17 and the PSE MOU located in the Appendix
- Read you facility’s LMOU as well
Check out the National website at: www.apwu.org
To join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sj.arealocal.0526
If you have any questions and you’re a PSE within your 90-days probationary period, email: Tony – firstname.lastname@example.org