Faculty Rights Tip of the Week: I Need a Union Rep!

Have you (or someone you know) ever been called into a meeting with an administrator and you were not quite sure what the meeting was about? While in the meeting, did you realize you were being questioned or investigated about some issue for which you might be disciplined, reprimanded, or otherwise negatively affected? You need, and are entitled to have, a union representative or another advocate of your choosing with you at that meeting. 

You can invoke your right to have an advocate with you before or during the meeting by saying: “If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined or terminated, or affect my working conditions, I request that my CFA representative or another advocate of my choosing be present at this meeting.”

The administrator must grant the request even if it means rescheduling the meeting to a time that works for you and your advocate. The rights of represented (i.e. you are in a union) employees to bring an advocate and to have the time needed to obtain an advocate for investigatory meetings comes from the 1975 Supreme Court case, NLRB V. J. Weingarten, thus the term “Weingarten Rights.” Given the increase in investigatory meetings, it’s important to know about and exercise these rights now more than ever. If you are called in, clarify whether the meeting could result in discipline. If you’ve been called into a meeting that might involve disciplinary action and need to find a CFA representative, you can start by looking at this list of Faculty Rights Representatives for each campus.

Here are links to previous Faculty Rights Tips about Weingarten Rights:

Want to learn more? Become active with your local CFA chapter Faculty Rights team. Find your representative here.