3.1 Attendance at Meetings
County employees who are official representatives or Stewards of the Union shall be given reasonable time off with pay to meet and confer or consult with management representatives or to be present at hearings where matters within the scope of representation are being considered. The use of official time for this purpose shall be reasonable and shall not interfere with the performance of County services as determined by the County. Such representatives or Stewards shall submit written requests for excused absences to the Human Resources Director at least two (2) working days prior to the scheduled meeting whenever possible. Except by agreement with the Human Resources Director, the number of employees excused for such purposes shall not exceed three (3) per Union, or one (1) from each of the following representation units:
- Inspection and Regulation Unit
- Institutional Services Unit
- Licensed Vocational Nurse Unit
- Parks Unit
- Planning Unit
- Clinical Laboratory Scientist Unit
- Communications Unit
- Telecommunications Unit
- two (2) from each of the following representation units:
- Health Services Unit
- Plant and Equipment Maintenance Unit, and
- four (4) from Human Services Unit,
- whichever is greater, at any one time. For the purpose of negotiations meetings, a local union president who is a county bargaining unit member shall also be released. If any employee’s request for excused absence is not approved, such disapproval shall be subject to appeal to the County Manager whose decision shall be final.
The Union shall be allowed up to one hundred and fifty (150) hours of unpaid release time per calendar year for official representatives and stewards to conduct necessary internal union business. Of the 150 hours of unpaid release time per calendar year, an employee shall be limited to ten (10) hours of leave without pay per calendar year for the purpose of unpaid release time. If an individual employee takes in excess of ten (10) hours of unpaid release time per year, the employee shall use accrued vacation or compensatory time concurrently with the unpaid release time. Employees currently being documented with attendance issues may not use paid time off. If approved, such time will be counted towards the 150 hour maximum unpaid release time per calendar year. Requests for time shall be made to the employee’s department head and, for tracking purposes, to the Employee Relations Manager at least fourteen (14) days in advance.
Shop stewards shall be provided with two (2) hours of unpaid release time each month to attend Steward Council or Local Union Meetings. Requests for time shall be made to the employee’s department head, and, for tracking purposes, to the Employee Relations Manager, at least fourteen (14) days in advance. It is acknowledged that Hospitals and Clinics administration will attempt to provide such release time, but that each instance must be considered on a case by case basis.
Any denial of requested time off may be appealed to the Human Resources Director whose decision shall be final.