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EDUCATION    officers / stewards / members / workplace issues


Stewards are responsible for working with the members in identifying and addressing workplace issues, protecting the gains won and improving working conditions. The UE strives to provide Stewards with the best information possible to carry out their responsibilities. The majority of links provided here can be found on the UE Website under the heading "Information for Workers":

Goals of Stewards
Four ways a Steward can help build a strong active local
25 GOALS that every Union Steward should strive to achieve

Basic Steward Rights and Responsibilities
Duty of Fair Representation
Weingarten Rights
Your rights as a Steward
Processing Grievances as a Right under the Contract
Setting up a Grievance Log

Investigating and Handling Grievances
Investigating Grievances
Information Requests as part of Investigation
Using the NLRA to Gain Information
Step One of Grievance Procedure (verbal step)
Step Two of Grievance Procedure (written step)
Wnning Past Practice Grievances
Handling Difficult Situations (weak grievanaces)
"JUST CAUSE" Discipline and Discharge

Arbitration Information
The UE Case Against Using Arbitration
What it Takes to Win an Arbitration

New Members
Welcoming New Members

Four ways a Steward can help build a strong active local:

  1. Handle grievances effectively;
  2. Tell the members what is going on in the local instead of nagging them about not coming to meetings;
  3. Ask the members for their opinions about union and workplace issues;
  4. Relate to the members in a friendly, personal manner. In other words, steady, consistent, personal two-way communication makes all the difference in whether or not members feel that they are part of the union.

25 GOALS that every Union Steward should strive to achieve:

  1. Be a responsible leader. Don't let personalities prejudice your actions.
  2. Be a positive example to your members.
  3. Keep yourself informed about all union matters.
  4. Keep your co-workers informed about union policies and union activities.
  5. Meet and greet new workers as soon as they come on the job. Inform them, educate them, and help them become active members.
  6. Get the people in your work location to act as a union - help them understand that everyone gains when everyone sticks together.
  7. Attend union meetings. Encourage and bring the members from your department. Don't get down on members for missing meetings. Rather, think of other ways to communicate with them about what the union's working on.
  8. Give the membership respect by listening to their problems and treating them seriously.
  9. Fight all discrimination. Discourage prejudice of any kind. It does not belong in a union.
  10. Keep accurate and timely records. Write it down: you never know when your written notes will help win a grievance or save a job.
  11. Do not promise what you cannot deliver.
  12. Support union activity everywhere. Solidarity knows no bounds.
  13. Be an active worker in your union's political action program by registering members, distributing informational materials and working every day as if it were Election Day eve.
  14. Have current copies of and always be ready to refer to your union contract, by-laws, and district and national constitutions.
  15. Encourage and support the union's effort to organize the unorganized.
  16. Be sure your co-workers know of all the services available through the union.
  17. Let no anti-union remark go unanswered. Whenever you meet it, fight the anti-union element with education and information.
  18. If you do not know the answer to a member's question on a union or contract matter, do not hesitate or stall. Nobody expects you to know everything. Say you do not know, then try to get the answer and get back to the member.
  19. Look for ways to involve the union in community-based activities. If your local union does not already have a community services committee, you might want to volunteer to help create one.
  20. In dealing with management, remember that you are the elected representative of your brothers and sisters. Despite what management might say or do, when you're dealing with union business, you are always management's equal.
  21. Be proud to be a steward or officer. You are a leader in a movement that affects millions of people and which has a rich history and culture. Learn about it.
  22. Wear your union button and encourage other members to wear it as well.
  23. Investigate every grievance as if it were your own. Keep the member informed. Make sure you keep your deadlines. There is no excuse for missing a deadline or a timelimit. Research every grievance as if it were going to arbitiration, but try to resolve it at the lowest possible level. Keep the union informed of the status of each grievance.
  24. Make labor education an integral part of the local union's daily business. An educated membership and leadership makes a strong union.
  25. Remember that your goal is to be the best union representative you can be.