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?
- It gives you the tools you need to help your co-workers and yourself.
- It allows you to build a healthier and more democratic workplace.
- It gives you the ability to protect and defend your rights in the workplace.
- You become part of the solution.
- It is a good way to learn more and gain confidence.
- You can make new connections and build friendships.
- It is one of the best ways of staying informed.
- It is an opportunity to build new skills and practice old ones.
- It is an opportunity to work with other on a whole range of work-related community issues—privatization, child care, the environment, etc.
- It is an opportunity to make a difference.
How to Become a Steward
Discuss with your co-workers becoming a steward if there is a vacancy. Get their support.
- Complete a nomination form and submit it to SGEU.
- There may need to be an election if more than one nomination for a workplace is received.
- Once elected, you are registered and will 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 Leadership Development courses. The first level (ULD 10) is a oneday introductory course to the union and steward duties. We also sponsor advanced steward training through multi-day courses. These 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.