|METRO-Blue Lake Park
- For a question about the contract or the union
- You have been called into a meeting with management
- You think your rights have been violated at work or management is breaking the rules in the contract
- Management isn’t following its own policies
- Management is violating local, state or federal law
- You want to get more involved in building a voice for you and your coworkers in your worksite!
When you contact a steward be prepared to:
- Recount the issue, situation or story in some detail
- Participate in working together and taking action with your steward, other affected coworkers, other union members to fight for a fair resolution
- Stick with it – management may try to stall as a way of not having to change or fix a problem winning takes not giving up.
What stewards cannot do:
Discipline your coworkers – it is managements job to hold everyone to the same rules and standards at work. Shop stewards must represent everyone and every worker’s rights at work, so while a steward can help you bring issues and concerns forward, make suggestions about how to resolve inter coworker, and help improve worksite communication, it remains management’s job to enforce worksite rules and policies.
Do all the work of standing up for rights at work – the power of a union is the power of numbers. Stewards have volunteered their time to help their coworkers stand up for their rights at work but to be effective winning improvements in contract fights, defending contract rights and standing up for fair working conditions stewards will call on group action, support and participation to win.
- Find out more: contact current stewards, local staff and get more information about what stewards do, responsibilities of stewards and role in the union
- Get the support of your coworkers: circulate and gather signatures on the steward petition, which outlines your commitment to your coworkers as a steward. Gather at least 1 page of signatures from other members of Local 483 and turn it in to the union office.
- Begin acting as a steward: Start to attend steward meetings every 3rd Tues of the month at 4:30-5:30pm at the Musicians Hall. Attend steward trainings – check the calendar for this months training. Begin to work with your coworkers to stand up for their rights at work.
- Organize, bargain and take action together with your co-workers.
- Talk about your work, talk about the union with your co-workers and distribute information on non-work time in non-work areas but you also have the right to do these things on work time and in work areas provided it does not disrupt your ability to do your work and you could talk about or distribute information about other non-work related things in those areas and at those times.
- Be quoted in and have your picture on union literature, web page and facebook page.
- Wear union hats, buttons, shirts or stickers.
- Weingarten Rights are your rights to representation in meetings that could lead to discipline or change in your working conditions: If you are ever called into a meeting by management you should ask: “Will this
meeting potentially lead to discipline? If so, I would like to have a steward or union representative present in the meeting with me.” All union members have a legal right to request a steward or union representative be present in a meeting that could lead to discipline. Once they have made that request it is illegal for management to continue to question them without representation. Management does not have to inform you of your rights you must assert them!
Your employer cannot legally:
- Prohibit you from talking about the union
- Punish you for participating in union activity
- Make promises or threats
- Spy on you or question you about union activity
- Get trained as a steward and keep informed
- Work to represent their co-workers fairly
- Defend the contract and the rights at work of their co-workers
- Help maintain good communication with their co-workers
- Work together with the elected leaders, staff, and members of 483 to build a strong union.
Stewards speak up!
Union Power is only as strong as its workers, UNITED!Resa Allen, Metro Parks
Being a steward is about keeping management honest and to ensure we are treated fairly. Regardless of how I may personally feel or believe about an issue, I am a representative of our members and defend our contract. Even though most of us have just finished long contract fights, we as Local 483 need to prepare now for our next contract fight. The time to unite is NOW!Will Tucker, City of Portland, BES
I became a shop steward to help myself and others to understand the contract and stand up and fight for our rights.Randy King, City of Portland, BOM