I'm not a lawyer, but I play one at work

Published by Duncan in the blog Duncan's Blog. Views: 28

Yes, I am a union steward.

What do I do?

The major part of my work is filing grievances on behalf of employees. Basically, we work with a contact. if an employee feels he/she is being treated in a way that is contrary to what is in the agreement, we file a complaint.
The complaint is then heard by the supervisor or manager. If the complaint isn't settled, it is then heard by the service chief. If it still stinks, then we take it to the executive director.
Sometimes we win. Many times we don't. Supervisors and service chiefs of some departments act like a**holes. When that happens, we find ourselves in pretty good shape. No one likes it when underlings in positions of power are asleep at the wheel.
If our contract is not followed by the agency, then we file an unfair labor practice. This is with out outside federal agency that makes sure that signed contracts are being followed appropriately. This happens less frequently and takes longer to put together. It also is not very expeditious. But it's a tool.
Sometimes we just sit down face to face and let the people know what's going on and what we will not tolerate.
This past week I had egg in my face. An employee was AWOL. She told me that she had documentation to support her absence (sort of like a get out of jail free card). It went to the level of the executive director. What she DIDN'T tell me was that this card was used for PREVIOUS absences in the same week that were not mentioned as violations. And I didn't see that!
Sometimes I think my competency is wavering. I don't like doing what it is I do. And the person who oversees my work is leaving (retirement). I have had a dream a while ago of leaving and going to another location, but right now there is a hiring freeze and it is unlikely that anyone will be demanding my services.
Oh well... I only have about 7 or 8 more years of work before I hang up my work permit. What next? Greeter at WAL*MART ?
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