The many roles of a steward
As an SEIU steward, your job involves much, much more than handling grievances. Grievances are important; they are often the most visible and dramatic aspect of the union’s presence.
But grievances should never be confused with your chief responsibility as a steward: to build a united, organized, and involved membership in your workplace.
As a leader in the workplace, you’ll have your hands full. That’s because SEIU stewards are…
Organizers. This doesn’t just mean signing up new members (although it means that too). It means being responsible for organizing your workplace to deal with problems as a united group.
Problem solvers. You’re the person workers turn to with their problems. It might be a worksite hazard. Maybe someone’s been fired, or perhaps layoffs are threatened. It might be a new worker with a question. Perhaps you can solve the problem with a friendly word, or maybe you’ll organize a worksite action or file a grievance.
Educators and communicators. The contract. The health insurance plan. What’s a “ULP?” How can I do this? Why did they do that? It’s a complicated world, and your colleagues are counting on you to help them make sense of it. Your union officers are counting on you to help them keep in touch with your co-workers. Stewards learn as they go from experience, training, and organizer support.
Worksite leaders. You’re the one who keeps it moving. You’re the one who’s not afraid to speak up to management. You make unity happen, and you never let anyone forget there’s a union at your worksite.
Elections & Requirements of Stewards
Each local has their own process and procedure for electing stewards. You should contact a union leader in your worksite or your organizer to find out more about the process where you work.
If you are interested in becoming a steward, consider attending a steward training. Please contact your organizer for more information and to sign up for a training near you.
Homecare and Personal Support Worker Steward Applications
Please use the following forms to apply to be a steward. Note, these only apply to Homecare or Personal Support Workers. Other SEIU 503 members should contact the Member Assistance Center for additional information.