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Writing a Rebuttal
Updated On: Apr 05, 2019
You’ve just received a notice of discipline or performance evaluation that you don’t agree with.
Now what do you do?
As a member of a UPSEU bargaining unit, you have representation to help preserve your rights! But, it is still important for you to know what your rights are.
Employees have the right to respond in writing to any information contained in their office personnel file. This reply will become a permanent part of the personnel file. This gives employees an important opportunity to respond to any negative performance evaluations or notices of discipline with in their files. The objective of a written rebuttal should be to present positive information in support of the employee’s performance or actions. Following are some guidelines to keep in mind when composing a rebuttal.UPSEU representatives are available to assist you in preparing you response/rebuttal.
Do not exceed one page in length. A clear, concise rebuttal will be more effective in helping the reader understand your point of view. You should be able to communicate your rebuttal on one page. Avoid the urge to convey too much information about the adverse incident or evaluation. Too much information will likely confuse the reader and negate the persuasive impact of your rebuttal.
Avoid negative, defensive statements. A positive statement can be more effective in rebutting the negative interpretation of the incident. For example, resist the urge to be defensive and state: “Co-worker Smith deserved my sharp comments.” A more positive and effective approach would be to say: “My interactions with co-workers are always professional and appropriate.”
Do not include derogatory comments about co-workers or supervisors. You have the opportunity to review a copy of all adverse statements prepared by your employer for inclusion in your personnel files. Your written rebuttal is not subject to verification, therefore, negative statements about others are not appropriate to include in this document. Otherwise, these employees would have to be granted the opportunity to respond to your negative statements. This would not be practical nor desirable. Call your UPSEU Representative for assistance. You UPSEU Representative will review the draft of your rebuttal, offer suggestions to increase its impact and work with you to prepare the final document.
Include a copy of the rebuttal in your personnel files. UPSEU will send the rebuttals directly to the appropriate persons for inclusion in your personnel files.
IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOUR RIGHTS ARE,
AND DON’T INSIST THAT YOUR RIGHTS BE OBSERVED, YOU HAVE IN EFFECT GIVEN THEM UP!