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Ellen's Steward School 2017 Presentation

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Ellen's 2017 Steward School Presentation

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Ellen's Steward School 2017 Presentation

  1. 1. PIPELINERS LOCAL 798 Stewards’ SCHOOL Ellen O. Boardman O’DONOGHUE & O’DONOGHUE LLP April 2017
  2. 2. What is a Steward?  The Steward is the most important day-to-day link between the Union and UA-represented employees on the job site.  Stewards do more than simply represent employees, file grievances, and administer contracts. Stewards are:  Organizers: you are responsible for growing and maintaining union solidarity on the jobsite.  Problem Solvers: you are the employees’ first responder with respect to jobsite problems and disputes.  Educators: you will teach employees about the Union, its priorities, and its programs.  Leaders: you are the point person for the Union on the jobsite. 2
  3. 3. The Job of a Steward NPLA, Section VI(A): “The Union shall notify the Employer of the Appointment of the job Steward at the pre-job conference or sooner, if possible. . . ”  Stewards are first on the job because Stewards are the Union’s EYES and EARS on the jobsite. 3
  4. 4. The Job of a Steward: Enforcing the NPLA  Stewards are the first-line enforcement of the National Pipe Line Agreement  Stewards MUST know and understand all of the provisions of the NPLA and the Pre- Job Conference Report.  Knowledge and uniform application of the NPLA and Pre-Job Report will help resolve disputes and grievances QUICKLY and ACCURATELY. 4
  5. 5. The Job of a Steward: Processing Grievances Stewards play an important role in the processing of grievances:  NPLA, Article XIX(A): “Any grievances, disputes or differences of opinion which arise between the Employer’s supervisory personnel and Union representatives in the field shall be settled on the job wherever possible; provided that such settlements shall not vary any of the wages, terms or conditions of this Agreement.” 5
  6. 6. The Job of a Steward: Processing Grievances  If an Employee cannot resolve a dispute with the Welder Foreman, the Steward gets involved at Step 2. If the dispute cannot be resolved by the Steward and the Foreman, the Employer’s superintendent will be called in.  Only if the dispute cannot be resolved at this level, will it be moved to the Business Agent/Manager. NPLA, Article VI(E): “. . . The Steward will be allowed a reasonable time to process grievances or complaints. . . .” 6
  7. 7. The Job of a Steward: Maintaining Accurate Records  Stewards are responsible for careful completion of job Reports, which serve many purposes.  These Reports contain valuable information about past practice under the NPLA.  The Local, the Pipeline Department, and UA’s Attorneys need this information when we have a work jurisdictional dispute with management and/or another craft.  Detailed reports of jobs that have been completed years before are often key to proving our case.  These reports can be the most valuable evidence we have of past practice. 7
  8. 8. The Job of a Steward: Supporting the Union  Stewards are also the Union’s VOICE in the workplace.  Stewards must fully support the Union.  Stewards are responsible for communicating the Union’s priorities, policies and programs to the bargaining unit employees so they must support these priorities and programs.  Stewards must also organize support for the Union within the bargaining unit. 8
  9. 9. The Job of a Steward: Setting A Positive Example  Stewards should set a positive example on the jobsite:  Follow the NPLA, the referral rules, and the Employer’s safety rules and agreed- on policies.  Act professionally at all times and with everyone, including employees, foremen, management and others on the jobsite. 9
  10. 10. The Rights of a Steward  Equality: Stewards are management’s equal in all matters relating to the collective bargaining agreement and the union-employer relationship.  This means that, when acting in your official capacity, you have the right to openly disagree and question foremen and management without being disciplined.  This right does not apply when a Steward is acting in an individual capacity.  Protection: Stewards are protected from intimidation, discipline and retaliation by employers because of the stewards’ activity.  Fairness: Stewards cannot be held to higher standards or stricter rules than their co-workers. NPLA, Article VI(C): “The Steward shall be a working steward and shall perform his duties the same as any other Journeyman, and shall not be discharged for Union activities. . . .” 10
