4.1 Attendance at Meetings
County employees who are official representatives or Stewards of the Union shall be given reasonable time off with pay, including reasonable travel time or reasonable set up time for virtual meetings, to:
- Formally meet and confer or consult with management representatives 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;
- To testify or appear as the designated representative of the Union in matters before the Civil Service Commissioner;
- Transmitting communications authorized by the Local Union or its Officers to the County or their representative.
- Investigating and processing grievances or disciplinary appeals;
- Attending Union contract ratification meetings; or
- Attending Labor-Management Meetings.
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. The Union shall provide an updated list of stewards to Employee and Labor Relations on an annual basis. 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 employees excused for such purposes shall not exceed three (3) individuals at any one time.
For the purpose of negotiating a successor Memorandum of Understanding, the maximum number of employees shall not exceed four (4), unless both parties mutually agree to add more members. If any employee’s request for excused absence is not approved, such disapproval shall be subject to appeal to the Human Resources Director whose decision shall be final.
All approved release time should be coded on the employee’s timecard using timecard code RTE once implemented. Paid release time is not authorized to be used for political activity, any type of activity that is precluded by law or County policy as a conflict of interest, conducting membership drives, or soliciting membership from other County employees or applicants (except at new employee orientation).
Time spent in meetings with the County on matters listed in Section 4, which occur outside of the employee’s regular work schedule, is not compensable. Employees should not code release time for such time when the employee is not scheduled to work.
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.