Bob Kraves former IAM educator [email_address] Some Tips on Becoming a Successful IAM Steward
<ul><li>It is important for the IAM Shop Steward to set standards to follow during grievance meetings with management. The following are points for any steward to keep in mind when involved at a meeting, hearing or investigation concerning a complaint, grievance or alleged wrong doing of a co-worker. </li></ul>IAM Steward Meeting Standards
<ul><li>You should always have a note pad and a pencil handy to record the date, time, and location of the meeting and the names of the people present. </li></ul><ul><li>Take notes throughout the proceedings. </li></ul>IAM Steward Meeting Standards
<ul><li>You should listen carefully to the other side’s arguments. This will help you do a better job of countering the management’s position and possibly give you additional reasons on why your position is the correct one. In order for you to be a good negotiator, you must be a good listener. </li></ul>IAM Steward Meeting Standards
<ul><li>You should always explain to the grievant, prior to meeting with management, your strategy in the case. Should you and your co-worker disagree during the meeting, ask for a recess; talk through your differences and then resume the meeting. </li></ul>IAM Steward Meeting Standards
<ul><li>You should avoid bluffs and threats. If the supervisor calls your bluff and you back down or cannot follow through, your credibility will be reduced in future cases. </li></ul>IAM Steward Meeting Standards
<ul><li>You should put the burden of proof on management. Let him or her prove what they did or didn’t do, was the correct action in the situation. </li></ul>IAM Steward Meeting Standards
<ul><li>You should stop talking if you win your point. Don’t continue to hash it over or rub it in. Resist the temptation of bragging about your victory. Keep in mind that you will have to work with that management person again. </li></ul>IAM Steward Meeting Standards
<ul><li>If you are unable to reach agreement, tell the management person that you will request an appeal to the next step of the grievance procedure. Make sure the grievance follows the proper channels, even after it leaves your hands. Always report back to the grievant on the status of the grievance. </li></ul>IAM Steward Meeting Standards
<ul><li>A grievance meeting, hearing, investigation or whatever they want to call it, should be a fair and reasonable exchange between the union and management. You, as the steward, are an equal to your management counterpart during such meetings. The problem however, is that management often behave in ways that stack the deck against the steward. Some of the tactics a steward may encounter when dealing with management on problems are listed on the next few slides. </li></ul>Don’t Fall For These!
<ul><li>Sidetracking - If the supervisor tries to sidetrack you by discussing other issues, let the supervisor talk but don’t be misled and lose sight of your position. After the supervisor finishes, politely but firmly return to the grievance and ask for an answer. Until you get an answer to the grievance, don’t discuss other issues with the supervisor. </li></ul>Don’t Fall For These!
<ul><li>Trading - Should the supervisor want to trade grievances with you (you win one and the supervisor wins one), insist on settling each grievance on its merits. This is the only way to handle every grievance you are involved in. </li></ul>Don’t Fall For These!
<ul><li>Agitate - If the supervisor attempts to make you angry, be careful; few people can think straight when they are angry or lose their temper. Let the supervisor know you are there to settle a problem, not to argue. </li></ul>Don’t Fall For These!
<ul><li>Stalling - This is a tactic that may be used by some supervisors in an effort to get the grievance thrown out for failure to adhere to time limits spelled out in the contract. The steward must always be aware of deadlines and after giving management a chance to settle the problem, be ready to pass the grievance to the next step of the procedure in a timely manner. </li></ul>Don’t Fall For These!
<ul><li>There is no real system written in stone of how a grievance meeting, hearing or investigation is to be handled. They may develop however because stewards allow them to. </li></ul><ul><li>Asserting your rights as an equal will force the supervisor to take you more seriously; it will also help you settle more grievances and problems. </li></ul>Always Remember