Do you have a question involving the contract that you want answered?
Do you think you may have a grievance against your employer?
Have another general question you need information about?
Here's your chance to get an answer directly from one of Local 34's stewards or Chief Stewards.
Brian Olson - Senior Chief Steward - (NW Hub) 543-0165
Mara Ssengendo - Acting Junior Chief Steward - (1800 Chicago) 596-7161
AFSCME Local 34 Stewards
** The Chief Stewards recommend the appointment of stewards at the May GA each year
What do steward's do?
you have a problem on the job, when you need information
about your rights, when you want to know how to get
involved, see a steward. Your steward provides leadership
for the union in your work area.
receive training that helps them to address problems in the
work place. They've become familiar with our contract by
studying its provisions, answering questions from co-
workers and investigating grievances.
with the help of co-workers, ensure that management abides
by the terms of the contract we negotiate. When the terms
are violated, stewards provide help through effective
representation to the employees who've been affected. Their
goal is to solve any problems that occur.
problems can be resolved quickly and informally, but others
might take several months if arbitration is required. In
such cases, your steward will keep you informed as the case
Stewards will notify you about union meetings and events as they're scheduled. Many stewards are active on union committees and, as a result, will solicit your opinions on a variety of employee concerns.
Outline of the general role of the Union Steward in the workplace.
grievance handler - our members expect stewards to represent
their grievances to management. Your success as a grievance
handler will determine your success as a steward.
Leadership - A leader gets things done with a minimum of
conflict. A leader sparks the enthusiasm and enlists the
cooperation of fellow workers.
Organizer - The steward must win the willing support of a
great majority of the group. Successful union-management
relations require an equal balance of power.
educator - The Local and International Union have definite
policies and programs. The Steward must understand them and
communicate these ideas to the rank-and-file.
5) A traffic manager - The steward must be able to direct the "traffic" of problems and communications effectively. In order to do this you must be able to look, listen and speak. You must be able to direct people with problems to the proper channels and direct grievances to the appropriate people.
AFSCME STEWARD HANDBOOK - UPDATED 2013 (document is posted in PDF format by chapter)
The AFSCME Steward Handbook has been developed to help you become an effective steward, regardless of your particular work situation. A wealth of information is packed into these pages, everything from steward responsibilities to grievance handling skills, from legal issues to the history of AFSCME. While every piece of information may not apply to your specific circumstances, apply those principles and guidelines that do.
Right to Union Representation
rights of unionized employees to have present a union
representative during investigatory interviews were
announced by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 1975 case
vs. Weingarten, Inc. 420 U.S. 251, 88 LRRM 2689). These rights have become known
as the Weingarten rights.
have Weingarten rights only during investigatory interviews.
An investigatory interview occurs when a supervisor
questions an employee to obtain information which could be
used as a basis for discipline or asks an employee to defend
his or her conduct.
employee has a reasonable belief that discipline or other
adverse consequences may result from what he or she says,
the employee has the right to request union representation.
Management is not required to inform the employee of his/her
Weingarten rights; it is the employee’s responsibility to
know and request. Management does have a responsibility,
however, to inform you of your right to union
employee makes the request for a union representative to be
present management has three options:
(I) it can stop questioning until the representative arrives.
(2) it can call off the interview or,
(3) it can tell the employee that it will call off the interview unless the employee voluntarily gives up his/her rights to a union representative (an option the employee should always refuse.)
will often assert that the only role of a union
representative in an investigatory interview is to observe
the discussion. The Supreme Court, however, clearly
acknowledges a representative's right to assist and counsel
workers during the interview.
Supreme Court has also ruled that during an investigatory
interview management must inform the union representative of
the subject of the interrogation. The representative must
also be allowed to speak privately with the employee before
the interview. During the questioning, the representative
can interrupt to clarify a question or to object to
confusing or intimidating tactics.
While the interview is in progress the representative cannot tell the employee what to say but he may advise them on how to answer a question. At the end of the interview the union representative can add information to support the employee's case.