Shop Stewards Tips

DISCIPLINE CASES (Terminations, suspensions, warnings, ect.)

  • Always insist members request that you or another steward are called by management to represent them if called in to be disciplined in any way. If you are denied our right to represent, contact your Union Representative to determine if your rights were violated.
  • At the initial disciplinary meeting listed carefully to the Employer’s case. Ask questions and keep good notes.

  • If you cannot get the Employer to drop the proposed discipline, assist the member in writing a grievance protesting the discipline or proposed discipline. If you need additional help call your Union Representative.

  • Make sure the member understands it’s their grievance and they are responsible for filing it in a timely manner.

  • Immediately notify your Union Representative of all Discipline Cases, especially terminations and suspensions. Turn in all notes and evidence for the initial disciplinary hearing to your Union Representative.

NON-DISCIPLINE CASES (Contract violations, seniority violations, pay shortages, subcontracting, safety, etc.)

  • When you get a member complaint or become aware of a violation of the contract, investigate the violation and take notes to document it. Include the 5 “W”s.

  • WHO: Who was involved in the grievance? Include members and management involved.

  • WHAT: What was the grievant’s story? What is management’s position? What did witnesses say?

  • WHEN: When did the incident or condition occur? Get dates and times as accurately as possible.

  • WHERE: Where did the grievance take place?

  • WHY: Why was this a grievance? What has been violated? The Contract? Federal, state, municipal laws? Past practice? Workers’ rights? Previous ruling or awards?

  • HOW: What remedy is necessary to correct the situation?

  • Contact your Union Representative to consult concerning possible contract articles violated, strategy, investigation guidance, etc.

  • Requests to view items required for your investigation. If you are denied access to witnesses or information needed to investigate the violation, contact your Union Representative.

  • Once your investigation is complete, contact the Employer representative to determine if they are willing to correct and resolve the infraction. Be timely.

  • If you don’t get a satisfactory resolution, complete the formal grievance form and file it with the Union Representative. Keep the grievance short and to the point. Make sure you or the effected member are timely in filing.


  • Stewards are advised to consult with their Union Representative prior to writing grievances for advice and guidance.