Employee Rights Committee
You have the right to union representation...but only if you ask for it!
Who is My Representative?
Your “AEA Building Rep” is not the same as an “AEA Employee Rights Rep.”
Building Reps provide a connection to the RepCouncil, AEA governance, and general information for you to reach committees and services in your Association.
For a minor meeting such as a quick pop-in with your administrator who has a few questions, you can ask any member from your building to join you. However, it is advised that you contact someone who has completed the two-day AEA Employee Rights Training--meaning they are “Rights-Trained” Representatives.
In more serious matters, you should contact your designated AEA Rights Representative from the Rights Contact list.
Overview of Discipline Procedures
Under your negotiated agreement and the law, employees have certain rights and obligations. If you are called into a meeting about everyday work-related events, your rights are probably not affected.
If the meeting with your supervisor requires you to answer questions about some incident or situation, and you reasonably believe you could or will be disciplined as a result, then your rights do come into play.
The employer has the right to conduct an investigation when situations arise. The law requires a fair investigation. As an employee, you have the obligation to obey the employer’s rules and cooperate in an investigation.
If you are called into a meeting and your supervisor asks questions as part of an investigation, you have the right to have another employee attend the meeting with you as a witness. It is your responsibility to tell your supervisor you want to have another person in that meeting as your witness. Generally, the supervisor is not obligated to tell you unless there is specific language to that effect in your contract. The person is there to take notes and to ask clarifying questions.
You should answer all questions truthfully. If there is some indication that you are involved in a criminal matter, it is best not to answer any questions that might incriminate you in any way. You will want to consult with an attorney first before answering questions if it is a criminal matter.
Minimum Procedural Safeguards of Due Process
The opportunity to be heard at a meaningful time and in a meaningful manner.
Timely and adequate notice detailing the reasons for proposed discipline.
The right to representation.
An effective opportunity to defend.
An opportunity to confront and cross-examine adverse witnesses at a hearing.
A decision resting solely on the legal rules and evidence introduced at a hearing.
A statement by an impartial decision maker of the reasons for his/her determination and the evidence relied on.
The Weingarten Rule
It is the right of an employee to have a union representative present at a meeting with the employer if the employee has a reasonable expectation that discipline may result.
The right to representation only comes when the employee requests it. Management does not have to advise you of your rights.
An employee may not unilaterally leave the interview to seek representation contrary to the supervisor’s orders.
An employer cannot require substituting one designated union representative for another representative.
Time should be provided to consult with your representative before the investigative meeting.
The right to a representative only applies in situations where an employee reasonably expects disciplinary action could result.
The employer has no duty to bargain with any union representative at the investigative interview.
Contact your local employee rights representative immediately.
Listen carefully to accusations, and then ask for time before you do respond.
Insist that a local representative be present for any interview or meeting regarding charges or possible charges against you.
Make detailed notes of all related events.
List names of witnesses.
Request and keep copies of all documents and papers related to the incident.
Meet deadlines with appropriate responses.
Admit guilt or accept blame in any incident.
Make any public statements.
Sign any papers or agreements.
Agree to pay any expenses for any damage or to make restitution, etc.
Reveal your liability coverage.
Agree to meet without an employee rights representative.
Seek private legal counsel before conferring with your association.
Just Cause – The Seven Tests
1. NOTICE - Did the employer give the employee forewarning or foreknowledge of the possible or probable consequences of the employee’s disciplinary conduct?
2. REASONABLE RULES AND ORDER – Was the employer’s rule or management order reasonably related to: (a) the orderly, efficient, and safe operation of the employer’s business and (b) the performance that the employer might properly expect of the employee?
3. INVESTIGATION – Did the employer, before administering the discipline to an employee, make an effort to discover whether the employee did in fact violate or disobey a rule or order of management?
4. FAIR INVESTIGATION – Was the employer’s investigation conducted fairly and objectively?
5. PROOF – At the investigation, did the “judge” obtain substantial evidence or proof that the employee was guilty as charged?
6. EQUAL TREATMENT – Has the employer applied its rules, orders, and penalties even-handedly to all employees and without discrimination?
7. PENALTY – Was the degree of discipline administered by the employer in a particular case reasonably related to: (a) the seriousness of the employee’s proven offense and (b) the record of the employee in his/her service with the employer?
Chairperson: Tamara Jones
The Rights Committee assists the President and UniServ directors in exploring and processing grievances. This committee also works to educate members on the contract.
The Rights Committee meets the third Thursday of every month at the AEA Office at 4:30pm.
Anchorage Education Association
Sign Addenda Before Extra Duty
Remember to ask for the addenda form to sign before you perform any extra duties.
Problems and misunderstandings with Addenda payments are avoided when the member has a
signed copy of the contract before any of the work begins. The District has directed principals to
have addenda signed before work begins.
150 ADDED DUTY ACTIVITIES
Contract addenda will be signed prior to the beginning of the activity, except by mutual
agreement. In no case shall more than thirty days pass from the onset of activity before the
completion of necessary addenda.
Audit Your Direct Deposit Advice
Be sure to check accuracy of your Direct Deposit Advice on District Connection. It is
generally a good practice, but especially important for the first paychecks of the year. The
district has allowed step and lane advancement. You should have been credited with 13.33 days
of sick leave (assuming you started by August 15) and 5 days of personal leave days. Check that
your medical deduction, union dues, and any other automatic deductions are correct.
We have been notified that some part-time employees had an incorrect amount deducted
for health care. The district has contacted those individuals impacted to explain the
reimbursement process. If you believe there is an error and have not already been contacted by
the ASD payroll office, feel free to inquire, 742-4103. Remember to be patient and kind to the
employee who helps you--the mistake was not theirs.
Adult & Student Boundaries
The district is ratcheting up enforcement and discipline for alleged inappropriate
touching. Whether in such cases of defensive action or in cases of positive touch--please practice
appropriate adult to student boundaries at all times and error on the side of caution. In light of
recent high-profile cases in the community, there is a heightened public sensitivity to educators
crossing adult to student boundaries. Seemingly innocent action intended to be fun or supportive
can easily be misconstrued and taken out of context. No educator wants to be in the difficult
position of being accused of crossing professional boundaries.
442 ABUSE ALLEGATIONS
A member must be notified within five workdays of the District’s knowledge of an allegation of
abuse unless directed otherwise by a law enforcement agency. If an allegation against a member
is unfounded or unsubstantiated, the unit administrator will so note and attach to the “Referral
for Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect” form. No unfounded or unsubstantiated allegations will be
referred to in an evaluation. Investigations will be conducted in a confidential manner.
The member has the option of having the District notify employees of the investigation or its
results. The method of notification and the message to be communicated shall be authorized by
419 DISCIPLINE PROCEDURE FOR STUDENTS
F. A member may use reasonable and necessary physical force on a student to protect the
member, a student(s) or others from physical injury; to obtain possession of weapons or other
dangerous objects from a student; in any extraordinary case of breach of discipline; to restrain a
physically disruptive student; or to protect property from serious harm.
AEA Employee Rights Committee
Tamara Jones, Corey Aist, Marnie Hartill, Ron Prewitt, Chuck Zimmer,
Carly Calace, Jessica Winn, Margaret McDonagh