New Shop Steward Knowledge Base

Discussion in 'UPS Union Issues' started by OneRouteWonder, Oct 4, 2009.

  1. OneRouteWonder

    OneRouteWonder New Member

    Hey guys,

    I am interested if anyone here is a shop Steward and can tell me a little bit
    about their experience in being elected for that particular role. My only fear
    is that I don't yet have overwhelming knowledge of the contract committed
    to memory. I am curious what it is like the first time around.

    In my center the largest problem to date is the willingness of fellow teamsters
    to meet the current Steward half way on any issue or grievance. They all want
    him to be their lawyer and they sit and watch.

    It gets out of control in that they don't even want to hand write their grievance,
    or are simply too scared because they feel that management will retaliate
    against them (For which are are protected from!!!!)

    Curious to hear any stories or ideas to improve a situation like this.
    A lot of fellow co-workers don't believe in the union and they are just there to collect
    the benefits of it without putting anything back in.

    I apologize for mostly ranting on about my center, but I'm guessing
    this is going to be the biggest obstacle to overcome.
  2. jimstud

    jimstud Banned

    stewards are not supposed to fill out grievences, they are filled out by the member then you as the steward are supposed to go to management and come up with a solution.if that dosen't work you hand it over to the ba.your guys are not going to back you most of the time, so if you take the job becareful. you do need to read the contract and have a pretty good working knowledge of it.
  3. MC4YOU2

    MC4YOU2 Yep, not wearing brown anymore

    Congratulations on being elected. You will find for the most part you will have to learn on the fly, and experience will be your best teacher. This forum definitely has a lot of valuable info, as there are many years of Teamster experience represented as well as usually a company side counterpoint.

    Here are my suggestions.

    1. Read your entire contract and all supplements. Ask your other steward or BA questions about everything you don't understand and most of what you think you do. You'll be surprised often.

    2.Help whoever comes to you as best as you can, while being certain they are as interested in the help as you are. Don't get out in front of members who are not strong enough to follow through a grievance with you. You will only alienate yourself.

    3. Be ready to go to the mat for someone who is serious will not back down in the clutch. This will usually only happen when UPS has really gotten to someone.

    4. Remember it's a "union" and not your sole responsibility to right the wrongs. If you do not have the support of your brothers and sisters on an issue, step back and take a breath. Pick your battles!

    Good luck!
  4. OneRouteWonder

    OneRouteWonder New Member

    Sorry, I miscommunicated.

    What happens is that typically drivers will come forward with their problem,
    and as soon as they are told how to appropriately address the problem through
    a grievance, they seem scared and completely back away in fear of retaliation
    from the management team.

    They are more than happy to see management's hands slapped, but not in
    their own name. About 50% of the drivers are this way and it is frustrating.
    They want to be completely hands-off and have their name be scoff-free
    of any quarrels with management.

    Feels like it's more of a counseling session than an activist's shop floor.

    When I ask them, they are scared of having a target painted on their back.
    This should not be a concern for any of us as they cannot retaliate under
    any condition.
  5. Dragon

    Dragon Package Center Manager

    OneRouteWonder, when the driver comes to you with a problem and the driver does not want file, do you at least bring it to the managers attention? I have found that when problems are brought to me in this fashion I can head off a problem or clarify with the shop steward on why we did something.

    Sounds like you will make a good shop steward.
  6. Red Dawn

    Red Dawn Member

    Have same issues at our hub...good thing its election year and plain on voting for the members first slate! teamster local 767 election
  7. bubsdad

    bubsdad "Hang in there!"

    I've found that being a steward is somewhat like being a counselor. Some of the people that come to you just want verification on whether or not they were wronged. They have no intention of going any further with it. I would advise you to read the contract several times. Even the parts that you don't think you need to know. Knowledge is strength and if you know the contract it will strengthen your stewardship. Before you go rushing into a situation take time to get both sides of the story. Sometimes the member can make a situation seem worse than it is and sometimes management shows a disregard for the member's rights. Collect the info, evaluate it and do your best to decide what action to take. A more senior steward can be a great help in your decisions. Good luck.
  8. 705red

    705red Browncafe Steward

    You never want to hear these words from management, the day you do resign! The members are the only ones that should have an opinion on you as a steward.

    I have been a steward for over 10 years and I do not know it all and I probably will never know it all. There is nothing the matter with telling the members you don't know the answer, just get back to them timely with the correct response. Call a senior steward or teh agent if need be. There is no such thing as a bad grievance, when in doubt file it, you can always withdraw it if you are wrong.

    Notes notes notes! Take great notes, take a piece of paper and write in the top left UPS, draw a line down the middle of the page and top right write union. List names of everyone form UPS under their title and the same for the union. Use first initials to document everything said or asked. Notes will refresh your memory at a later date and great notes will allow the agent to feel that he/she was there every step of the way. The great stewards know how to take notes!

    Its not an easy job and you will get MFed behind your back more than you will get atta boys to your face, its just the nature of upsers.

    Welcome to our eternal hell of being a steward, because believe it or not there is no better feeling than winning someone that UPS has fired for BS their job back! And you will always remember your first job that you lost as a steward.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2009