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Know Your Weingarten Rights!

It is important to know and utilize your rights as a union member. Did you know that you have the right to Union representation during an investigatory interview? If you think you are going to be interviewed by your supervisors, that it could result in some kind of discipline, you have the right to union representation during interview.But these" Weingarten rights" should be claimed by you because depending on the terms of your contract, your supervisor may not have an obligation to inform you of your right to Union representation. What is an Investigatory Interview?An Investigatory interview is one in which a supervisor questions an employee to obtain information which could be used as a basis for discipline or asks an employee to defend his/her conduct. If employee has a reasonable belief that discipline or discharge may result from whatsh/he says, the employee has right to request Union representation. An employee should state to the employer that he/she wants a Union representative present; depending on the terms of the bargaining unit contract, the employer may not have an obligation to ask the employee if she/he wants a representative. Weingarten Rules When an Investigatory interview occurs, the following rules apply:Rule1-You must make a clear request for Union representation before or during interview. You can't be punished for making this request. Rule 2- After you make the request, your supervisor has 3 options. S/he must either:a. Grant the request and delay the interview until the Union representative arrives and had a chance to consult privately with the employee: orb. Deny the request and end the interview immediately; orc.Give the employee a Choice of: 1) having the interview without representation or 2) ending the interview Rule 3- If the supervisor denies your request and continues to ask questions, this is an unfair labor practice and you have the right to refuse to answer. You cannot be disciplined for such refusal but are required to sit there until the supervisor terminates the interview. Leaving before this happens may constitute punishable insubordination. While this is an important right to have, it is not always applicable. An employee has NO right to the presence of a Union representative where: 1. The meeting is merely for the purpose of conveying work instructions, training or communicating needed corrections in the employee's work techniques. 2. The employee is assured by the employer prior to the interview that no discipline or employment consequences can result from the interview. 3. The employer has reached a final decision to impose certain discipline on the employee prior to the interview, and the purpose of the interview is to inform the employee of the discipline or to impose it. 4. Any conversation or discussion about the previously determined discipline which is initiated by the employee and without employer encouragement or instigation after the employee is informed of the action. Even in the above circumstances, you can still ask for representation. Most employers will permit a representative to attend even when not required to.

On September 24 at our general membership meeting, nominations for the vacant co-president position were presented by Nomination Committee co-chairs Nina Gonzalez and Sonia Talbert.
Randi Weingarten and NYC teacher Tamara Simpson

Attacks on public education in America by extremists and culture-war peddling politicians have reached new heights (“lows” may be more apt), but they are not new. The difference today is that the attacks are intended not just to undermine public education but to destroy it.

HPS Para of the Year
Looking Back
Betty Gadson Scholarships
Click here to download the August, 2019 issue. 

Union building representative at Burns Latino Studies Academy Mary Russell was among the members to urge the legislature to adopt recommendations in the recent school paraprofessionals staffing study. Click here to read her testimony.