Write in plain English: Avoid using technical terms, unless it is part of the work place vocabulary.
Considering the lunch period as paid time Christmas bonus Get It in Writing As shop stewards we spend a lot of time talking -- preaching unionism; communicating important information about our job; educating members about critical legislative issues; or just telling members what they missed at the monthly union meeting.
We live in a talking culture. We forget to put things down in writing. That's not what they teach in business school or in law school. Supervisors and lawyers have been trained to put everything down on paper. It allows them to control what is called the record. If you go into a grievance meeting and your supervisor takes notes, chances are those notes will form what is called the record of the meeting.
Your memory and their memory can be faulted. That is why it is important to get into the habit of buying a small notebook and using it in all of your capacities as a steward. Most important, use it while you are handling complaints and grievances.
In your interview step with the member, write down what he or she says. Don't worry about spelling. Just get it down.
Use your grievance interview sheet to help write down the story. The very act of writing the member's story down conveys a professional image of your role to the member.
And just as important, the member will be more truthful in giving you the whole story -- warts and all. Sometimes members think they are helping the steward by embellishing a story to make it more convincing.
Our role as steward is to get the truth and get the member justice. The act of writing contributes to that goal. Taking notes in the grievance meetings conveys a sense of no-nonsense and professionalism to your employer counterparts as well.
The employer's paper trail Let's take this issue of writing a step further. How many of us have been in the situation where the employer has created a paper trail in order to build a case against our member?
Verbal warnings and letters may be indicated on some kind of disciplinary sheet in the member's personnel file. What does the member usually do if they are assessed a verbal or written warning? In all too many cases the member does nothing. That doesn't mean every letter of warning has to be arbitrated.
This challenge should be put in writing and attached to the record or it should be properly entered directly on the discipline sheet, if possible. If these warnings are not challenged in writing, they stand as accepted.
Management has made an art form out of progressive discipline. The union needs strong ammunition in any disciplinary situation, because the next incident could trigger time off or termination. Employer harassment There are times when a member comes to his or her steward with a complaint about a supervisor who seems to be picking on the member.
He or she gets the worst assignments. Or the supervisor always seems to breathing down the member's neck. Issues such as employer harassment sexual harassment is a different which we will deal with in another section are ones which usually boil down to the member's version of the story versus the supervisor's version.
As soon as a member comes to you with a harassment issue you have got to tell the member to document each and every incident in which the harassment occurs. Just as management builds disciplinary cases against our members, we have got to build the case against the offending supervisor.
Tell the member to write down the incident, when it happened, what happened, and were there any witnesses. By putting together a record of the harassment, the member is directly involved in the grievance process and the local union will have the necessary documentation to make the best case.
Remember, get into the habit of writing down everything. Grievance Interview The key to good grievance handling is a proper investigation and that process should start with interviewing the member who comes to you with a problem.
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May 07, · Never write a training manual from memory. Go through the various processes and knowledge points that your manual is going to cover and be sure you are clear on everything.
Make a list of all the important information and refer to this list as you %(1). If you are a steward, committee-person, delegate or other union grievance representative, you are part of an extraordinary group, estimated to number more than , men and women, in 53, local unions across the United States.
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