3.1. Attendance at Meetings
County employees who are official representatives of the Council shall be given reasonable time off with pay, including reasonable travel time, to:
- (1) Formally meet and confer or consult with management representatives on matters within the scope of representation;
- (2) To be present at hearings where matters within the scope of representation are being considered;
- (3) To testify or appear as the designated representative of the Council in settlement conferences, hearings, or other proceedings before the Public Employment Relations Board, in matters relating to an unfair practice charge; or
- (4) To testify or appear as the designated representative of the Council 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 the Human Resources Director 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.
3.2. Handling of Grievances
The Council shall designate a reasonable number of representatives to assist in resolving grievances. The designation will depend on such circumstances as geographical locations, hours of employment and departmental organizational structure. The Council shall notify the Director of Human Resources in writing of the individuals so designated. Alternates may only be designated to perform representative functions during the absence or unavailability of all of the designated representatives.
Representatives may be relieved from their assigned work duties by their supervisors to investigate and process grievances initiated by other employees within the same bargaining unit. Requests for release time shall not be unreasonably denied. Representatives shall promptly report to the Council any grievances that may arise and cannot be adjusted on the job. Supervisory employees shall not represent non-supervisory employees in a grievance procedure where such activity might result in a conflict of interest.
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, the employee shall be entitled to have a representative present if they so request. It is not the intention of this provision to allow the presence of a representative during the initial discussion(s) of an employee’s performance evaluation.