County employees who are official representatives of the Organization 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 shall submit written requests for excused absences to Employee Relations at least two working days prior to the scheduled meeting whenever possible. Except by agreement with Employee Relations, the number of employees excused for such purposes shall not exceed three at any one time. 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.