Time allocated for Reps to attend Union business

17 Mar 2017, 18:44

Union meetings aside - and individual cases/discplinary/attendance meetings aside also - do any reps here have time allocated to actually interact with members, so that members are able to communicate any issues, and to discuss with them ongoing issues ?

Lets say that your members are spread over a wide geographical location and that comm.s are therefore impeded.

Seems to me that one of the complaints from members, and causes for their disillusionment with the union, is that they aren't listened to/ have no voice. And that it is the statutory right of officially recognised union representatives to have time allocated to attend to their members. No good just being allowed time for a union meeting.

It certainly used to be the case that time was allocated to visit and engage with members, at least when I first started - but latterly that doesn't seem to be the case.

So I thought I'd ask on here first.

Whats your experience ?

Time allocated for Reps to attend Union business

17 Mar 2017, 20:49

Union reps only ever get approached whenever someone has a dispute; they rarely approach their members because they are just like us and have their own duties to do. I tend to get better feedback from my Area Rep though if Im honest.

Time allocated for Reps to attend Union business

17 Mar 2017, 21:35

It's called a local facilities agreement, It's covered by the IR framework.
Some reps have time built into their duty on a permanent basis like 2 hrs on a Friday, I'm not really a fan, in my experience it isn't always used for what it should be and builds resentment with members. Others work on an ad hoc basis, if there's an issue to address and you have a half decent manager it's not normally a problem and let's be honest if a rep can't even negotiate release from their own duty they're not much use to members.

Meetings with members are usually done outside work hours or during breaks unless it's a serious and immediate IR issue, then we hit the gate but obviously that can result in a loss of pay so it's not something I would do lightly.

Time allocated for Reps to attend Union business

18 Mar 2017, 12:46

It comes down to "working together"

I'm allowed to deal with any issues (OPG) I feel need attention, might get a few looks occasionally but if pushed then when I'm asked for their help with a matter then there is no co-operation.

If indoor is stretched then it's reasonable for them to ask me to leave non urgent till later.
All in all, allowed release to deal with majority of daily concerns BUT not without arguing the toss with them at times.

Now area reps to attend union business - don't get me started on that!!

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