Excerpted from the Steward’s Handbook
Local Union-Management Consultation Committees are set up and organized to help solve problems in the work area. Union-Management Consultation provides an opportunity for union and management to engage in free, frank and meaningful dialogue on issues that confront or may confront either one or both parties.
As a Steward, you may or may not be as active in the Union-Management Consultation Committee. However, Stewards have a very direct role to play in many other committees – the Stewards’ Committee, Collective Bargaining Committee, Health and Safety Committee, Equity committees dealing with issues of Human Rights, Racism, Disability, Harassment, Sexual Orientation and Women Committees, to name some.
Type of Problem
Union-Management Consultation Committees can discuss any matters except those which could lead to altering or changing the intent of a collective agreement. Subjects which can be discussed at these Committees are listed in your collective agreement. Typical subjects are: scheduling of annual leave, internal communications, rescheduling of shifts, working conditions, training programs, technological change initiatives, change in departmental policies and programs, recreational programs, parking and flexible hours. Other important issues that arise are employment equity measures, harassment policies, issues arising from adjustment measures, health and safety issues.
The Role of the Steward and the Union Management Consultation Committee.
As a Steward, you may be required to assist the Local Executive in providing facts relating to a particular problem or subject to be discussed at a Union-Management Consultation Committee meeting which affects all the membership of the Local.
More specifically, you may further be requested to attend the Committee meeting as a resource person or as the union officer and representative of the membership concerned. Familiarize yourself with the internal operation of the Committee at the Local level and with its members on both the management and the union side.
The importance of informing the members in your work area of the matters discussed and the decisions reached at the Committee meetings cannot be over-emphasized. Ideally, you should receive a copy of the minutes. They are sometimes posted. In any event, you should always be up-to-date on what is happening at those meetings and pass this information on to the membership. This will enhance your effectiveness as a union representative and your credibility amongst the membership.