Shop Steward Advice

Discussion in 'UPS Union Issues' started by scoutlover, Oct 7, 2014.

  1. scoutlover

    scoutlover Member

    There looks like there is going to be an opening for a shop steward position in the near future (driver) and I'm leaning heavily towards taking it. Do you have any advice or information you'd pass on to a new prospect?
  2. There is at least three sides to every story. You will think that a lot of the guys do their job by the book. You will realize this isn't the case. You will think a lot of people are great guys and girls maybe 80% + of them. You will figure out in the first year this isn't the case.

    Your house will need to be made of glass. If it isn't you will suck real bad. Pick and chose your battles and try to have the best relationship you can have with your local.
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    CHALLY9TX Active Member

    Don't be a weak steward. Lead by example. Kick management and drivers in the rear when you have to. I applaud you for wanting to be a steward. I don't know that I would want to deal with the bs from both management and drivers.

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  4. BrownTexas

    BrownTexas Well-Known Member

    Leading be example I think is probably #1. Use proper methods and take your lunch. Be able to be open to people and help them when they need information. Realize that once you give them the information 90% of them aren't going to listen.
  5. ski or die

    ski or die Ski or Die

    Get prepared. I was our first elected Steward. Previous 2 were appointed by Union and Company. After about 2 weeks in as Steward, my manager pulled me in the office and explained if I worked with them, things would be easy for me, but if not - things would be pretty rough. I was elected by my fellow employees because they knew I was honest and would fight for them. I thought about what was said to me for a couple of days and had seen what they could do to employees, but refused to bend. It was pretty tough until I retired, but I stood up to them. Other employees in our bldg., maintenance, feeders, pkg drivers, hub employees would request I be present instead of their own steward because they knew I hadn't sold out. If an employee was wrong, I would go over contract and explain it to them. But if they were right, I would fight through every level for them. Very stressful position, kinda like all jobs at the company. But prepare yourself, the company can really make it hard on you. They believe if they can make it hard enough you might become weak.
  6. UPS4Life

    UPS4Life Active Member

    We have a new steward at my hub who is a driver and from my point he's been the most available, he is dedicating time for employees with job functions if anyone has questions and when it comes to union business he is handling cases well. I heard of one case he got a grievance from a driver he didn't agree with it but didn't know the correct answer and went and got the correct information from the contract book along side a manager and had it explained to him why the employee didn't have a case. Being new I applaud him for being willing to learn and taking a stand for us employees.

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  7. Jones

    Jones fILE A GRIEVE! Staff Member

    Uphold the contract, and look out for the member's interests. Do those two things in that order and you'll be fine.
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  8. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    There will be times when you may have to play the bad guy and tell the member that he/she needs to get their stuff together or that their grievance isn't worth the paper that it is written on.
  9. ChickenLegs

    ChickenLegs Safety Expert

    Pick a golf course far out of town so the drivers won't see you playing with the center manager
  10. sortaisle

    sortaisle Livin the cardboard dream

    Be prepared to find out just exactly who is and isn't stupid and'll be surprised. I never in my life have met more ignorant self important people in my life then people who have no contract knowledge and expect you to be the one to give it to them...I mean basic knowledge. I would say 90% of people don't read their contract. Of the 10% that do, at least half of them have no idea what context is and try to abuse a portion of the contract that doesn't even apply to them. Also, be prepared to tell some people that their "grievance" is BS and isn't going to go through. It costs money for the union to look at the grievance sigh and toss it out right away. Tough job...good luck brotha!
  11. BrownTexas

    BrownTexas Well-Known Member

    And be ready to see obvious violations and people who are too scared to file for them.
  12. Ouch

    Ouch Well-Known Member

    I was an elected Steward as well. Be honest about everything to everybody. Their will be times that you may have to represent your best friend. Be prepared to tell that friend the good and the bad. Don't fall under the lack of integrity spell that cms and lost prevention are under. Always, always, always, be honest.
  13. Ron Carey lives on

    Ron Carey lives on Well-Known Member

    Study your contract front to back. Know when to be cool, and when to be aggressive. Don't make empty promises, and talk straight. Most importantly learn that there can always be a solution to a true grievance. Learn the difference between a gripe and a grievance. You are not a baby sitter. Its ok to educate, but dont get taken advantage of. Read everything you can get your hands on, on Stewards Rights. The International or your local may offer steward classes

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  14. olroadbeech

    olroadbeech Happy Verified UPSer

    you are in a no win situation so be prepared for that. no matter what you do someone will be :censored2: off.

    I applaud dedicated stewards. it's a thankless job.
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  15. grgrcr88

    grgrcr88 No It's not green grocer!

    Education is the key. Knowledge will help you more than anything. Learn the contract backwards and forwards to the point you can recite most of it verbatim! Learn the 340 methods or whatever methods apply to your particular job. Pick up a book called The Legal Rights of a Union Steward and read it thru a few times.

    Get thick skin, don't be afraid t stand up for whats right and tell a member if they are wrong. It will feel like babysitting some times, you will get a thousand questions a day. Don't ever guess. If you don't know find out for certain before answering. Take very thorough notes on everything. Get your business agents cell phone number and don't be afraid to use it!

    Attend every local union meeting and ask questions of the senior members. Listen to their stories and learn from their past victories and defeats.

    Most of all, do not do it to try to benefit yourself! If you think your gonna get special treatment, your right, you are now expected to be a role model for the other members, which means you are held to a higher standard and are scrutinized even more than before!! It can be a very frustrating and sometimes very maddening and thankless job, but helping one member makes it all worth it!

    Remember, your responsibility as a Steward is to protect the contractual rights of your members. Always keep them informed if you feel they have been wronged in some way.

    You will have to build a good working relationship with your management team. That does not mean you have to agree with them but at the end of the day you have to work with them yo accomplish your objectives. Treat them with the respect they deserve and that you expect from them.

    Always take your members behind closed doors for any and all meetings with management, never on the shop floor. You never know what may end up being said and you cannot disrespect your manager in front of other employees. Once behind closed doors while representing a member you are now considered equals and much more leeway is given!!


    Good luck to you Brother and THANK YOU for your service to your members and your Union!!

    Read more:
  16. Overpaid Union Thug

    Overpaid Union Thug Well-Known Member

    Don't be one of those stewards that just uses the position to benefit themselves.
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  17. PT Car Washer

    PT Car Washer Well-Known Member

    We had a PT hub Steward who would settle supervisor working grievance's by having them paid to him instead of going through the grievance process.
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  18. badsporh

    badsporh He who is not with us, is against us.

    Be careful.......if you're a strong Steward they are starting to make examples of them......take down the top guy and everybody else falls into line.........what is there to stop them from annihilating the Steward if they think he's too effective? ??...........not the union.......not the NLRB......not the EEOC.......not the Department of Labor...........nobody.......that's who
  19. 10 point

    10 point Well-Known Member

    Careful doesn't equal coward.

    Be innocent as a dove but wary as a serpent.

    Someone has to stand for truth with a fearless heart.

  20. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    It is possible to be effective without being confrontational.