Resolving Workplace Issues: The Formal Approach

Utilizing Your Union Representation

Most commonly, criminal justice institutions have organized unions representing the interests of its constituency (COs, LEOs, Dispatchers, Court Clerks, etc). With that said, it would be prudent for any union member to pose his/her concerns regarding workplace environment deficiencies/contentions to a union delegate. Appointed delegates typically are current or former peace officers (many have gone on to law school to attain Juris Doctorate degrees), or are labor attorneys hired by unions to represent its members in such actions.

To the point, paying for union membership via dues affords legal representation in situations where disputes or issues require formal resolution. With that said, it behooves the complainant to exercise this right, have an attorney/delegate prepare documents for filing, and meet with prison administrators to remedy the purported malady. It is most often an effective use of resources, all provided by the union. Additionally, all events and statements are usually recorded (No he said/she said banter or twisted points of discussion will ensue; simply consult the records).

The inherent benefits of utilizing a trained/skilled legal professional (often known as arbiters) who wage a case in an official capacity, is that the complainants rights are exercised and preserved, and the outcome may provide dividends to not only the person filing a complaint but to many other COs who are currently serving dutifully (and those who have yet to be hired). I have found union delegates to be quite talented at what they do, sometimes laying to rest any foolhardy behaviors/assertions by managers/commanders/executives. By citing/recording employment-oriented laws, union contract agreements, and administrative rules/regulations, the process is conducted to the letter.

Stephen Owsinski

Stephen Owsinski

Stephen Owsinski is Brooklyn-born and spent his law enforcement career in Tampa Bay. He studied Criminology and English in West Central Florida. The breadth of Stephen's police life was spent in the Patrol Division, culminating in his role as a Field Training Officer (FTO). Stephen maintains a focus on trends in--and the altering dynamics of--the law enforcement profession. He enjoys writing and reading, is a photo-realistic portrait artist, and revels in time with his children.
Stephen Owsinski

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