Your Steward Committee there for you on recruiting and training



From the WFSE/AFSCME Council 28 Steward Committee

Early in 2012, the WFSE/AFSCME Council 28 Shop Steward Committee selected a two-year goal of “Build a Well-Trained Shop Steward Team, with an increase of 10 percent, by September 2013, through increased mentoring and education.”

In February 2012, the number of stewards in General Government and Higher Education was 1,183. By November 2012, there were 1,226 stewards, an increase of 43 stewards, with the highest month being June, which had 1,234.

As the Committee monitored the steward numbers, we saw numerous fluctuations, which we attributed to layoffs, reductions in force (RIFs) and retirements.
This particular section of the overall goal continues to be monitored, and the committee is working to reduce steward losses by better identifying causes of steward reductions. At the same time, the committee is also taking a pro-active approach by developing processes to make shop stewards stronger, better trained, and more resilient, which will help them serve better and longer.

To address the “…well trained” portion of the goal, the committee, working with Federation staff, set about to increase the number of Steward in Action and Advanced Steward trainings. Today we now offer more training opportunities (mid-week, weekend, 4-hour or 8-hour trainings over two or three days), offer them in a variety of locations, and use staff as well as other shop stewards to deliver the training.

In 2012, the Committee also sent out a shop steward survey to all local presidents, asking them questions, including: “Do you have a Local Shop Steward Committee?”; “Do they need assistance in developing or running their committee?”; and “Are Stewards asking for additional training?”

To date, the committee continues to review and digest all responses received so we can develop a plan to aid and assist any local in dealing with their stewards and steward committee. The Council Shop Steward Committee recently sent a representative to the President’s Council meeting to again spread the word that the committee is willing to mentor and assist locals with shop steward and committee issues.

Finally, the Council Shop Steward Committee is once again putting on the Shop Steward Conference, which will be held May 18-19, 2013 at the Doubletree Hotel Seattle Airport in Seatac. The following training modules will be presented: (1) What’s Negotiable (mandatory subjects vs. Demand to Bargain Issues); (2) Classification and Hiring Practices; and (3) New Employee Orientation.

In closing, we hope stewards from all over the state will attend this annual conference and take advantage of these great training opportunities, as well as the chance to meet and network with fellow stewards. It is also our hope that stewards then return to their bargaining units, willing to share their new knowledge and better serve their Union brothers and sisters.

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