Stewards and chief stewards form the backbone of the union and are essential to ensure workplace issues are dealt with. They are the people members go to if they have a problem. Stewards are the link between local members and the union. Stewards are SGEU’s recognized representative in the workplace and are elected for two year terms. It is a role that the union takes seriously.
Why Become a Steward?
- You gain the tools you need to help your co-workers and yourself.
- You can build a healthier and more democratic workplace.
- You are able to protect and defend your rights in the workplace.
- You become part of the solution to workplace challenges and conflicts.
- You will learn more and gain confidence.
- You can make new connections and build friendships.
- You will stay informed.
- You will build new skills and practice old ones.
- You can work with other on a whole range of work-related community issues—privatization, child care, the environment, etc.
- You will make a difference.
How to Become a Steward
If there is a steward vacancy in your workplace, discuss your interest in becoming a steward with your co-workers to get their support.
- Complete a nomination form and submit it to SGEU.
- Note: There may need to be an election if more than one nomination for a workplace is received.
- Once elected, you will be registered and receive updates and invitations to attend steward training courses.
- Share what you learn with your co-workers.
SGEU provides quality training for stewards through our union learning development courses. The first level (LD 10) is a one-day introductory course to the union and steward duties. We also sponsor advanced steward training through multi-day courses. These advanced courses assist stewards in understanding their collective agreement and their role in the workplace. You can attend courses without loss of pay and expenses are covered.
Stewards can request assistance from other stewards, their bargaining committee and SGEU’s professional staff when they have questions or require direction. SGEU provides steward newsletters, educational materials, conferences and on-line information to assist our stewards.