It’s a tale as old as time, “I asked my dean/director and they told me NO, what can the Union do about it?”
Well… honestly? Not much… until something’s been put in writing, an email, a text, a fax (does anyone actually have one of those anymore?) or… etched on a stone tablet, spray painted on the side of a building… you get the idea. (Hey, I’m Gen X we love ellipsis, don’t judge.)
See, we need an official denial, in writing in order to object OR refute the position that the college is taking on any collective agreement topic, really. And guess what? It serves their purpose to deny you “informally” rather than putting it in writing because more often than not, you won’t seek our help. Even when they’re wrong or at least not entirely correct in their informal responses to members’ requests on a great many topics it is a lot more difficult to grieve.
So, PLEASE, help us help YOU! When you’re asking for something that might be a contractually protected right (any type of leave, overload pay, workload assignments, vacation, SD, accommodations, support, PD approvals, etc.) DONT ASK INFORMALLY!
Put your requests in writing (email is great) and even if you get a verbal response, follow-up with a written email “please respond if I am incorrect in my understanding that you told me…” for any and ALL of your queries with your deans & directors.
Then, when you’re “officially” in writing told “NO” by anyone in Admin or your Exempt Supervisor, CHECK WITH YOUR UNION.
Because, we can’t fight for YOUR rights under the collective agreement if we don’t have PROOF that they’ve been violated. This is a also great opportunity to remind you that Chairs are workplace leaders, but they are YOUR COLLEAGUES, not your supervisors. They can (and are instructed to) convey your dean or director’s wishes and expectations. Always treat Chairs with respect, but seek definitive final answers from your exempt workplace supervisor.
Does this just raise more questions for you? Great! Contact us at ac.ytlucafnusomac@afcc and we’ll be happy to listen to your situation and provide guidance. Know Your Rights blog posts arise from real-life examples or situations that your stewards deal with on a regular basis, when we learn something important that all members can benefit from, we pass it on. That’s because we’re always stronger together!
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