Defending the contract
Our local union president recently took a position opposed to a new method one of the departments at our campus was considering imposing to request vacation time. This is an area where our contract has language. An employee questioned our president taking this position. I believe our president was correct in taking this position and I applaud his action. This is my response to the employee:
I am just speaking on my own, but I, (as I mentioned in our conversation) believe that CSUEU Chapter 307 president Jeff Baldwin is appropriately defending the contract. Management has three options when considering a move that is possibly within the scope of the agreement.
- They can either not implement
- They can unilaterally implement and, if a grievance is filed, attempt to prove through the grievance process that the contract is not being violated
- Or, the university can request to meet and confer with the union on the subject.
Speaking on my own I can say that I believe the union has a responsibility to defend the collective bargaining agreement and cannot discriminate on what articles of the collective bargaining agreement to defend even in the event that there is a perception of benefit by some employees. If the university chooses to implement without the union's agreement, if the union feels there is grounds to grieve, the union should. If the university feels this will be in the benefit of all parties then the university should request to meet and confer on this subject before implementation and ask for the union's agreement.
Again, that is my personal opinion and not the unions'.