As a member of Hillsborough CTA you have a wide range of benefits to choose from on everything from auto insurance to scholarships. Because of our affiliation with national unions you’re also eligible for benefits offered by AFT, FEA, and NEA.
If Trouble Strikes – Notify your Building Representative(s) and the HCTA office immediately!
Here is some practical advice, which you should use to protect your rights until help arrives:
- If confronted with charges, remain calm and courteous.
- Ask for your Union/Association Representative to be present. If your rep is not available, ask to reschedule the meeting.
- Listen carefully to accusations. Then ask for time to think or to secure information.
- Make detailed written notes of the events which occur in any confrontation or accusatory session, or of any other action which appears to be related. Take down every detail, including names of witnesses and others involved while the details are fresh in your mind. Print out and make copies of any relevant correspondence or documents.
- In the event of a confrontation or threat to your job, do NOT resign or sign any papers or agreement.
Members’ Rights to Union Representation
Union members are entitled to have a union representative present in a meeting with management if they believe that some form of discipline may result from such meeting. However, you must clearly state your concern and clearly request union representation in advance of the meeting to ensure that the proper steps are taken.
Excerpts from the FEA web site:
Q: What should I do if I suspect discipline arising out of a meeting with management?
A: Keep the following statement in front of you and politely but clearly state it:
“If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined or could affect my personal working conditions, I am asserting my Weingarten Right and request that a Union Representative be present at this meeting.”
Say this, repeat it, then do not engage in any further discussion except to reschedule, if necessary.
Q: Does this right apply to all meetings with administrators?
A: No, only those that conceivably will lead to discipline-anything from reprimands to non-renewal or dismissal.
Q: What if my principal calls in the AP or other admin?
A: You are entitled to have a building representative present. Do not be afraid to request it!
Q: What if I am meeting on a curriculum matter and then the subject changes to one that might lead to discipline?
A: Stop the “interview”. Request union representation, even if it means continuing this portion of the meeting to another time.
Q: Can I bring my spouse, a lawyer, or a friend?
A: No, the law entitles you to HCTA representation; normally an elected building representative or, in some cases, a dedicated staff representative. You’re not entitled to other representation or witnesses.
Q: Do I have the right to call in a particular union member?
A: Generally a building representative will be called. The idea is to provide you with skilled union representation, in addition to the moral support of a union colleague. Most building representatives have attended trainings and are expected to be very familiar with the current contracts and changes within the school district.
Q: What is the role of the union representative during such a meeting?
A: The union representative is there to assist the member, and to protect the Collective Bargaining Agreement rights. The union representative has the right to speak on his or her behalf and to meet with the member privately before the interview with management. In many cases, the representative will also take notes in order to have a record of what was said or promised in the meeting.
Q: Can we give up our right to union representation?
A: There are two ways to give up those rights: By contract language or by inaction. Of course, your collective bargaining agreement does not waive your rights to union representation. However, once on the spot, you might get bullied into waiving your right or not asserting your right. In such a case you have little recourse later.