Shop stewards are an integral part of any Local. Whether it is voicing the membership’s interests in a labour-management meeting or sitting in on a grievance, stewards have the power to transform a collective agreement from a mere piece of paper into a living protection of the rights of fellow members in the workplace.
Roles of a Shop Steward:
- Represent and protect workers
- Know and monitor the contract
- Problem solve on the job
- Attend union meetings
- Handle grievances
- Be the link between workers and management
- Meet and greet new members
- Organize internally
- Keep members informed
- Be a good listener
- Be an effective communicator
- Be aware of job openings
- Combat anti-union feelings
- Attend educational classes
What is a Grievance?
When a member comes to you with a problem, you have to determine what it is you are dealing with. Is it a grievance or a complaint that needs to be handled another way? Ask yourself:
- Does it violate a provision in the collective agreement?
- Is it a wrong interpretation of the collective agreement?
- Does it violate a provincial or federal law?
- Does it violate a past practice?
- Does it violate worker or union rights?
If the problem doesn’t fit one of these criteria, then it is a complaint rather than a grievance, which may require some other union action or involvement.
Frequently Used Stewards Forms:
- Grievance Form
- Investigation Form
- Grievance Checklist
- Referral to Next Grievance Step
- Request to Extend Grievance Timelines
Health & Safety Forms
For those members and stewards dealing with a Workplace Safety and Insurance Board Claim, click on the links below to be directed to some commonly used WSIB forms. For more information, or to access additional forms, visit the WSIB website.