3.1. Attendance at Meetings
County employees who are Union representatives shall be given reasonable time off with pay, including reasonable travel time, to:
- Formally meet and confer or consult with management on matters within the scope of representation;
- To be present at hearings where matters within the scope of representation are being considered;
- To testify or appear as the designated representative of the Union in settlement conferences, hearings, or other proceedings before the Public Employment Relations Board, in matters related to unfair practice charges; or
- To testify or appear as the designated representative of the Union in matters before the Civil Service Commission.
The use of official time for these purposes shall be reasonable and shall not interfere with the performance of County services as determined by the County. Such representatives shall submit written requests for excused absences to Employee Relations at least two (2) working days prior to the scheduled meeting whenever possible. Except by agreement with the Director of Human Resources, the number of employees excused for such purposes shall not exceed three (3) individuals at any one time. For the purpose of labor negotiations for a successor MOU, the number of employees excused shall not exceed four (4) individuals at any one time.
3.2. Handling of Grievances
The Union shall designate a reasonable number of Stewards and alternates to assist in resolving grievances. Supervisors may relieve Stewards from assigned work duties to investigate and process grievances initiated by other employees within the same bargaining unit. Requests for release time shall not be unreasonably denied. Stewards shall promptly report to the Union grievances which cannot be adjusted on the job. Supervisors shall not represent non-supervisors in grievances where a conflict of interest might result. Neither Stewards nor the Union shall order any changes to the steward assignment, and no change shall be made except with the department head’s consent.
Whenever an employee is required to meet with a supervisor, and the employee reasonably anticipates that such meeting will involve questioning leading to disciplinary action, he/she shall be entitled to have a Steward present if he/she so requests. It is not the intention of this provision to allow the presence of a Steward during the initial discussion(s) of an employee’s performance evaluation.