Represented and Non-Represented Employees: Concepts & Definitions

HEERA Definitions

Under the HEERA, most employees including work leaders can be exclusively represented by an employee organization.  Exclusively represented employees are covered by a labor contract. On their Personnel Action Forms, these rank and file employees have an "E" Employee Relations Code. The Employee Relations Code is assigned to each position by the Central Human Resources Classification Unit based on a review of the job description or the job vacancy listing. Case law under HEERA has not generally supported a management structure that establishes supervisors with responsibility for fewer than 1.0 FTE.

Although supervisors may join and participate in employee organizations, they cannot be exclusively represented on supervisory employer-employee relations issues. Neither can they participate in the same local union as exclusively represented employees. Supervisors have a "C" Employee Relations Code. Managerial employees (Employee Relations Code "A") are not covered by the HEERA and thus have no legal rights to join or participate in employee organizations. A managerial employee is one who has significant responsibilities for formulating or administering policy or programs.

In addition to managers, confidential employees (Employee Relations Code "F") are also excluded from HEERA and thus have no employee organizational rights. A confidential employee is one who is required to develop or present management's position with respect to negotiations with unions, or whose duties normally require access to confidential information that contributes significantly to the development of such management positions. As a practical matter, almost all confidential employees are in Human Resources and the Chancellor's Office.

Employee Representation

The campus has both exclusively-represented employees and non-represented employees.

Exclusive Representatives

An organization that has won the right (by employee vote conducted by the PERB) to represent a certain group of employees with related job classifications is known as an exclusive representative. The University may address only that organization concerning matters of rights for those employees. These employees are covered by a bi-lateral agreement -- a labor contract negotiated between the University and the exclusive representative.

A list of the exclusive representatives at the University is available on the Labor Relations website, where you will find more information about all aspects of labor relations at the University.

Non-Exclusively Represented Employees

Employees including supervisors who are covered by the Personnel Policies for Staff Members (University of California Office of the President) do not have exclusive representatives.  The University is obligated to notify individual employees of proposed changes in their wages, hours, terms, and conditions of employment, and to meet and discuss those changes with employees or their representatives, including employee organizations.

Representation of Supervisors

Supervisors also have rights under the HEERA to be represented in grievances and in meetings with management regarding their terms and conditions of employment; however, there are legal restrictions on those rights. Supervisory employees cannot elect an exclusive bargaining agent or negotiate collective bargaining agreements. Further, supervisory employees cannot represent non-supervisory employees, or vice versa, in grievances or in discussions with management over wages, hours, or terms and conditions of employment. Managers and confidential employees do not have rights under the HEERA. They may not be represented in grievance matters investigatory interviews by supervisory or rank and file employees.

Employee Complaint Procedures

In any employment situation, disagreements or differences between employees and supervisors can occur.  When they do, it is important that you respond quickly and effectively so that a minor issue does not grow into one which cannot be resolved. If informal efforts to resolve a difference or dispute fail, all staff employees have access to a complaint procedure. These complaint procedures provide a precise structure for formally resolving issues in an orderly fashion. If efforts fail to resolve the disagreement or difference at each step of the procedure, certain issues can be submitted to arbitration, in which a third party makes a decision based on evidence and testimony provided at a formal hearing.

Arbitration of Employee Complaints

When efforts to resolve an employee's complaint through the grievance procedure fail, the employee and/or union can, in certain instances, appeal the matter to arbitration. At an arbitration hearing, a neutral third party hears testimony and reviews written exhibits presented by the employee/union and the University. The neutral party issues a written decision, which in most instances is final and binding on both parties.

Arbitration Under the Collective Bargaining Agreements

Under the labor agreements, only the union can appeal issues to arbitration. The arbitrator, whose decisions are final and binding, is selected from a permanent preapproved panel. Costs are shared equally by the union and the University. Any grievance can be taken to arbitration, but the University may argue at the hearing that a particular issue is non-arbitrable based on the specific wording of the contract provision being arbitrated.


When your department or unit is contemplating changes to the working environment that will affect an employee or group of employees, you must provide information about certain kinds of changes to the exclusive representatives. Of course, you will want to begin informing your employees about your plans as early as possible. When a proposal has reached the stage of being reasonably certain (but not cast in stone yet), it is time to send information to the unions involved.

Notice is the term used to describe this information process. You'll hear it referred to as both a verb and a noun.

Why Provide Notice

In some cases, whether or not to provide notice is outlined in a labor contract. Case law issued by the Public Employee Relations Board of the State of California also creates the obligation to notice.

For employees not represented by an exclusive representative, you are obligated to provide notice directly to the employees. The University has a policy of providing simultaneous notice to employee organizations that have expressed an interest in representing such employees.