Definition: A union member appointed as the union representative of a shop or department in dealings with the management.
Role and Responsibility
As a BAC Steward, you have daily contact with the members, other trades, and management. How the local and the Union as a whole are perceived by each of these groups is influenced by your attitude and behavior. If you are positive about the Union, if you maintain your composure, if you demonstrate a commitment to quality, then a good impression of the Union is conveyed.
On the job, you are both a worker and the local unions representative. In this capacity, you are called on to educated the members about the Union and respond to their questions or refer them to the Principal Officer of your local. In addition, you are called on to solve everyday job related problems. In most cases – by using common sense – you will be able to resolve these problems with little or no difficulty. The key things to remember are to be fair, unprejudiced, listen carefully, be thorough in your investigation, and maintain a high level of respect for both the workers and management. And when in doubt about how to handle the situation,call the field representative in your area.
Unless otherwise stated in you local’s collective bargaining agreement, the Principal Officer has the final authority to appoint Stewards on jobs. No journey-level employees will be discriminated against in their right to be a Steward.
- Organizing and union building – introducing yourself to new or potential members and offering to answer any questions they have about the Union.
- Listening to members needs and concerns
- Protecting members rights on the job – including making sure that work and safety rules outlined in the collective bargaining agreement or working code are enforced.
- Communicating with the field representative in your area – making sure that he/she is aware of member questions and concerns and is kept informed of all problems or potential problems on the job.
- Responding promptly and decisively to all complaints, including those involving any form of harassment.
- Maintaining good records of members and hours worked on the job, details related to problems or grievances, accident reports, and safety concerns raised.
- Acting as a model of fairness – treating everyone the same – regardless of race, creed, gender, age, sexual orientation, or political belief.
- Working productively and following good work practices will give you credibility with both management and your fellow members.
- Solving problems – work related and others. As a service organization we should be concerned with our members – both on and off the jobsite. If we can help – we should.
- Supporting your local officers and the Union by attending union meetings.
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