Below you will find answers to frequently asked questions. If you need further assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us.
When are elections held?
Per the Local 3969 by-laws elections will be held every 2 years in November. The next election will be in November, 2018.
When is a bargaining unit employee allowed to ask for a union rep? We will assume you are talking about representation during an investigation, as Union Rep’s do representations in other matters as well. To summarize the Master Agreement in Article 6, sections D, F, G, H, I and J, basically anytime an official investigation is authorized by the Warden or higher authority in which you feel may lead to disciplinary action. This also covers any written reports that you may be told to submit. But remember, anytime you are questioned by any management personnel concerning an incident that you feel may lead to disciplinary actions your best choice is to ask for union representation. And this does include probationary employees.
Do I have to talk with an investigator if I have asked for a Union representative and they have not yet arrived?
The Master Agreement, Section 6, article h states: “If the employee requests a Union representative under Sections f. or g., no further questioning will take place until the representative is present, provided that if the representative is not available within a reasonable period of time, the questioning and/or submission of a written report may proceed without the representative being present. Questioning and/or submission of a written report without a Union representative may go forward only where urgent circumstances could interfere with the safe and orderly running of the institution. Such questioning may proceed only when these urgent circumstances are documented and presented to the employee and/or his representative. Reasonable time is defined as that time necessary for the designated representative from the local Union to travel to the site of the examination. The Union will promptly designate its representative and make reasonable efforts to avoid delay.” In other words, no. But ONLY until such time as a union representative arrives. After a union representative arrives you are still bound by policy to cooperate during an investigation. And just to add something, ONLY the union has the right to assign your union representative. Management does not have that right. If you are ever placed into this situation and management attempts to assign you a union rep, they are breaking the Master Agreement, and we need to know about this serious infraction. Also, you may not be required to sign any statement that you feel is inaccurate. Take your time and read any statement, or any document for that matter, that is given to you to sign. When you place your signature on any document you are saying that you agree with its contents. Make absolutely certain that you do actually agree with everything contained in that document. And to help you even further, any time spent in an investigation WILL BE compensated, i.e.: overtime.
What’s the difference between a performance and code of conduct issue?
What it should be is if you’re doing your job and you do it incorrectly, then it is a performance issue. (Broken policy or inability to do the job properly) Code of conduct is that list of things that they go over every year at ART. For example, improper conduct with inmates, failure to pay just debts, etc. If you break a code of conduct issue, and that list covers a lot of different area, and if they are really out to get you, they can bend the list to make it fit your situation. (Yes it’s sad) The bottom line is if they decide to make it a performance issue your probably better off. You can get a million M/S’s and still be working here. Now, which way management goes with a charge can be quite frustrating and seemingly non-standardized from one event to the next.
How do I file a grievance?
Anyone can file a grievance but only the union can take it to the next level. Exact instructions are in the Master Agreement. However, we suggest you get a trained union representative to help you. Anyone who would like to learn how or join the team , see President Kostelnik about becoming a Union steward. The Union will always help a member file. The problem is normally no one wants to put their name on the dotted line.
What is LMR and how does it work?
LMR = Labor Management Relations and your E-board meets monthly with the AW’s, Captain, Camp Admin, HRM, and assorted Department heads to discuss issue affecting the prison. Resolving issues at that meeting drastically decreases the amount of ULP’s and grievances, which is a good thing. Also ideas that help everyone are often voiced there. If you have an issue, contact any E-board member or send them an e-mail so the issue can be brought up. It’s a good tool and should be used. While every issue cannot be resolved at an LMR meeting but it’s a great place to start.
I’m still on probation; can you help me if I need it?
Yes. Article 6 of the Master Agreement says that we can represent you and insure that your rights are maintained just as much as any employee. You are also covered under the rules of the MSPB. (Merit System Promotions Board) Another item well worth considering is that if a probationary employee is fired, they will require union assistance to file a grievance, which is your best channel for reinstatement.
Who should I contact first if I need assistance from the Union?
Any Union Steward or E-Board member.
What does the Local President do and what are his duties?
Per our by-laws, the local union president is the Chief Executive Officer and basically responsible for all local union activities.
What are the Vice-Presidents duties?
The Vice Presidents assist the President in carrying out his/her duties. The 1st Vice President also is acting president in the absence of the president.