Information for Supervisors of Union Stewards

The union contracts spell out particular kinds of activities that the stewards are allowed to perform, and the appropriate pay status for each type of activity.

Management should avoid conduct that is:

  • Arbitrary - without reason or rationale
  • Capricious - whimsical or inconsistent
  • Discriminatory - disadvantages the steward because of his or her role as a steward

In other words, management should make decisions and take actions for legitimate business reasons.

As a supervisor, you may:

  • Require that employees refrain from engaging in organizing activity during their paid working hours.
  • Inform employees of university policies, procedures, and reporting relationships.
  • Correct or clarify misleading statements made by proponents of the employee organization.
  • Inform employees that they are free to join or not to join any employee organization.
  • Insist that any solicitation of membership or discussion of union affairs be conducted outside of work time and in appropriate areas of the university.
  • Identify and establish the purpose of any meeting.
  • Keep records of the amount of time the steward spends away from his or her regular job duties.
  • Verify whether the employee is, in fact a steward (by calling our office).

As a supervisor, you may not:

  • Threaten to discharge, discipline or demote an employee if he or she engages in legal union activity.
  • Promise merit or salary increases, promotions, benefits, or other special concessions in order to discourage union activity.
  • Bar employees from soliciting union memberships on their own time in appropriate areas.
  • Announce that the university or you as representative of the university will not deal with a union.
  • Determine or try to determine union or non-union affiliation or preferences during an interview in preparation for hiring or promoting an employee, nor allow this to be a factor in such decisions.
  • Urge anti-union activity.

Further Information

The Employee & Labor Relations Consultants can answer questions about whether a particular activity by the steward is allowed under the law or applicable union contract and can assist you if it becomes necessary to take disciplinary action against a steward. Do not take disciplinary action against a union steward without first discussing it with an Employee Relations Consultant.