The Critical Role of ETFO Stewards During Collective Bargaining
ETFO Stewards play a critical leadership role at their worksites during central and local bargaining. Stewards maintain solidarity by ensuring ETFO members are connected to their Federation leading up to and during bargaining.
As an ETFO Steward, the Federation relies on you to:
✓ encourage all ETFO members at your worksite to contact the provincial office’s Member Records Department (email@example.com) to update their contact information prior to the start of bargaining;
✓ establish a contact list (i.e., names, personal email addresses, phone numbers, home address) of all ETFO members at your worksite and share the list with the local ETFO office;
✓ encourage members to complete and return local and central bargaining surveys;
✓ make sure members at your worksite know about upcoming events and in-person/virtual/telephone town hall meetings related to bargaining and encourage participation;
✓ ensure you are receiving all communications about bargaining from the local and provincial offices;
✓ stay on top of key developments in bargaining;
✓ follow up with the provincial or local office when you need advice or clarification about bargaining issues;
✓ distribute information about or gather information for collective bargaining;
✓ ensure bargaining information and updates from the local and provincial offices reaches all members at your worksite, including:
- central bargaining bulletins; and
- ETFO’s provincial CB eNewsletter.
✓ encourage members to check the ETFO Collective Bargaining Website (www.etfocb.ca) for bargaining updates;
✓ encourage members to check ETFO social media accounts for bargaining updates (e.g., @ETFOcb and @ETFOeducators on Twitter, ETFO Collective Bargaining Facebook Group, etc.);
✓ attend local meetings to receive bargaining updates;
✓ hold meetings at your worksite to keep members informed about bargaining developments. Make sure to include all ETFO members in the building (including ETFO daily occasional and education worker members) if the topics discussed include central (provincial) bargaining information;
✓ engage members in discussions about the issues;
✓ provide reassurance and support to members who are new to the collective bargaining process;
✓ answer questions from members and communicate member concerns or feedback to the local ETFO office;
✓ inform the local ETFO office about any communications from management related to negotiations;
✓ arrange school visits by ETFO local elected representatives;
✓ during strike action, make certain that you have copies of all work-to-rule/strike action information. Much of this information will be posted on ETFO’s Collective Bargaining website (www.etfocb.ca);
✓ act as a picket captain in the event of a full withdrawal of services;
✓ attend all steward/picket captain training sessions or arrange for an alternate ETFO member in the worksite to attend;
✓ monitor strike action including monitoring attendance and participation during the strike; and
✓ ensure all members at your worksite participate in strike and ratification votes.
As an ETFO Steward, you will be making sure that members at your worksite feel informed, engaged and mobilized during the collective bargaining process. Your leadership contributes to the member solidarity that’s needed to negotiate fair collective agreements for you and your colleagues.
Rest assured that your leadership responsibilities as ETFO Steward will be supported by the Federation’s provincial and local offices, and you will receive the resources you need to effectively undertake your responsibilities.