The first time a member asks for help can be nerve-wracking, especially if you haven’t taken any steward training yet! While it’s important to take this request very seriously, you aren’t on your own. First of all, ask the member to provide you will full details of what has happened. Take careful notes. Review all relevant clauses of your collective agreement to see if there are other questions you need to ask them. Then tell them that you are going to consult with your chief steward, a more experienced steward, or your AAA (depending on the practice in your bargaining unit) and that you will get back to them shortly. Talk the case over with your chief steward or other representative, who can advise you what part(s) of the collective agreement have been violated, if any; what further information you may need to locate; and what steps should be taken next.