All too often, your union stewards hear about contractual violations well after our members were made aware. In many of these instances the contractual 14 day deadline to file a grievance has come and gone. This makes it extremely hard for your union representatives to grieve the violation and make the represented employees whole.
The most important factor in all unions is its members. We need your help policing the contract. If you witness a violation or believe you might have witnessed a violation you must request a steward from your supervisor as soon as possible. Do not wait until your 14 day deadline has arrived and do not assume someone else has reported the violation to the union. If management is pulling you in for a Day in Court, ask for a steward immediately and do NOT answer any questions until a steward is present. Management is not on your side and will not look out for your best interest.
Too often members inform stewards of an issue while the steward is not released on official steward time. Although we appreciate the notification, this is not the proper way to report a grievance. You must request a steward from your supervisor. By doing so it, does two things; first management will be required to release a steward from their bid to deal with the employee’s request, second management will then be forced to release the employee to write a statement for the union. This will leave the sections impacted short on manpower which will make it harder for management to meet their workload goal (which we all know bothers them). If there is a penalty for violating the contract that directly affects your supervisor they may think twice before creating a violation.
So if management wants to talk with you in private or you see a contractual violation or think you may have witnessed a violation, don’t tell a steward in passing, don’t leave a note on a steward’s time card,
ASK YOUR SUPERVISOR FOR A STEWARD.