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Chaparral 2014-2015: 23.4 CSEA Connection

CSEA Connection (March 2015)

CSEA Connection: Know Your Rights

by Saodat Aziskhanova

CSEA President


Picture of Saodat Aziskhanova The more classified employees know about their rights, the better they are able to enforce and/or follow them. Lately, I have many questions from classified employees about our contract.  Even long-time union members are confused about what the contract means - especially if they never “used” that section.

The most obvious form of contract education is informing classified staff about the rights our contract guarantees.  Wage raises, health care, professional growth and other benefits negotiated into our contract are important. This information will help learn your rights and also increase the consistency in contract application throughout the college.

One of the most basic rights CSEA member has is the right to union representation in matters relating to discipline, reprimand or dismissal.  Be sure to know your rights before trouble starts.  If your supervisor schedules or calls you into a meeting, you might have a reason to have your union representative present.  CSEA representation is not automatic - you must ask for it.  Your supervisor does not have to advise you of your rights.  You cannot choose a representative to attend a meeting with you; it is based on availability of job stewards, and the urgency of the matter.

During a meeting scheduled for another purpose but which turns “disciplinary” during the course, you should request that the meeting be immediately terminated and rescheduled to a time when CSEA representative can be present.

Management must stop the meeting or reschedule until CSEA representative is present; failure to do so constitutes an unfair labor practice and is illegal. If the supervisor denies your request for union representation and insists on continuing the meeting, you have the right to refuse to answer any questions that could be used against you. However, do not walk out on the meeting and then contact CSEA representative afterward.  Failure to request  representation during the meeting might cause an arbitrator to rule that your rights were not violated, so it is very important that you contact a union official to preserve your rights.

The endorsement process for the College Board of Trustees was taken most seriously by the CSEA membership.  At a special meeting on February 25th our Chapter endorsed by majority votes the two incumbents, Dr. Vahe Peroomian and Anthony Tartaglia.

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