What is a Shop Steward?
BCGEU shop stewards are the backbone of our union. Stewards are elected by coworkers to help to make sure your worksite’s collective agreement is followed. Stewards also have opportunities to take training courses and get more involved with our union.
Some of the roles of a shop steward are:
- Helping co-workers interpret and understand their collective agreement.
- Supporting co-workers in meetings with management.
- Listening to co-workers about their issues.
- Acting as a liaison between the worksite, your union local and the BCGEU's area offices.
- Communicating about broader local issues and training opportunities within your union.
- Making sure all co-workers are in the loop by updating your union bulletin board at your worksite.
- Referring members to committees on specific issues, such as the Joint Labour Management and Occupational Health and Safety Committees.
Are You Interested in Becoming a Shop Steward?
Stewards are well-organized, good listeners, problem solvers and team players. They have good communication skills and want to help others. They are volunteer positions, and anyone at your worksite that is a member of the union in good standing is eligible to be elected as a shop steward.
Steward elections are held in workplaces every three years in the fall after the BCGEU Constitutional Convention. Nominations and elections may start after Labour Day and must be completed by the end of November.
If there is no steward in your workplace or you need assistance in conducting an election, contact your Local Chairperson through the Area Office. They will arrange for someone from the local to conduct the vote.
Shop Steward Resources
- PDF Tip Sheets
- Arbitration Awards:
If you're a steward, log into the Member Portal for a full list of steward resources and to sign up for educational courses.
- STEP UP!
- Steward Fundamentals
- Enhanced Steward Training
Visit https://events.bcgeu.ca/education to find upcoming steward courses.