A Steward is a volunteer who represents the members in his or her immediate work area. A steward informs co-workers about union activities and issues; finds answers to questions about the Collective Agreement and other employment rights; and facilitates the sharing of opinions and concerns that influence the Union’s decision making, priorities and bargaining.
Ideally, your steward is who you’re gonna call when you have questions or problems at work. You can always call an elected officer directly, especially if a matter is sensitive or urgent. However, by going to your area steward first, you help build a wider and stronger experience base within our Local. You will also have someone in close contact who can follow up for you.
Stewards are not expected to do more than that. We all have families and interests outside of Seneca. However, for stewards who want more, there are many rewarding opportunities in health & safety, employment stability, human rights, grievance resolution and committees and meetings with management or other locals or unions. Stewards can also run for elected office in the Local, or for Regional and Provincial committees and elected positions.
No experience is necessary, but an interest in helping people is always good. We need representatives from every job category. There will be plenty of training, resources and support from more experienced stewards, and from the staff and experts at OPSEU.