Bulletin 03/06

March 3, 2006


Executive Council
Alternate Regional Vice-Presidents
Local Presidents

RE: UTE Directive on EAP Referral Agents

As there appears to be confusion around the issue of UTE union representatives becoming Referral Agents, the National EAP Committee would like to remind you of the position adopted by the UTE Executive Council at the June 2004 meeting and recently re-confirmed at the December 2005 Executive Council meeting (see EAP report).

“We feel that the role of a Referral Agent is very different than that of a Union Representative. We do not believe that Union Representatives should be or could be Referral Agents. Union Representatives are trained to give advice, to guide, to resolve situations, to speak on behalf of our members, to represent, to intervene etc… Referral Agents are not mandated to do any of these roles. It would be very difficult to listen to someone and not to offer help to resolve his/her situation.”

In summary, because Council believes that it is not possible to balance these two roles and to have to decide which role is appropriate for a given situation, Council has agreed that a UTE Union Representative cannot act as a referral agent. Should a Union Representative wish to become a Referral Agent, he/she will be asked to resign from his/her union position.”

We hope that will avoid any confusion in future.

Please share this bulletin with the UTE EAP representative on your local committee.

In Solidarity,

Jerry Dee
Chairperson, EAP Committee