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Very Little Helps => Union matters. => Topic started by: mnd81 on 25-04-18, 03:38PM

Title: Speaking on behalf of staff member
Post by: mnd81 on 25-04-18, 03:38PM
Hi

I was recently informed by management that a Union Rep can not speak on my behalf during meetings. I understand that they cant answer questions for me but according to the Union handbook it says Reps ''represent members and speak on behalf of members in meetings.'' So are management lying?

Also can a non Union Rep who has been asked to attend a meeting speak on behalf of their colleagues? For example if a persons English is not very good can they bring a trusted colleague with them instead of a rep and have them talk?

Thanks
Title: Re: Speaking on behalf of staff member
Post by: baldeagle on 25-04-18, 04:35PM
If you are asked a question did you do this or did you say that, as a direct question you should reply not your rep,however if you are asked a general question i,e did you think this or that, then your rep or colleague can reply on your behalf. Personally I have had no problems speaking on behalf members could be a manager not knowing the law.your second part is the same reply.But if language is a problem the manager should be supporting the individual to have somebody to speak for them.
Title: Re: Speaking on behalf of staff member
Post by: claden on 25-04-18, 04:37PM
Your rep can absolutely speak for you in a meeting in fact anyone you take in with you can speak on your behalf.
Title: Re: Speaking on behalf of staff member
Post by: adamlad on 25-04-18, 04:38PM
Reps have the right to address the meeting but cant answer the question for you . So for example you would have to speak first but then say I dont understand and then ask you rep to help or you can answer the question put to you by the manager  then ask your rep to comment on something you or management have said - they cant just provide direct answers with you saying nothing

Non reps cant speak thats company policy. If the person does not understand English well, they are there as a translator which the company have to support with (ACAS guidelines) that is different from them being there as a rep.

having said that if a person asks for help with language issues the company may accept the trust colleague or they may provide a manager fluent in the language. Our group has a polish speaking line manager who does that and supports stores
Title: Re: Speaking on behalf of staff member
Post by: claden on 25-04-18, 06:14PM
Sorry non reps can speak on behalf of a colleague same rules apply can't answer direct questions but can speak on their behalf.
Title: Re: Speaking on behalf of staff member
Post by: lucgeo on 25-04-18, 07:25PM
A non rep has the same recognised rights as a union rep. They are the "chosen representative" and the Tesco stance that non reps are only there to witness and take notes of the meeting, but not allowed to speak, is pure BS!

They can speak on your behalf if you request them to, i.e. if there is a language/ understanding problem, or you just want them to. But it's either you or the rep answers the questions, not both.
Title: Re: Speaking on behalf of staff member
Post by: Nomad on 25-04-18, 07:33PM
https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/work/problems-at-work/disciplinary-meetings/who-can-accompany-you-to-a-disciplinary-meeting/ (https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/work/problems-at-work/disciplinary-meetings/who-can-accompany-you-to-a-disciplinary-meeting/)

http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=2174 (http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=2174)
Title: Re: Speaking on behalf of staff member
Post by: RubyRed on 25-04-18, 09:11PM
Language barriers aside. Why would you not want to address the meeting yourself and answer questions. Surely you are the best person to represent yourself?
Title: Re: Speaking on behalf of staff member
Post by: lucgeo on 25-04-18, 09:26PM
Not every colleague is confident enough to speak up for themselves! There could be a number of reasons...emotionally flooded ( tesco speak) depressed, mental health, communication breakdown or mistrust of the manager, young, naive or inexperienced in dealing with such situations.....to name a few.
Title: Re: Speaking on behalf of staff member
Post by: notsofunny on 25-04-18, 09:48PM
Language barriers aside. Why would you not want to address the meeting yourself and answer questions. Surely you are the best person to represent yourself?
Its not just about you being able to or not being able to answer questions , its more to do with having that feeling that you have someone  that understands what is going on,

At times you are asked things that has nothing to do with what you have been called in for , sometimes it becomes more like a Interrogation in which the same thing is asked over and over again ,
And don't forget the Note taker is not just taking notes, he/she is giving support to the person asking the Questions , and is more than likely to be trained in what they are doing , so why not have someone as trained as they are with you ?

In all the cases i have been in , every one of the reps has spoken, Not to give a reply to what is asked , but to put over a point of order , I have even had one very young rep  that turned up with rings in his ears nose, tattoos, and pink hair and sandals and a pink Floyd t/shirt on , he said nothing besides hello and giving his name ,, But then 15 min into the Questions he tore the manager apart , after which when ever I was asked to arrange a rep I would call him  :D  so remember its not just about speaking on behalf of,, its more of speaking up for .. :)
Title: Re: Speaking on behalf of staff member
Post by: GreenGrocer on 26-04-18, 10:55AM
Not every colleague is confident enough to speak up for themselves! There could be a number of reasons...emotionally flooded ( tesco speak) depressed, mental health, communication breakdown or mistrust of the manager, young, naive or inexperienced in dealing with such situations.....to name a few.

