District Council 57

Your Rights To Representation

We like to remind our members periodically about their right to representation during meetings with supervisors and managers. These are known as your Weingarten rights, based on a legal decision by the same name. Simply put, if you are called into a meeting or interview which could logically result in discipline, you are entitled to have a union representative present. Their role is to listen, record and/or clarify questions. Call your Steward or Business Agent to arrange for this.

If you have not been informed about the nature of the meeting, be sure to ask its purpose to determine if you need representation. Management is not required to inform you of this right. Management is not allowed to “invite” a union representative to be present; it is up to the member to do so. Similarly, Management is not allowed to determine who they think an appropriate representative to be. If you go into a meeting alone, and the nature of the questions indicate that discipline could be a possibility, stop the meeting until you have chance to secure representation. State: “I am concerned that this discussion could lead to disciplinary action being taken against me or affect my personal working conditions. I request that my AFSCME representative be present at this meeting. Without representation, I choose not to answer any questions.”

Some members believe that they are entitled to have a union representative present at performance evaluation meetings. Strictly speaking, this is not the case, as Weingarten Rights do not apply to evaluations. Under unusual circumstances and upon request, a Supervisor or Manager will allow a representative to attend an evaluation meeting.

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