The presence of union officials in disciplinary meetings can feel like a legal minefield for employers. If I signed an authorization card, am I automatically a member of the union? You will have a legal right to conduct union business during working hours. I was a member of the student union at Lancaster University and was told I had to join if I wanted to take part in any of sports societies due to insurance reasons. Collective Bargaining makes sure changes are negotiated rather than imposed. The more workplace based reps we have, the stronger the National Education Union will be. If the union is certified as your bargaining representative, you will have the option of joining the union or being represented by the union. The law entitles union reps to paid time-off to attend TUC or union training courses. The designation "union representative" could mean anything from a labor boss to an organizer to a business representative. What should you do next? If a union obtains less than a majority but more than 30% of signed authorization cards, there will be an election. You’ve asked your employee to attend a disciplinary meeting, and they show up with a union official. But where people get into ‘tram lines’, the arguments become more difficult, and long-lasting memories are created.” Andrew Harley, groupHR director, TelefonicaO2 Europe “Being a rep can get you air time. Unions are involved in far more than organizing campaigns to convince employees to join their ranks, and they do more than negotiate labor union … 2. No. Whether in a school, college or elsewhere in the education service, the role of the workplace representative is a vital one for the National Education Union. An incompetent rep may blame union activity for poor progression, but it is more likely they made a fool of themselves too often.” Unions, government and employers know that training can help a great deal. Being a union rep is important and rewarding but it isn't always easy. Agreements on time off for training. As a part-time union official (often known as a shop steward or representative), you’ll be elected by local trade union members to pass on the views of the staff to the management of your company. The ultimate sacrifice you will have to make is a Strike (and loss of pay) but the Union will support you in many other ways, … The Supreme Court case of National Labor Relations Board v.Weingarten, decided in 1975, established this basic entitlement and the procedures for when and how union reps may participate in interviews. The simple and only answer is no. I joined my first trade union when I was 19, not that I realised it. Role of a Union Representative. Why not become a rep in your school or college? The Union needs people who will see them through thick and thin in the same way as you would expect the Union to support you. My journey to becoming a union rep November 9 2018. 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