Union agent job description

Union Agent (Big Island/Oahu)

Under the supervision of the Field Services Officer (FSO), Division Chief (DC), or Manager, this position performs assignments as a trainee, to independently perform a limited scope of member services. The position is responsible for developing and nurturing interpersonal contacts with members and staff relative to contract enforcement and membership services, advocating for members in various meeting settings, participating in bargaining unit governance activities, assisting with member/steward recruitment and education, and contributing to meeting HGEA goals and objectives. Union Agents are covered by the Hawaii Association of Union Agents (HAUA) labor contract.



1. Utilizes available resources to gain a thorough understanding of HGEA operations, members’ rights, union benefits and services, dues structure, etc. Makes presentations to promote union membership and activism to individuals and groups.

2. Utilizes available resources to gain knowledge of timely union/member issues, current events involving HGEA, and developments in the labor movement to be able to speak out on issues affecting the union or our members.

3. At the direction of the supervisor, attends meetings that require supervisor or other staff to articulate HGEA’s position to individuals or groups. Provides supervisor with draft presentation or meeting summary, for training purposes, as requested.

4. Learns to recognize and respond to the need to advocate for an individual or a group of members on workplace issues.

5. Serves as a resource person to members and Stewards and responds to inquiries regarding contract provisions, rules and regulations and departmental procedures with supervisory guidance.

6. Develops knowledge of the reallocation, repricing, and recruitment/examination processes and related rules and regulations in order to respond to basic inquiries from members and assess the complexity of inquiries to determine potential contract violations or need for technical follow-up.


1. When assigned to Outreach, gains knowledge and experience working on informally settling issues, complaints, and disputes in the field through worksite visits, member meetings, and/or management personnel before escalation to grievance with supervisory guidance.

2. Develops relationships with members and leaders by visiting and introducing oneself at assigned worksites, making contacts via phone calls or e-mail and establishing rapport at union meetings and functions.

3. Recruits new members among employees represented by the HGEA, and encourages member retention through exceptional and timely service, information and support while educating union importance to potential opt outs.

4. Attends meetings with supervisor and/or other agents and takes notes on discussions in order to explain and summarize meeting issues in response to member inquiries following the meeting.

5. Solicits member volunteers for political action, community action and other activities as needed.

6. May be assigned to monitor and provide reports at routine meetings such as an agency council or Island Division, with direction and guidance from the supervisor.

7. Makes phone calls, sends e-mail messages, delivers / picks up materials, or drafts correspondence for supervisor’s review as assigned.

8. Under the Supervisor’s direction, performs meeting support functions, such as reserving meeting rooms, making coffee and ordering food, submitting appropriate and timely forms, and setting up / cleaning up / locking up meeting facilities.

9. Attends and participates in membership activities designed to encourage fellowship, and provides any assistance necessary to contribute to the event’s success.

10. Under direction and guidance of the supervisor, may speak before groups on HGEA/AFSCME organizational, collective bargaining, legislative, social, insurance and recreation programs.

11. Under direction and guidance of the supervisor, conducts field activities which may involve union elections, educational and informational meetings, membership services, arranging departmental visits and meetings, assignment to committees and panels, and handling other special assignments or projects.

12. Under the direction and guidance of the supervisor, may be assigned to solicit input from members on consultations and other matters impacting the Union, summarize the issues, and relay pertinent information to appropriate staff.


1. Gains familiarity with HGEA collective bargaining agreements, government functions and operations, labor relations, union structure, and work processes through self-directed interaction with the supervisor and other staff as well as formal training provided by HGEA.

2. Seeks guidance from the supervisor and senior agents to provide timely responses to member inquiries.

3. May conduct investigations and analyze material and information relating to grievance cases. For training purposes, may be asked to provide oral and/or written summaries of such investigations and follow up as necessary.

4. May assist supervisor and other Union Agents with grievances by making phone calls, setting up meetings, managing cases in UnionWare, drafting grievance letters and other correspondence to management and/or grievant.

5. May attend grievance meetings with the supervisor and other agents. May draft written presentation for training purposes, as requested. Assists by taking notes and providing observations to the supervisor/agent.

6. May be assigned cases to handle independently, with full responsibility for timely disposition of the cases and feedback to the supervisor for guidance or progress updates.

7. May prepare grievances for presentation and representation of members in accordance with contractual provisions, and keeps the supervisor apprised of grievance status.

8. May draft arbitration recommendations and consultation responses as requested by the Supervisor with appropriate guidance as needed.


1. Serves as a staff support person to the Island Division to coordinate meetings for the Island Division and its committees.

2. Attends staff meetings, participates in discussions and contributes meaningful input.

3. Performs other duties as assigned.


· Education: Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.

· Experience and Training: 1 to 3 years of labor relations experience, preferably in a union setting, union agent experience, or 1 to 3 years of employment in a government agency involving

handling complaints and resolving problems directly with customers/clients, or 1 to 3 years of handling complaints.

· Knowledge of:

o Microsoft Office programs preferred.

o Government operations and basic union principles and practices.

· Ability to:

o Operate a computer to generate letters, reports and other documents; work after hours and travel as needed.

o Develop effective working relationships with all staff members.

o Cooperate willingly with others and offer and/or responds to requests for assistance without jeopardizing own responsibilities.

o Consult with the supervisor on the internal and external systems and methods for providing advocacy for members.

· License: Valid Hawaii Drivers’ License and reliable personal vehicle to use for work.


· Customer Service

· Strong Written/Verbal Communication

· Experience presenting to various size groups.


· This position operates in a professional office and/or outside environment. Routinely uses standard office equipment, such as computers, phones, photocopies, etc.

Job Type: Full-time

Starting Pay: $4,522.00 per month

Application Requirements: Please submit cover letter and resume with the preferred job location that you are applying for to jobs@hgea.org. Positions (2) will remain open till filled.