We offer two different versions of steward training. The first is direct training where Labor Center staff tailor a training for stewards from a specific union, or work with multiple unions in a single class. The second kind of steward training is a train-the-trainer model. In this version we work with union leaders to help them develop a steward training that they will implement themselves.
In either case steward training focuses on leadership and communication skills - how being an effective steward can build the power of the union on the job as well as provide good representational services to union members.
As a training tailored for a particular union, we can look at the specific contract and structural issues for that local.
In a multi-union setting we ask participants from different unions to describe the relevant processes from their unions. We have consistently heard from workshop participants that this kind of cross- union exchange is extremely valuable.
The added piece in the train-the-trainer model is a focus on how adults learn and how to structure steward training activities. In either case, the philosophical approach to this class is ‘stewards as leaders.’
We look at the legal basis for the rights of stewards and how the equality between management and the union steward makes the steward the work-place voice and power of the union.
We can also look at some of the pitfalls of stewarding and how to avoid them. This is not a training that focuses on the technicalities of grievance handling, or arbitration, although we could work with a particular union to develop that kind of training if needed.
Steward training can range from a ½ day to 3 days or more. 206-934-6671