Labor relations between the University and/or employees and employee organizations are governed by the Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act (the HEERA). The HEERA is administered by the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB). Most campus employees have the right to form, join, and participate in unions as well as the right not to form, join, or participate in unions. Most employees may elect unions or employee organizations to represent them in negotiations regarding terms and conditions of employment. Employees may be represented by individuals or by unions during investigative interviews or in the grievance process.
Before the passage of the HEERA in 1979, two parties participated in departmental personnel activities: you, as a representative of the University, and your employees. Systemwide staff personnel policies, campus procedures, and departmental work rules were conceived and put into operation by the University. Managers and supervisors were able to act more or less unilaterally in making decisions about employees. After 1979 a third party, the union, was legally inserted as a participant in the University's personnel activities. On many issues concerning employees the University must consult with and in some cases reach agreement with the union before acting.
While the legalistic framework of the work environment may have changed, the needs of employees and the principles of good personnel management have not. This chapter will discuss some of your common responsibilities in areas where the union may or may not be a participant. It is not intended to modify the fundamental principles of human resources, personnel management, and employee communications, or to change the way you relate to your employees.
Managers, Supervisors, and Work Leaders
To function well, an organization needs designated managers and supervisors who have specific enduring assignments. Usually the charge given to such a manager or supervisor is responsibility for continuing operations. In some cases work leaders or forepersons assure that day-to-day operational tasks are completed accurately and on time. The rights and responsibilities of managers, supervisors, and work leaders are different.