In a recent post (Manager: Its Legal Definition), I recounted a response to an HR HelpLine client on how he could promote a union employee to a nonunion manager. My response elicited a comment from another client (listed below, with the client name redacted), which I wanted to share with you:
Client Comment: Many issues to consider here. First of all, if the employer is promoting a person from the Union to exempt status, how can that person still have many of the same duties as that of the Union person? In our organization, the duties of the “supervisor” need to be different than those of the Union position or we run the risk of grievances for a supervisor doing “Union-type” work. Also, in munis (the client is a municipal public power), only the General Manager can “hire, transfer, lay off, promote, or discharge” employees. We’ve promoted employees from the Union to management on occasion, but it usually depends on the person and the Union group. In our organization, where there is a significant divide in philosophy between the Union and management, it is often difficult to get a Union employee to crossover into management and embrace a completely different ideology, especially if he/she will be supervising his/her former Union group. The new supervisor often struggles with the new thinking, and with holding his/her former “buddies” accountable.
Dacri Response: Continue reading