I was fortunate to meet with Salem Forestry employees on Thursday, July 14th to talk about what it is like to be a Steward. Currently Salem does not have a Steward and my goal was to share some of my experiances and encourage someone to step forward and offer there candicy to the group. Stewards are elected by their peers.
Being a Steward is a giving, listening and helping position but you get something from it too. You will develop your leadership, listening and communication skills. You will improve your creativity, problem solving skills and self esteem. You might even learn how to develop a good arguement and negotiate better. Lower car prices anyone?
Sometimes I wonder why we need Stewards, nobody wakes up with a plan to be diciplined. In my representative experiance, sometimes things just happen, at the wrong time. Like during the emotional strains of a divorce and that accidental snap at a co-worker or supervisor. What about the comment to a Legislator that was mis-interpreted? Have you made a meaningful keystroke upon arrival at your work station? There are lots of things, too helpful with the public or field staff, just not getting along with your supervisor or your car broke down, twice. Being a Steward puts you in a position to help your co-workers when they need it most.
How do I become a Steward and is there training available? To become a Steward you need to be elected by your peers. The election starts with a public announcement of the vote including time and place posted in a public space like the Union Bulletin Board at least 10 calendar prior to the meeting. Prior to the election a announcement is made to see if there are other candidates and then the electioins is held. Additional information is in the November 1, 2014 Forestry629 blog post. And yes there is training available. SEIU 503 regularly offers training and there is support from the Member Resource Center.
I hope this answers a few questions about what is, how and why to become a Steward and interests you enough to seek the position or ask additional questions, my phone number is listed in the margin.