It was a difficult week. I had to fire someone. This was the culmination of 2 years of structured feedback progressing to systemic feedback and leading to the disciplinary process and 2 specific action plans. I want to thank Manager Tools for all I have been able to learn and put into practice.
This is a professional union employee that I like very much. I used the knowledge gained through these podcasts and the MT training conference to make the behavioral expectations as crystal clear as possible. When we gathered for the final disciplinary meeting the employee knew he had violated the terms of our agreement. He offered to resign in lieu of termination. That is a plus for him and our organization. The union rep knew he had violated the terms of his action plan and sat silent through the hearing. My boss and the HR rep said that was the first time in 25 years this union rep had not exploded in cries of unfair labor practices. I could hardly get through the meeting and the union rep came in the next morning to check on how I was doing. When does that ever happen???
Putting someone out of work is not easy and it never should be. This result was not the preferred one, I would have much preferred that the employee would have remediated his behavior and performed as expected. I have manager tools to thank for a system that empowered me to meet the needs of the agency and let this employee show us whether he could or could not do the job.
People say that you cannot fire a union employee for anything that is not immoral or illegal. That is not true. It takes a great deal of documentation, time and due diligence. But it can be done. I'm sorry it had to be done, but very grateful for the confidence that we did whatever we could to coach the behaviors that were necessary.