Stewards Role During an Investigation Meeting Bob Kraves Former IAM Educator firstname.lastname@example.org
Stewards Role During an Investigation MeetingSome of the most frequently asked questionsregarding shop stewards are one’s concerningroles and rights during an investigationhearing or meeting. Most of the discussioncenters on what a steward can and cannot doat such a time.A steward should follow these guidelines atan investigation meeting:
Steward GuidelinesSpeak to the memberprior to the meeting.Take a recess to getsome understandingas to what happenedif the meeting hasstarted before youarrived.
Steward Guidelines Get as much information as you can beforehand. Do not let the employer withhold information. If they do, document any denials in your notes and get it on the written record.
Steward GuidelinesIf there are witnesses at the meeting, youshould question them as you see fit in orderto clarify what they say. You have a right toask these witnesses questions to determinethe accuracy of their testimony and theirbiases. Your rights to questioning should notbe interfered with by management. If you aredenied that right, make sure the denial isentered on the record.
Steward GuidelinesIt is perfectly properfor members to answerquestions with, “Yes,"“No," or "I dontknow." Once themember has answereda question, there is noneed to elaboratefurther, though it ishuman nature to do so.
Steward Guidelines At most meetings the steward should take as active a role as considered necessary, but always keep in mind that you are an advocate for our member.
Steward GuidelinesIn the meeting, asteward should beallowed to ask for ashort recess so theycan speak privatelywith the member.
Steward Guidelines Take notes or bring in a second person to take notes. The written record is important. Notes can tell what actually was said, not what was allegedly said. Cases have been won and lost on the accuracy of the written record.
Steward GuidelinesDo not rely on thesupervisors notes.And no, you do nothave to give a copyof your notes tomanagement.
Steward Guidelines The bottom line is to make sure that the member is treated as fairly as possible under circumstances that can be heavily weighted against him or her.
Steward GuidelinesEven if the investigationdoes not go the way youhad hoped, you canchallenge the discipline,or how managementconducted itself throughthe process by appealingthrough your grievanceprocedure.