Mar 24 2009

Volunteer to be a Steward: We Need You

Category: Meetings,Point of InformationBob Hanke @ 8:29 am

An important 2009-2010 goal for CUPE 3903 Stewards’ Council is to strengthen our role and presence within York University.

We are in the final planning stage for an Steward Orientation to their role and function; education of part-time faculty about their collective rights and their opportunities to contribute to the union’s mandate is an important part of the Steward’s role. The orientation topics will include:

Collective Agreement (as it pertains to SC role of member rights etc)
3903 CUPE bylaws (as it pertains to SC role of member rights etc)
Equity in the union and workplace, including accessibility, gender, persons of color etc
Member Grievances
Roles of office staff in relation to SC functions
Health and safety in the environment
Health benefits, including extended
Effective verbal communication skills in supporting member queries etc
Posting employment opportunities
Completion of forms ( eg. annual employment renewals)

Please go to the Stewards’ Council Orientation schedule and complete all your available times from March 31 -April 13; please be flexible as there are a # of people in Units 1, 2, and 3 to accommodate. If you can only attend morining sessions, indicate the days/morning times in the comments sections.


Each university department should have at least one steward who acts as a point person and liaison with the rest of the union. All stewards meet monthly (sometimes more often) and are trained with the current collective agreements to assist members in their departments. Stewards play an important political role by disseminating information to members and mobilizing within departments, both around specific issues with the employer and also in relation to other social justice struggles within the community as a whole.

Stewards Protect the Collective Agreements; they can play an important role in helping to gather information on collective agreement violations and ensuring that all members are protected. We can organize and mobilize support for campus-wide initiatives that aim to fight back against breaches of our collective agreements as well as on basic worker and human rights. These initiatives will be more successful with an active and representative Stewards’ Council.

On a departmental level the role of stewards can include:

clarifying the collective agreement provisions for each unit
answering questions from members in department
passing on reminders about union meetings and other information
attending departmental meetings
following through on member’s grievances (including attending grievance meetings with members)
organizing departmental meetings or actions when collective responses are necessary
informing members about the ways they can participate in and help shape the important political work of the local
encouraging member participation in the union’s day-to-day functioning
keeping members informed about issues in the local and important struggles in the community

At the union level the role of stewards can include:

attending Stewards’ Council meetings (one per month) and GMMs usually once per month
participation in Stewards’ council committees
participation in union political campaigns

Who are current departmental stewards?

Visit this website and review the Departmental List for Stewards (left hand index under Unon Central) but remember that lists can be outdated, curent members may choose to withdraw, and most importantly we are missing Steward reps from a number of York departments and have very few U2 reps.