The Job Steward shall not be discriminated against.
Many times companies, rather than living up to the Union Agreement, will seek the easy way out by simply terminating the Job Steward. Because of this, the first law for every Union member, indeed for the Job Stewards themselves, is to see that the Job
Steward is not discriminated against.
Here is what the Carpenters Union Standard Agreement says:
Clause 10 (a): Job Stewards shall be recognized on all jobs and shall not be discriminated against. The job superintendent or foreman shall be notified by the Union of the name or names of such Job Stewards and in the event of a layoff or
reduction in the work force, such Job Stewards shall, at all times, be given preference of continued employment until completion of the work unless otherwise agreed between the parties hereto. Time shall be given to the Job Steward to carry out his duties.
Clause 11.07 Accompany Compensation Inspectors
The head job steward or, where there is a Safety Committee, a Union representative of this committee, shall accompany the Compensation Board Inspector on all project inspections.
Clause 16.04 Grievance Procedure
The Union and the Employer mutually agree that when a grievance arises, coming under the terms of this Agreement, it shall be taken up in the manner as set out below. All grievances shall be finally and conclusively settled.
Clause 16.05 The job steward or business agent shall first discuss the grievance with the foreman or superintendent, and if they agree their decision shall be final. An employer shall first discuss the grievance with the business agent.
Memorandum Of Agreement between BC Provincial Council of Carpenters and CLRA
(iv) the Chief Job Steward employed by the signatory Employer shall be informed of the layoffs prior to the layoffs being implemented.
Definition & Responsibilities of Union Job Stewards
The Legal Status of the Steward
(1) First and foremost the Collective Agreement gives the Union the right to appoint or elect steward(s) on each job.
(2) A steward when so appointed or elected is the Union representative on the job.
(3) Should the steward cause work stoppage, it is deemed that the Union has caused the work stoppage.
(4) The Steward on the job, in essence, is the representative of the Union with the responsibilities for enforcing the agreement, settling grievances, making sure that work properly belonging to carpenters is done by carpenters and last but not least, carrying the Unions position by being informed.
Source: BC Provincial Council of Carpenters--Job Stewards Manual
Allied Hydo Agreement
6.221 Employment Equity Initiatives
The parties agree to:
(a) Set out employment targets, following upon joint investigation and consultation by the Employer and the Council for employment of First Nations People who are residents in the Province of British Columbia. To meet these targets qualified First Nations People shall be name requested by the Employer and the Affiliated Union(s) shall clear such employees. The Council and Employer also agree to establish bridging and outreach programs to facilitate training of First Nations People to assist in qualifying for employment.
(b) Set out employment targets for the employment of persons who are disabled as well as women in non-traditional job classifications, visible minorities or other identified target groups. To meet these targets qualified Local Residents in these target groups shall be name requested by the Employer and the Affiliated Union(s) shall clear such employees. The Council and Employer also agree to establish bridging and outreach programs to facilitate the training of these target groups to assist in qualifying for employment.
(c) Conduct ongoing revision(s) as the Parties gain experience as well as to provide appropriate remedies for failure to live up to both the letter and intent of this provision.
Article 9.000 - Stewards
9.100 Each Affiliated Union is entitled to appoint and/or relieve of duties Stewards and/or Crew Stewards for each Contractor, to act as a representative of the Affiliated Union. Such Steward shall be appointed by the appropriate Affiliated Union and the Employer shall be notified in writing by the Council. The Representative of the appropriate Affiliate shall be advised in advance by the Contractor of the termination of the Steward.
9.200 There shall be no non-working Stewards.
9.300 It shall be the duty of Stewards and/or Crew Stewards to assist the Contractor and the Employees in carrying out the provisions of this agreement and they shall be allowed reasonable time to perform their duties as agreed to by the Contractor's Representative on the job and such approval shall not be unreasonably denied. When the Contractor determines it is necessary to reduce the working forces on the job by layoff, the Steward(s) shall receive notice and a list of the Employees that shall leave the job. Such notice shall be at least two (2) hours prior to the end of the final shift of the Employees.
9.400 Stewards shall be retained until the end of the job, provided there is work available for which such Stewards are qualified. Crew Stewards shall be retained until the crew is abolished. If some of the crew is transferred to another crew within the scope of the Contractor that the Employee was assigned to and the Crew Steward is qualified, then the Crew Steward shall be among those transferred. The Council shall give written advice if the Crew Steward is to become Steward over the crew to which the Crew Steward was transferred. Otherwise the Crew Steward shall not be considered a Crew Steward in the new crew. There shall be no duplication of Crew Stewards.
9.500 When any part of a crew is required to perform work on overtime or on inclement days, and the Steward(s) has been performing the type of work involved during the preceding regular shift, the Steward(s) shall be included in such required overtime or inclement working time. The Steward has the right to allow others to work instead but not the right to choose a successor.
9.600 Where work on the contractor's job or portion thereof is interrupted and Employees are laid off or re-assigned such that the Steward is laid off or re-assigned, such stewards shall be rehired and/or re-assigned to such work upon resumption of the interrupted work unless other arrangements are mutually acceptable.
9.700 The Council and the appropriate Affiliated Union shall be notified in writing by the Contractor and/or Employer within forty-eight (48) hours if a Steward is discharged for cause, and such cause shall be stated in written form.
20.600 Sexual Harassment (click for the new BCPC harassment policy)
20.601 The Employer, Council, Affiliated Unions and contractors agree that the workplace should be free from sexual harassment.
20.602 The Employer and Council agree to develop a complaint procedure to handle allegations of sexual harassment.
Steward Notes - Making the Most of Interviews
Shop stewards are problem solvers. You constantly deal with concerns raised by Union members. Each situation is different. In order to effectively address each situation, it is necessary to develop a thorough understanding of all the facts. This will require you to talk to the worker(s) affected, witnesses and management representatives. When conducting interviews, use the following guidelines:
1) Keep the Environment Calm
When a worker feels his/her rights have been violated, he/she can be very emotional. When someone is overly excited, it is difficult to get all relevant information; therefore, it is necessary to calm him/her down. When dealing with management in the interview process, do not start an argument. Be aware that your initial interview with management is to learn the facts.
2) Answer the Five Ws
The information needed for grievance presentation includes who was involved and/or witnessed the event, what happened and when and where the grievance occurred. Interviews are used to determine answers to these questions.
3) Ask Open-ended Questions
Avoid asking questions that can be answered with a simple ?yes? or ?no.? Use questions such as: What happened? What did you see? Tell me everything that happened.
4) Listen More Than You Talk
Do not interrupt the person being interviewed. Allow him/her to reveal as much information as possible. If interrupted, a speaker might lose his/her thought and leave out important details.
5) Take Thorough Notes
Record as many details as possible. The less important information can be sorted out later. Insufficient notes might result in a key fact being overlooked or unaddressed. Note taking is vital to good grievance investigation.
6) Ask Clarifying Questions and Repeat What Is Said
On issues about which you are unclear, ask for more information. Ask as many questions as necessary for you to have a thorough understanding of what happened. Tell the person being interviewed what you understood him/her to say. This allows him/her to correct any misunderstanding on your part.
7) Conduct Follow-up Interviews if Necessary
If you feel you do not have a good understanding of what happened or what someone said, schedule another interview. Remember that cases are decided based upon facts; therefore, it is vital that you fully understand all facts relevant to the case.
Use these tips to improve your interviewing skills. The more you practice, the better you will become. When conducting interviews, make sure you have a grievance fact sheet. These sheets are good references for the type of information you need to obtain from your interviews. Remember, there are many sides to each situation. You must interview all parties involved and all witnesses to fully understand what happened.