Resources For Stewards

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.


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