Many City of Madison employees are represented by a Union or Employee Association. Supervisors must be aware of, and abide by, established policies and procedures relating to represented employees.

Avoiding Interference with Employee Unions/Associations

An employer or any agent of an employer has no right to exercise any power or influence over internal union or association affairs, union or association participation, or support for a union or association.  This means that while a Supervisor should be diligent in the management of employee performance and the maintenance of City rights and responsibilities, they should never interfere with union or association business. 

View detailed information about prohibited interactions between supervisors and represented employees.

Employee Right to Representation

Employees have rights to representation.  These rights are often referred to as “Weingarten Rights,” and are intended to ensure employees who are a witness or employee who is being investigated are free from any kind of coercion.  It is important that supervisors understand when an employee can have representation, and that they clearly communicate with staff.

View detailed information about employee rights to representation.

Grievance Process

Employees who believe a labor contract or handbook provision has been violated can submit a grievance to their supervisor to have the issue or issues addressed. This includes matters of discipline, if the employee believes the City failed to meet their burden of “just cause.”  Other grievances may be filed over the City’s application of the labor agreement.

View detailed information about the Grievance Process.


The City occasionally has disputes with employee unions or associations that can’t be resolved by mutual agreement.  After the issue has been processed through the established grievance process, the issue may be submitted for review by an independent third party who will act as an Arbitrator of that dispute. 

View detailed information about the Arbitration Process.

Mediation and Other Conflict Resolution Resources

Supervisors should not wait for a formal grievance to be filed to work toward conflict resolution. For consultation, resources, and mediation services for other types of workplace disputes, please contact the Employee Assistance Program.