Or all of the above. The TMs are clueless. Why do Tesco employ TMs who throw a lot of BS your way and hope some sticks.
Title: Re: Speaking on behalf of staff member
Post by: T.C.1 on 26-04-18, 06:10PM
With the restructure of PM's and the ever decreasing GA's who knows about policy inside out it seems Managers are running riot!! At least some of the old PM's would pick up on a Manager that did not following policy but reading on here some of the b***s*** managers are saying in meetings or disciplinary meetings it seems like they just want to fire people left right and centre!!
Title: Re: Speaking on behalf of staff member
Post by: adamlad on 26-04-18, 06:22PM
@ claden

Only an union rep can speak and is permitted to address the meeting.

this text is lifted from the policy on our tesco.com

a colleague may feel more comfortable having a person of the same race, sex, religion, etc. or someone who is familiar with the circumstances, to accompany them. This is in addition to the representative. In this instance, the colleague should speak to the Personnel Manager. This person’s role would be to provide support; they cannot speak on behalf of the colleague during the meeting.
Title: Re: Speaking on behalf of staff member
Post by: T.C.1 on 26-04-18, 06:42PM
Granted but when the meeting is over the colleague that they brought in with them can say the Manager is talking tosh and advise from there, reading other topics on this site some of the miss information that some Managers are saying in meetings is very disturbing.
Title: Re: Speaking on behalf of staff member
Post by: baldeagle on 27-04-18, 08:00AM
Right to be accompanied.Section 10 employment relations act 1999. The answers you seek are covered here.
Title: Re: Speaking on behalf of staff member
Post by: BlueToon on 27-04-18, 09:36AM
@ claden

Only an union rep can speak and is permitted to address the meeting.

this text is lifted from the policy on our tesco.com

Which policy are you using for this please?
Title: Re: Speaking on behalf of staff member
Post by: adamlad on 27-04-18, 10:03AM
There is a pdf guide on the our tesco web site called disciplinary policy its point 7

https://www.ourtesco.com/working-at-tesco/people-policies/job-career/disciplinary-stores-office/ (https://www.ourtesco.com/working-at-tesco/people-policies/job-career/disciplinary-stores-office/)

apologise If I am not allowed to have posted links
Title: Re: Speaking on behalf of staff member
Post by: BlueToon on 27-04-18, 10:14AM
Thanks adamlad,
BUT..... I still can not find that particular quote in there.
Can you quote more of the paragraph that it is in?
I ask because it is an important point, and I have come up against this problem before in a store.
Title: Re: Speaking on behalf of staff member
Post by: grim up north on 27-04-18, 10:52AM
@ claden

Only an union rep can speak and is permitted to address the meeting.

this text is lifted from the policy on our tesco.com

a colleague may feel more comfortable having a person of the same race, sex, religion, etc. or someone who is familiar with the circumstances, to accompany them. This is in addition to the representative. In this instance, the colleague should speak to the Personnel Manager. This person’s role would be to provide support; they cannot speak on behalf of the colleague during the meeting.

Isn't that the main point you're discussing? So there can be you, your rep and another colleague. So if it's just you, and another colleague, who is your representative at that time, they can speak in the meeting?


Title: Re: Speaking on behalf of staff member
Post by: GreenGrocer on 27-04-18, 10:56AM
Anyone can speak but nobody will listen. 
Title: Re: Speaking on behalf of staff member
Post by: Nomad on 27-04-18, 11:04AM
Does not the purpose of the meeting (investigatory, disciplinary etc) have an impact on who can attend/represent/speak ?
Title: Re: Speaking on behalf of staff member
Post by: BlueToon on 27-04-18, 11:06AM
grim up north,
Correct, the way it was worded  "Only an union rep can speak and is permitted to address the meeting", is not my understanding of the role.
Nor can I find that in the policy.
That is why I was questioning where in the policy it stated that.
A colleague rep (in my understanding) has EXACTLY the same rights in the meeting as a union rep.
If anyone can show (prove) different within the policies, I would be happy to be corrected.
 And Nomad, to the best of my knowledge, the type of meeting has no bearing on who your chosen rep is.
Again, I am happy to be corrected if it can be shown otherwise. :-)
Title: Re: Speaking on behalf of staff member
Post by: claden on 27-04-18, 12:37PM
It is really clear in the disciplinary policy and the absences sickness policy. Anyone can be your representative it doesn't have to be a 'union' rep. Anyone who goes into a meeting with you can speak on your behalf. The Union want people to think only union reps can speak but it is not the case. As for the quote I was tagged in that is if you have a 2nd person in the meeting over and above hour 'representative '
Title: Re: Speaking on behalf of staff member
Post by: BlueToon on 27-04-18, 02:11PM
It is really clear in the disciplinary policy and the absences sickness policy

Oh I agree entirely.
The annoying part is that many managers do not seem to agree, and many staff have no idea of this.
One wonders if the union are happy with it as they can then say "you need to be in the union"!
Title: Re: Speaking on behalf of staff member
Post by: A1bert on 27-04-18, 02:46PM
Internal, Disciplinary, Version 3.3, Page 5 of 12, January 2017

in this policy it states anyone can speak during meeting. its in section 8.
Title: Re: Speaking on behalf of staff member
Post by: BlueToon on 27-04-18, 03:15PM
That version is now obsolete.
The current version is;
Internal, Disciplinary, Version 4, March 2018.

