3.1          Attendance at Meetings

County employees who are Union representatives shall be given reasonable time off with pay to attend meetings with management, or to be present at hearings where matters within the scope of representation are being considered. Use of time shall be reasonable and shall not interfere with the per­formance of County services. Repre­sentatives shall submit written requests to their department head copying Employee Relations two (2) working days in advance when­ever possible. Except by agreement of department heads and Employee Relations, the number of employees excused shall not exceed three (3) at any one time. Any disapproval of such a request shall be subject to appeal to the County Manager.

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. 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.