Under Article 17 of our National Agreement you have the right to discuss a grievance or a problem which may be a grievance with your Union steward.
The following information is taken from Step Four decisions which are precedent setting and must be adhered to by management. Step Four decisions are considered to be a part of our National Agreement.
- Delay of an employee's request for a steward: Management should inform employee of the reason for the delay and when the time should be available.
- Reasonable delays should usually be no more than 2 hours 95% of the time.
- Supervisor may require employee to relate problem prior to seeing steward but should not arbitrarily require detailed info if employee insists on seeing a steward first.
- Employees should have reasonable time to consult with the steward. Specified time cannot be pre-determined.
- Steward is to be advised of reason for delays and when the time will be available.
- During "discussions" if employee has a reasonable basis to believe disciplinary action will result, the employee may request that a steward be present during the discussion. If denied, it may also be grieved.
- Even if disciplinary does not seem to be shortly forthcoming as a result of a discussion, the employee has a right to see the steward following a discussion.
Management may advise that the steward is "too busy" (in the case of a steward who may be a window clerk). Nevertheless, it is encumbent upon management to MAKE time - normally within two hours of the request.
Remember that the problem you have is likely a result of management's action in the first place.
Management may grant the request a few minutes before the end of your tour in order to save time on the clock. If you need to discuss the situation past your tour time, this may also be grieved. The corrective action should be to pay you overtime for time you reasonably need after your tour discussing the original grievance.
If mangement absolutely refuses to allow you time, you can contact the steward or Union rep off the clock to discuss the grievance. In this case, keep track of the time you use and any mileage or phone charges since this should be included in a second grievance.
If you find it necessary to discuss the grievance off the clock because of management's interference, both you and the Union rep are entitled to overtime and reasonable expenses (again, mileage, toll calls).
I have copies of the Step Four Decisions available if you need them.