- To defend the members and the union contract, the union has a legal right to seek information from an employer - and the employer has a legal obligation to provide it as long as the union's request is relevant and not unreasonable.
- The employer is required to provide relevant information in a variety of circumstances - don't assume that a grievance has to be filed before you can ask!
- Put information requests in writing!
To properly police the Union Contract, the Union often needs information that only the employer can provide. Every steward should be aware that the employer must provide the Union with the information that it needs to properly represent the members. This includes information that will help the Union:
- To decide whether to file a grievance;
- To prove a point to win a grievance;
- To make the employer prove something they have said;
- To prepare and present an arbitration case; and
- To prepare for negotiations.
You have the right to ask for information. Some employers try to deny giving the Union information until the Union files a grievance. This is wrong. The Union can ask for information before it files a grievance to decide if a grievance exists.
Example: An employee claims that there is an unfair distribution of overtime in her department. The union steward can request a departmental overtim