#1  
Unread 07-11-2003, 11:50 AM
HCA
 
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Default Can supervisor be a member of bargaining unit?

We have an administrator who directly supervises a sub-department (detention center)of about 5-10 employees (detention officers). He RARELY does the work of a detention officer (90-10 split) and almost always does admin duties including budgeting, scheduling, and discipline. His duty is to run the facility. I don't believe he should be a member of the unit. The labor rep argues he is because he doesn't directly discipline the employees, the sheriff does. The sheriff only looks over all written discipline prior to delivery because the administrator is a doof and we don't trust him! This isn't unusual as I (as personnel officer) look over many written warnings prior to the supervisor issuing them. The administrator is, however, in charge of discipline and is authorized to give verbal warnings without prior consultation with the sheriff. How can I get him out of the unit?? Should I care?
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  #2  
Unread 07-11-2003, 02:20 PM
Hatchetman
 
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Default RE: Can supervisor be a member of bargaining unit?

[font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 07-11-03 AT 07:24PM (CST)[/font][p]Are you in the public sector or private sector?

If public sector, you should check your state's employee relations statutes for state and local government employees or your local governmental ordinances establishing collective bargaining in your jurisdiction (NLRA is not applicable to governmental jurisdictions).

In our governmental juridsiction, supervisory positions are in bargaining units separate from the line positions they supervise. And they do have the ability to issue low level disciplinary actions and make recommendations on indivdiuals to be hired or fired; they can approve time offo and rate peformance. They may have other authority to expend funds (under limited or specified conditions).

If private sector, the National Labor Relaitons Act doesn't auomatically exclude the ability of employees functioning in a "supervisory" capacity to form into bargaining units in accordance with the processes set by the law. To be excluded under NLRA from the right of collective bargaining as a supervisor, the individual has to exercise independent judgement in the exericse of various areas of responsibility, including the "directing" of others. So it depends on the degree of authorty and amount of responsibility a superivsor has to say whether or not he or she has a right to organize with other "superivsors" in the company into a bargaining unit to negotiate wages, hours and working conditions with their employer.

The actual definition as found in the NLRA for superivsor is:

"...any individual having authority, in the interest of the employer, to hire, transfer, suspend, lay off, recall, promote, discharge, assign, reward, or discipline other employees, or responsibly to direct them, or to adjust their grievances, or effectively to recommend such action, if in connection with the foregoing the exercise of such authority is not of a merely routine or clerical nature, but requires the use of independent judgment."



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  #3  
Unread 07-12-2003, 03:41 AM
Shadowfax
 
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Default RE: Can supervisor be a member of bargaining unit?

If you are in Mi, chances of supervisors and their reports being in the same unit is very good. The test for establishing the unit is "community of interest." The ultimate goal of the state regulatory agency is to show a difference between those in the unit and all others. Looking at the proposed unit, agency takes into account such things as job duties, emloyee skills, working conditions, working location, job classifications, and many more. Mere conflict of employees (and their job duties) in the unit does not require separate unit placement. In fact, in Mi we have employees whose job duty it is to investigate other employees in the same unit as the employees they investigate! You should check with your labor counsel, but I think it is always a good idea to contest the inclusion of supervisors in the unit.
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  #4  
Unread 07-14-2003, 05:26 AM
HCA
 
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Default RE: Can supervisor be a member of bargaining unit?

Wow, I am so naive! We are in the public sector. I just can't believe the union can represent both parties! How is that ethical? How can the same company/unit be true to both sides of a dispute?!! That has been my whole argument that when it comes down to it, the union will NOT represent the supervisor because they have to pick a side and the employee will win out. But the union says they will just send up a rep for the supervisor and a different rep for the employee. Wow! How can that work. Is anyone else just shocked at this??
I suppose when it comes to labor rules, anything goes, and most people are shocked. ARGH.
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  #5  
Unread 07-14-2003, 05:32 AM
Crout
 
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Default RE: Can supervisor be a member of bargaining unit?

It is fairly routine in police and firefighter departments to have front-line supervisors (Lieutenants) in the bargaining unit. Yes, it does look like a conflict of interest, doesn't it?
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  #6  
Unread 07-14-2003, 12:53 PM
Margaret Morford
 
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Default RE: Can supervisor be a member of bargaining unit?

Strategically, aren't you better off with someone in the bargaining unit that has more of a management viewpoint? If he/she has dealt with employee problems, they are probably more management oriented and reasonable than an individual who has not.

Margaret Morford
theHRedge
615-371-8200
mmorford@mleesmith.com
http://www.thehredge.net
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  #7  
Unread 07-14-2003, 01:51 PM
Hatchetman
 
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Default RE: Can supervisor be a member of bargaining unit?

[font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 07-14-03 AT 06:53PM (CST)[/font][p]As I said, our state public employee relations act here in California as well as our local employee relations ordinance and oversight board do permit supervisors and employees to be represented in collective bargaining agreements by a union. The same criteria of "community of interst" is used here in defining bargaining units. But in all cases, supervisors are in separate bargaining units with separate contracts from the employees they supervise. In this regard, there is no conflict, since during a grievance procedure they would not be making any decisions on the contact thye are subject to as employees.

Under our laws, only about 2% of a local jurisdiction's work force may be deemed as not subject to the right to collectively bargain. Most of these are in middle and upper managements and some senior staff people. Many are also senior and management HR staff.


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