Role of a Steward
Organizer. Our most important job is to build an active, united and involved membership in our workplace. Our ability to defend and improve conditions is based on the collective power of our membership.
- Welcome new employees and let them know how they can become involved
- Find ways to involve more members in the activities of our union
Educator and Communicator. The most effective form of communication is one-on-one workplace conversations. Flyers, emails and meetings are all important, but the best way to inform members, get feedback, and encourage participation is through personal contact and sustained relationships.
- Listen and learn about members’ problems and concerns
- Educate workers about our union, their rights under the contract, and how their involvement is important to making change
- Be a link between the membership and officers
Problem-Solver. We are the people our co-workers turn to with problems and we should be prepared with various strategies for solving them.
- Mobilize members to solve problems as a united group
- Work with Local leadership to solve problems informally
Leader. We are builders of unity and power in the workplace. We motivate our co-workers to be a part of the solution and lead by example.
- Help create a workplace union culture
- Build unity – find common ground on problems that threaten to divide our co-workers
- Make sure everyone has the opportunity to be involved in our union
Duties of a Steward
No individual is responsible for all of these tasks. Instead, the steward is responsible for organizing the workplace, building a worksite team and involving members so that tasks are shared and are performed on a regular basis.
–Get to know and build relationships with the workers in your unit.
–Greet new members and help them get oriented.
–Attend official new employee orientations if applicable.
–Ask workers to join the union.
–Provide pathways for members to get more involved in their union.
–Develop other member leaders’ skills and abilities.
–Hold worksite or department meetings.
–Assist in keeping updated phone numbers, addresses and emails of members.
–Work on contract campaigns.
–Organize rallies, vigils, work actions, petitions, demonstrations and other activities.
–Keep bulletin boards up to date.
–Distribute flyers, leaflets and surveys to members.
–Attend training classes.
–Attend General Membership Meetings and Steward Meetings