I am sure UnionSpeak will get many negative comments on this one but this has to be said. There is nothing more annoying and nothing that ruins a day most than receiving disciplinary action by management.
It’s going to happen eventually. For those union members who have never received disciplinary actions, I admire you for your discipline and you should be proud of this achievement. It is an achievement because I have seen the best workers get disciplinary action for the most minor offenses and management never considers their immaculate record. My point in this my friends is please do not expect management to feel the same way you feel about your perfect record. I wish they did but a manager will write you up and say they have to write you up to be consistent with their rules. Management will discipline you just so they can use your perfect record as an example. If they can discipline you, they can and will discipline everyone else when they find the opportunity.
Is this fair? No!
Disciplinary action is a form of control for management. If they have action against you in your files they hope it weighs upon your mind and you never forget it. They believe that it will put you in your place and remind you that your job is only secure if you obey them. If not, they will continue to add further frivolous disciplinary actions until they fire you. Please Remember, that it is an Impartial Chairman that decides whether you get fired. In our union, management has to ask permission to fire you. They can make a case but ultimately management has no independent power to take your union job.
The terrible trend I have noticed in many properties is that management is getting assistance by union members to help deal out more disciplinary actions. I do not believe that it is done on purpose. I believe that with the help of management there is a misunderstanding that disciplinary actions needs to be given out equally. By this I mean that if one union member gets a write-up for attendance then they expect that all other union members with the same infraction are going to get disciplinary actions as well. It seems like that is the logical solution because it wouldn’t seem right that you are the only one that is receiving disciplinary action.
Would that be fair? No!!!
It is not fair! However, it is not wrong! Management disciplines many union workers because other union workers who have received disciplinary actions feels like they should accept actions against them only if everyone is treated equally by also receiving disciplinary actions. Again, it seems logical to be fair but if I contracted the flu, I wouldn’t go around contaminating my work environment in hopes that everyone gets my flu because it’s not fair that I am the only one who has the flu. This is why, for those who receive a write-up, they need to dispute their write-up not distribute their write-up.
The First rule of UnionSpeak is, you do not tell on your fellow union members! Article 27(A)(1) of our Industry-Wide Agreement is the ‘Just Cause‘ provision of the contract. This clause gives delegates and union members 10 rules to dispute disciplinary actions against you and your co-union workers. I strongly discourage mentioning any other member who has not received disciplinary action. You are only helping management and it does not remove or revoke the disciplinary actions against you. I do suggest to take a look on how management handled similar situations in the past. If actions in the past are inconsistent and seems like you are being singled out then refer to your business agent to get it on record as an Unfair Labor Practice. (ULP)
I have to mention that all union members should make a conscious effort to abide by all rules when you can. Breaking rules only sets management off on a feeding frenzy that effects everyone. Please be considerate to your fellow union members and understand that the contract is not negotiated to support misbehavior. I have always noticed that the members who have the most problems with disciplinary actions is also the one who has the most problems with the union. We first have to help ourselves. But also consider that disciplinary actions are not the end of the world. It is a reminder that management does not have your best interest in mind and that we need to make individual efforts to dispute any garbage that management wants to distribute.
To see the 10 ‘Just Cause’ rules click here.
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