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Joseph
Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 4829
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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I am considering filing a grievance with my current supervisor.

Resolved Question:

I am considering filing a grievance with my current supervisor. I am a San Francisco county employee who works for the city/county.

I am not alone with my following complaints, and could show evidence in some areas.

1) my current supervisor who is in the same union as I fought to keep another employee's who is my same classification (different title) schedule during a reconfiguration bid.
A) She spoke with our union representative while on vacation about her position and the other employee's position but not for anyone else whom she supervises (approximately 10 other employees)
B) She has been trained as a Shop Stuard and the rest of her employees believe she used her knowledge and relationship with union leaders to see cure only one person's schedule.

2) this supervisor has spoken poorly about other employees to their coworkers
A). I was recently told that another employee of hers "bugs her" "drives her crazy" and that she wished I had that position because she knew I would do better. (As flattering as that is for me I know she has said stuff like this to other employees)

3) This supervisor does not have regular supervision scheduled and has repeatedly said she doesn't want to be our boss. She is disconnected and hands off.
A) she makes her employees do their own staff appraisal in which she sys she will make changes if "she sees fit".
B) she has asked me to come up with a list of things a "director" should do. This list would've for the staff person she fought to save. She didn't think she should come up with the list being that she is this "director's" supervisor.

4) she texts staff even when they are not on the clock
A) she recently texted me while I was visiting my sick mother-in-law asking when I was coming back to work because this "director" would like to take some time off.

Overall this supervisor has shown unfair treatment that we should be protected by due to being part of a union.

My (and my fellow coworkers) are inquiring about filing a grievance against this supervisor and requesting a rebid for scheduling as well as preferential treatment on one employee.

Do you have any suggestions how we would build a good foundation to fight these wrongdoings?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 10 months ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.

Just to clarify, this supervisor is still a member of the union and is not a part of 'management.' So she's also a shop steward and has a lot of connections within the union?
Expert:  Joseph replied 10 months ago.
Hello Jessica,

The grievance process for union employees typically only deals with complaints that the union members have about their employer and not other members of the union. If your supervisor was considered management (and not a member of the union) then it would be appropriate to bring your grievance against her to the union. As a union member, the union can't really represent one union member against another in a grievance proceeding, since both employees would be represented by the union there would be an obvious inherent conflict of interest.

Otherwise, your complaints about her are best made to Human Resources for San Francisco county, especially about her being a bad manager. (Most of the other things that you describe would probably not be actionable regardless of whether they were reported to HR or the union, including saying employees bother her or bug her and her texting you when you were not on the job. Neither of these would be considered grounds for discipline, but her failure to act appropriately as your supervisor might and preferential treatment of an employee might).

If that doesn’t work, it may be best to see if you can get transferred to work under a different supervisor (I'm not sure if that's a possibility in your position or not), since I doubt your current supervisor will be terminated (or severely disciplined over the current matters) especially if she is a shop steward and has many connections to the union.

And, honestly, you could be committing career suicide if you take a grievance against another union member (who is a shop steward, has more connections, and seniority) to the union, and the risk for this backfiring would be pretty high. HR would also be much better at trying to keep your identity secret, although, of course, it would be best to get more employees on your side on this as well.

I realize the above information is not what you wanted to hear and I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX had better news to give you, but I hope you appreciate an honest and direct answer to your question. It would be unprofessional of me and unfair to you to provide you with anything less.

Please let me know if you have follow up or clarifying questions.

Thanks and best of luck!
Expert:  Joseph replied 10 months ago.
You mentioned that you confronted the supervisor about this being an 'unfair practice.' I'm not sure what you meant, but to clarify, this is not an unfair labor practice situation. That only happens when you are being treated worse by an employer due to union involvement. (For instance a prominent union official being unfairly disciplined or terminated for union activity).

The situation definitely seems unfair, but that doesn't make it an 'unfair labor practice.' Again, that type of action can only be brought against a company (through the National Labor Relations Board), and not another union member.
Joseph, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 4829
Experience: Extensive experience representing employees and management
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