The point made by myself and claden stands, in that the person you choose to accompany you to the meeting has ALL the rights of a union rep (just not the backing of the unions insurance in case you c**k it up and give incorrect advice!)
Title: Re: Speaking on behalf of staff member
Post by: T.C.1 on 27-04-18, 03:27PM
That's what I mean Managers running riot!! New era of young Managers are giving very misleading information in meetings so I would say if a colleague is nervous going for a meeting or disciplinary and they want someone there go in with them even if it's just for back up!!
Title: Re: Speaking on behalf of staff member
Post by: GreenGrocer on 27-04-18, 08:43PM
It is not just the young managers. Some of the ones who claim to have tens of years of experience are just as clueless. Clearly they have been hiding behind a few shelfs for years watching the sport on there mobiles.
Title: Re: Speaking on behalf of staff member
Post by: RubyRed on 28-04-18, 01:41PM
I get the points you have raised but I would rather represent myself. Unfortunately our reps are a bit clueless.
Title: Re: Speaking on behalf of staff member
Post by: lucgeo on 28-04-18, 05:55PM
Perhaps you should consider becoming a rep ??? ???
Title: Re: Speaking on behalf of staff member
Post by: notsofunny on 28-04-18, 08:36PM
I get the points you have raised but I would rather represent myself. Unfortunately our reps are a bit clueless.

I have found that at times expectations of someone being represented is very high, and they just leave it to the rep to get them out of a problem.   Many times we see that the staff member has not even taken time to read the notes given to them, and in doing so missed out on challenging the company on how they do things.

So end of the day why blame the rep about being clueless when we should take as much of the blame as them ?
Title: Re: Speaking on behalf of staff member
Post by: RubyRed on 29-04-18, 03:22PM
I don’t have high expectations of a rep but I do expect them to understand policies or get advice from Usdaw before representing you.  Surely understanding policy is just a basic?
Title: Re: Speaking on behalf of staff member
Post by: GreenGrocer on 29-04-18, 06:06PM
Speak yourself and a rep can be a second pair of eyes and ears to spot anything Tesco are not doing to process for some wriggle room.  :)
Title: Re: Speaking on behalf of staff member
Post by: horatiocain on 29-04-18, 08:24PM
You do t have to have a rep, you can take anyone in to disciplinary and grievance meetings and they have the same right to speak as a union rep, although generally less knowledge.

I did it several times.
Title: Re: Speaking on behalf of staff member
Post by: Baldrick on 30-04-18, 09:13AM
Had a training session (the new Grievance Policy) with one of the new People Partner and this is one issue that came up.  He said he is unaware as to where this information came from (i.e Reps can not speak in meetings) but it is a myth.  The managers constantly come out with this fact and each time we have to correct them.
Title: Re: Speaking on behalf of staff member
Post by: mnd81 on 03-05-18, 05:23PM
Apologies for the late reply. Thank you all for the information.

We had the meeting and again the manager tried the same thing, I asked him to show us where it states that in the policy which both managers couldn't do but were adamant that it was correct so I asked both of them to put it in writing that I was not allowed to speak on behalf of the member of staff and they both backed down straight away.

Thank you all again.
Title: Re: Speaking on behalf of staff member
Post by: trolleyboy96 on 03-05-18, 05:48PM
Hhmm conflicting info...

So we did the training yesterday managers and a couple of usdaw reps joined the session this question came up and again the answer was usdaw reps can ask talk etc in meetings a non usdaw rep doesn’t have that right...the usdaw reps agreed this was right, seems Tesco doesn’t really know.
Title: Re: Speaking on behalf of staff member
Post by: notsofunny on 03-05-18, 06:40PM
So the union reps as well as Tesco managers are saying only union reps are able to speak , but are not able to show us paperwork to back this up ? could it be that both are trying to push us to join the union ?
Title: Re: Speaking on behalf of staff member
Post by: baldeagle on 03-05-18, 06:51PM
Or that both are ignorant of the law.
Title: Re: Speaking on behalf of staff member
Post by: notsofunny on 03-05-18, 06:55PM
Can you print off what is the law and post it so everyone can see ,I am sure that would help ,

Title: Re: Speaking on behalf of staff member
Post by: Faceandgo on 03-05-18, 07:06PM
17.
The companion should be allowed to address the hearing to put and
sum up the worker’s case, respond on behalf of the worker to any
views expressed at the meeting and confer with the worker during the
hearing. The companion does not, however, have the right to answer
questions on the worker’s behalf, address the hearing if the worker
does not wish it or prevent the employer from explaining their case.

http://www.acas.org.uk/media/pdf/f/m/Acas-Code-of-Practice-1-on-disciplinary-and-grievance-procedures.pdf (http://www.acas.org.uk/media/pdf/f/m/Acas-Code-of-Practice-1-on-disciplinary-and-grievance-procedures.pdf)
Title: Re: Speaking on behalf of staff member
Post by: notsofunny on 03-05-18, 07:27PM
 :thumbup: