3 You Need to Know…. zYour rights under the contract zHow to exercise your rights zWhat to do if denied your rights
4 Contractual Rights Instructional, Article VII, Section C-5 Any teacher required to attend a meeting called by the administration for the purpose of a reprimand which will become part of the teacher’s record or for action leading to suspension or for an investigatory interview shall have the right of Union representation at such a meeting. If during a meeting as described above, the teacher believes that the discussion could lead to disciplinary action, the teacher may ask that the meeting be delayed or rescheduled until Union representation can be provided. This section shall not be interpreted to apply to conferences relating to observation or evaluation of instruction. SRP, Article VII, Section A-4 Any SRP required to attend a meeting called by the worksite supervisor or designee for the purpose of a reprimand or for action leading to suspension or for an investigatory interview shall have the right of Union representation at such meeting. A worksite supervisor or designee holding a meeting for the purpose of a reprimand or for action leading to suspension or for an investigatory interview shall stop the meeting until Union representation can be obtained if the employee requests Union representation. This section shall not be interpreted to apply to conferences relating to observation or evaluation of work responsibilities.
7 THINK! Ask yourself this question, “Could this meeting result in discipline?”
8 How to know if the answer is YES” First determine the subject/purpose of the meeting: (You have the right to know the general topic of the meeting.) Then determine whether you have a reasonable belief that discipline could result from the meeting.
9 MAKE A GOOD CHOICE! If the answer is YES, tell your supervisor that you want USEP representation.
10 If you want representation, YOU must ask for it. Such a request can be made at any point during the meeting... I want my union rep.
11 What if you ask, and your boss says, NO”? Don’t be insubordinate; instead, do the following...
12 Attend the interview/meeting and repeatedly request that a union representative be present throughout the interview or meeting.
13 What if your boss still says,”NO”? Do not answer any questions or give a statement during the interview/meeting. I just don’t feel comfortable answering any questions or giving a statement without my union rep.
14 Don’t I have Miranda rights? NO, not at the workplace. Even if you are deprived of your right to union representation, anything you say can and will be used against you!
15 Remember Abraham Lincoln’s words: “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”
16 At the conclusion of the meeting... Contact the USEP office, so... a complaint, grievance, or unfair labor practice can be filed.
18 Question 1 zOver the weekend, an administrator called a member at home to ask questions about missing materials. Did the member have to answer the questions? z No. Union representation rights even apply to telephone interviews. A member who fears discipline can refuse to answer questions until he or she has had a chance to consult with his/her union representative.
19 Question 2 zYou are being questioned when you realize that discipline could result. You request a union representative, but your supervisor refuses and stops the meeting. Two days later he presents you with a letter of reprimand without ever interviewing you. Can he do that? z Yes, You cannot be disciplined for requesting a union representative; however, you can be disciplined based on the information the supervisor already has. There is no legal requirement that the supervisor question you before imposing discipline.
20 Question 3 zThe Director of Equity and Employment Law comes to interview you about the actions of a colleague accused of sexual harassment. You request union representation at the interview; are you entitled? z No, you are entitled to representation only if the investigation is focused on you and you could face discipline.
21 Question 4 zYou receive a note from your administrator to see her about some parent complaints. You write back that you’ve contacted the union and that a representative will be present. About ten minutes later, the supervisor comes to you, shows you your note, tells you that you don’t need union representation, and proceeds to ask you questions concerning the parent complaints. Is that allowed? z No. The employee makes the determination as to whether or not union representation is needed.
22 Question 5 zA member is told to come to a meeting later to discuss student allegations. The member asks her supervisor for all the information and specifics he has obtained. Can the supervisor refuse to provide the information? z Yes, the supervisor must give only the general topic/purpose of the meeting. The specifics can be withheld for the meeting itself.
23 One of the most vital union functions is protection Nowhere is this protection more necessary than behind closed door meetings between the employee and his boss.
24 Remember... You have the right to union representation, but you can’t be represented, if you don’t ask for it. I would like my union rep to attend the meeting, please.
25 It Pays to Carry Your Card. Only dues-paying members receive representation.