7.1 The Employer recognizes the right of the Union to designate stewards from the bargaining unit. The union will endeavor to have Sergeants represent Sergeants and Lieutenants represent Lieutenants and will avoid obvious conflicts of interest. The Union will inform the Office of Labor Relations of the stewards' names.
7.2 Paid release time for the designated stewards will be provided for representing employees at investigatory meetings (upon request, the Employer will allow bargaining unit members to be represented at investigatory meetings when the employee reasonably believes disciplinary action may result from the meeting) and at grievance meetings attended by both parties. When designated stewards are granted paid release time they shall experience no loss in pay, however such time shall not be construed as work time and overtime will not be paid when meetings extend beyond the employee's regular work hours. Paid release time shall be granted by supervision following a request but in consideration of any job responsibilities. If permission for time off cannot be immediately granted, the supervisor will arrange for time off at the earliest reasonable time thereafter.
7.3 The union shall prevail upon all employees in the bargaining unit and especially Union stewards, to make a diligent and serious attempt to resolve complaints at the lowest possible level. The Employer, likewise, shall prevail upon its supervisory personnel to cooperate fully with the Union stewards in the speedy resolution of any grievances that may arise.
7.4 Bulletin Boards. The Union shall be designated space on a bulletin board for the posting of notices relating to official union business.
7.5 Union Access. Union business such as investigating grievances and other legitimate routine matters may be conducted on Police Department premises provided that such business does not interfere with Police Department operations. The Employer shall provide reasonable access to Department premises to authorized Union representatives for the purpose of handling grievances and other legitimate Union business provided that such access does not interfere with the work and duties of Union employee stewards or of other on-duty employees. Scheduled Union meetings may be held in Police Department facilities provided that such meetings do not interfere with Police Department operations and are approved in advance by the Police Chief.
7.6 Contract Training. Whereas it benefits the University to have Union stewards who understand the contract and are trained in administration of the contract, each of the Union's stewards shall be allowed a total of sixteen (16) working hours annually without loss of pay to participate in the Union's steward training program. Said time off shall be approved in advance by the employee's supervisor and shall be contingent upon the ability to provide coverage during the time off. Time off will be limited to a maximum of two (2) stewards at sixteen (16) hours each.