The Face of the Union
What is a steward?
A steward, or sometimes referred to as a shop steward, is the contact person at a job site. As a steward at the University of Lethbridge you are the face of the union within your faculty. Your job is to stay informed on union and university activities and engage your colleagues on union matters. Your job requires you to know and understand the collective agreement so that you can provide your colleagues with information about their rights. Last, you are not doing this alone, there is a network of stewards across campus and the LRC committee you can lean on for difficult questions or situations. The key is that you are the communication conduit between the ULGA and members.
Why do we need stewards?
First, we need stewards to create connections with members so that they feel comfortable coming forward with workplace issues. If the union doesn’t know of problems we cannot fix them. Second, as an information hub. We are graduate students running the union, we know how busy grad school is, and emails do not get read. However, there is important information that needs to be talked about with members and it’s easier to do that in a casual setting rather than via email or town halls. Third, this network will show strength and unity of graduate workers, these are key when negotiating and submitting grievances. We are stronger together!
How do I become a steward? What are the requirements?
Please contact us (email@example.com) with your interest. We are currently looking for stewards from each faculty: Arts & Science, Dhillon School of Business, Education, Fine Arts, and Health Sciences, as well as a Chief Steward.
Requirements for being a steward:
- You must be academically employed;
- You must attend the following workshops hosted by the PSAC:
- Talking Union Basics (TUBs), Grievance Handling Workshop, and Shop Stewards workshop. All workshops are day long commitments, remuneration for attendance is provided by the PSAC.
- Monthly meetings/report submission (when absent from meetings)
- Creating connections within your faculty (which may mean you need to go to other departments within your faculty)