  11. 11. What a Steward is not  A Steward is not a supervisor or manager of the bargaining unit employees.  You are not permitted to assume or exercise any supervisory or managerial authority over bargaining unit employees.  You are not permitted to discipline or recommend discipline of any bargaining unit employee.  You are not permitted to dictate who may or may not work on a job, or to send employees home. 11
  12. 12. What Is NOT the Steward’s Job  NPLA, Article VI(C): “. . . The Steward’s duties shall not include any matters relating to referral, hiring, retention, termination, or discipline of Employees.”  NPLA, Article VI(G): “ . . . The Steward has no authority from the Union to cause a work stoppage.”  NPLA, Article VI(E): “The Steward shall not be permitted to take time away from his job duties to handle administrative work for the Union. 12
  13. 13. The Law You Should Know UNION’S DUTY OF FAIR REPRESENTATION WEINGARTEN RIGHTS EMPLOYER’S DUTY TO PROVIDE INFORMATION 13
  14. 14. DUTY OF FAIR REPRESENTATION  Source is the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”)  Derived from the Union’s role as the exclusive bargaining representative of all employees within a bargaining unit.  Union must represent all bargaining unit employees, regardless of whether they are members or non-members.  Union shall not act in an arbitrary, bad faith or discriminatory manner with respect to any bargaining unit employee. 14
  15. 15. DUTY OF FAIR REPRESENTATION  DFR applies to the processing of grievances  To avoid a claim that the DFR has been breached:  Act promptly to investigate grievances or complaints brought to your attention  Talk to witnesses who the grievant has identified  Keep accurate records of each grievance  Promptly engage the Welder Foreman and/or Superintendent  Keep the employee informed of what you are doing to address the grievance. 15
  16. 16. Weingarten Rights  The United States Supreme Court held in NLRB v. J. Weingarten that an employee has a right to the presence of a union representative during an investigatory interview.  An investigatory interview occurs when the Foreman, Superintendent or other management asks questions of an employee to obtain information that could be used later as the basis for discipline.  To invoke this right, the employee must make a clear request for union representation as soon as he realizes employer is seeking information that may be used as a basis for discipline. The employee cannot be disciplined for making this request.  The Employer is not required to ask the employee if he wants the Steward present  The Steward will typically be the Union representative who participates. 16
  17. 17. Weingarten Rights  Management should:  grant the request and delay questioning until the Steward arrives and has spoken privately with the employee;  or deny the request and end the interview immediately until Steward arrives.  It is an unfair labor practice if management refuses to provide representation, and insists on proceeding with the interview after employee has invoked Weingarten rights.  Employee cannot be disciplined for refusing to answer.  But Employee should not leave until interview has been terminated. 17
  18. 18. Weingarten Rights  Distinguish an investigatory interview from management’s conveying a decision that has already been made to impose discipline  Stewards have the following rights during investigatory interviews:  The right to be informed of the subject matter of the interview (for example, the type of misconduct for which discipline is being considered);  The right to speak on behalf of the employee during the interview;  The right to have the supervisor clarify any question so that the employee can understand what he or she is being asked;  The right to give advice to an employee as to how to answer a question (but, stewards cannot tell an employee not to answer a question or give a false answer).  The right to provide additional information after the meeting. 18
  19. 19. The Duty to Provide information  NLRA requires employers to provide unions with information relevant to collective bargaining and contract enforcement.  NLRA provides unions with the right to request:  Information relating to the employer’s compliance with the NPLA;  Information needed to prepare for grievance meetings;  Information with respect to whether or not to pursue a grievance in later steps of the grievance procedure; and  Typically, requests are made by the Business Manager but Stewards may request information too if necessary to do their job. 19
  20. 20. We Need You . . .  To represent all UA workers on our jobsites  To help the UA enforce the NPLA  To keep the UA strong 20

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