4.1       Attendance at Meetings

County unit members 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 Department Director at least two (2) working days prior to the scheduled meeting whenever possible. Except by agreement with the Human Resources Department Director, the number of unit members excused for such purposes shall not exceed three (3) at any one time. For the purpose of negotiating a successor Memorandum of Understanding, the maximum number of unit members shall not exceed four (4). If any unit member’s request for excused absence is not approved, such disapproval shall be subject to appeal to the County Manager whose decision shall be final.

4.2       Handling of Grievances

The Union shall designate a reasonable number of Stewards to assist in resolving grievances. The designation will depend on such circumstances as geographical locations, hours of employment and departmental organizational structure. The Union shall notify the Human Resources Department Director in writing of the individuals so designated. Alternates may be designated to perform Steward functions during the absence or unavailability of the Stewards.

Stewards may be relieved from their assigned work duties by their supervisors to investigate and process grievances initiated by other unit members within the same work area or representation unit. Requests for released time shall not be denied unreasonably. Stewards shall promptly report to the Union any grievances which may arise and cannot be adjusted on the job. Supervisory unit members shall not represent non‑supervisory unit members in a grievance procedure. Neither a Steward nor the Union shall order any changes, and no change shall be made except with the consent of the appropriate department heads.