Resources for Stewards and Councillors

Council meetingAs a Job Steward or Councillor in your workplace, you are the spokesperson for your union. You are a vital link between the membership and the elected leadership. You speak for your fellow members in the day-to-day relations between our union and management. For many members who don’t attend union meetings, you may be the only union representative with whom they come in contact.

To view the resources below, click on the title of each.

What is a Job Steward & How Do I Become One?

Know someone that is interested in being a job steward? Send them this guide on everything a job steward does.

Job Steward Manual

An invaluable guide to assist you in fulfilling your obligations to fellow MoveUP members in your workplace.

Grievance Forms

A violation of an employee’s rights on the job constitutes a legitimate grievance. Such rights are established by the collective agreement and any relevant legislation.

It’s a Job Steward’s duty to investigate all the facts surrounding an alleged violation and report it to a union representative at the MoveUP office. For more information refer to the Grievance Procedure.

Click the link above to find all the standard forms you require for filing for investigation and filing a grievance.

PowerPoint Presentation for New Member Orientation

Want an overview of MoveUP’s services and purpose? Giving a presentation to new MoveUP members? These customizable PowerPoint presentations guide you through a member orientation session.

BC Labour Code

The general rules governing all workplaces in the province.

Working Alone Regulations

An FAQs on the new Occupational Health and Safety Regulations on working alone or in isolation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Collective bargaining is a process whereby the representatives of the membership in a particular bargaining unit try to achieve the best possible contract settlement on behalf of the members in that bargaining unit.

As a Job Steward or Councillor, you play one of the most crucial roles in this process. You must provide the leadership required to keep the always diverse (and, occasionally, even hostile) elements of your group from providing the employer with the information they need to determine the offer that has even the slightest chance of being acceptable to a bare majority of the members.

Collective agreements are usually defined by statute as written documents between employers and trade unions.

More specifically, they are defined as agreements “in writing between an employer or an employer’s organization, on the one hand, and a trade union that, or a council of trade unions that, represents employees of the organization, on the other hand, containing provisions respecting terms and conditions of employment or the rights, privileges or duties of the employer, the employer’s organization, the trade union or the employees.”

An essential ingredient of a collective agreement is that it be between an employer and a trade union. The agreement must be signed and in writing. It is a legal and binding document.

It is the responsibility of the Job Steward to know the terms and conditions of the collective agreement, and ensured they are enforced.

You are the key.

Other than the Union Representative, you should know your collective agreement better than anyone in the bargaining unit. You should also know the clauses of the agreement which are particularly important to the members in your area. You are, therefore, in an excellent position to monitor the agreement and develop notes on the strength and weaknesses of various clauses.

Keep a file of your notes and pass the information to the Union Representative when proposals are solicited prior to each agreement expiry date.

Get your members involved by encouraging them to think about various aspects of the contract that are of special interest to each of them and encourage them to submit their own thoughtful proposals. Proposals should be limited to addressing the inadequacies of the current collective agreement and proposing realistic improvements.

The collective bargaining time is a good time to get members talking about the agreement. You can encourage discussion and help members to understand the meaning and intent of various clauses. Make it a topic for discussion at coffee break or during the lunch hour.

Once the proposals have been ratified, some measure of secrecy becomes important. The reason for this is rather simple. If the employer know what proposals the union is going to present, they can come up with a set of proposals that specifically counter the union’s.

Being faced with a set of counterproposals, which are intended to counteract any or each of your own proposals, is not the sort of situation that leads to fruitful collective bargaining.

While collective bargaining is underway, you must be continually aware of efforts by the employer to undermine the confidence and morale of your members. Assure your members that their elected representatives on the negotiating committee always have the total membership’s best interest in mind.

If there are any specific criticisms regarding collective bargaining, be sure they know that you, their Job Steward or Councillor, will pass the message along quietly and to the right people. This is not a time to display overt displeasure in your bargaining committee in front of management.

Help the members realize that ad hoc negotiations with their managers, or openly displaying dissatisfaction with their elected representatives, serves only to damage their own cause.

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