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Local Executive

Local Executive: Roles and Responsibilities

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LOCAL PRESIDENT

In this duty, the President is required to:

  • Conduct the affairs of the Local as dictated by the NSGEU Constitution and By-laws and NSGEU’s Policy Manual.
  • Hold executive meetings prior to Local meetings to discuss items of importance and plan strategy for Local meetings.
  • In advance supply dates, time and location of Local meetings.
  • Notify NSGEU office of the meeting schedules.
  • Prepare and distribute or post an agenda for the Local meetings, or ensure that this is completed by the Secretary.
  • Conduct a business meeting according to Rules of Order.
  • Ensure that the members’ questions are answered and that issues of concern are discussed at each meeting.
  • Ensure that the attendance record is circulated at each meeting.
  • Review with the recording Secretary the minutes of the meeting to ensure that all pertinent data has been included.
  • Ensure that all positions are elected and that election notice is sent when elections are required.
  • Inform members of the local of all Educational seminars, workshops, etc.
  • Inform the membership of Scholarship and Bursaries available to members and members’ children.
  • Be knowledgeable of the finances of the Local.
  • Make recommendations to the Union Executive concerning certificates of merit for Local members.
  • Maintain a close liaison with the rest of the Local executive.
  • Use the Constitution as a guideline for calling meetings for election of delegates to conventions, elections of Local officers, and elections of bargaining unit representatives.

THE ROLE OF THE LOCAL VICE PRESIDENT is to assist the President in their duties, and where necessary, to replace them.
Suggested role also includes keeping a speakers list at meetings, to assist the Chair, and/or create and complete follow up list, and tasks, from meetings.

LOCAL SECRETARY

In this duty, the Secretary is required to:

  • Pre-Meeting: Pre-meeting duties could include the following:
    • attending local executive meetings, and also, recording any executive recommendations on correspondence or matters that will be brought forward at the union meeting
    • preparation of agenda for the union meeting
    • preparation of notices for the union meeting
    • distribution of union meeting notices
    • arranging for meeting facilities, refreshments, etc.
    • review minutes of the last local union meeting
    • copies of various reports & newsletter (if applicable)
    • contact those who are responsible for reports as per the agenda.
    • distribution of minutes to members
    • forward copies of minutes to NSGEU Office
    • prepare sign-in sheet – book
  • Meeting
    • read or present minutes from the previous meeting
    • record the proceedings of the meeting
    • maintaining meeting attendance records (attendance book)
    • extra supplies of union info, bursary, scholarship, membership cards, new membership kits, contract.
    • request for information from members or executive at the meetings.
  • Post – Meeting
    • Prepare minutes for inclusion into minute book or binder
    • Take action on items arising from the meeting: i.e. – responding to correspondence
    • filing correspondence
    • forwarding copies of minutes to membership (depending on Local Union tradition)
    • follow-up on the “action items” with those designated (VP can be assigned to do some of this work)

LOCAL TREASURER

The Local is responsible for maintaining the funds in both the Local Imprest and Local Social Account as per NSGEU Policy 3.1 and 3.2.

  • For the Local Imprest Account, the Treasurer is required to:
    • Ensure funds for the Local Imprest Account are maintained in a separate account called the Local # ___ Imprest Account.
    • Keep accurate records and Bank statements on the account.
    • Prior to issuing payment to members for expenses, review the accuracy of claims and ensure all expenses claimed eligible expenses according to NSGEU policy 3.1.
    • Write cheques for valid claims submitted by members.
    • Make regular submissions to NSGEU on the appropriate forms and with the required documentation to maintain the funds in the account.
    • Keep a copy of attendance records for submission of claims to NSGEU.
    • Submit a written report to the Local on this account at each Local Meeting.
    • Ensure the account is audited every term as per NSGEU Policy.
    • Ensure a written audit report is submitted at the Local Triennial Meeting.
  • For the Local Social Account, the Local Treasurer is required to:
    • Ensure funds for the Local Social Account are maintained in a separate bank account.
    • Keep accurate records and bank statements on the account.
    • Make regular submissions to NSGEU on the appropriate forms and with the required documentation according to NSGEU Policy 3.2 to document the use of funds as approved by the Local at Local meetings.
    • Submit a written report to the Local on this account at each Local Meeting.
    • Ensure the account is audited every term as per NSGEU Policy.
    • Ensure a written audit report is submitted at the Local Triennial Meeting.

CHIEF STEWARD

Details of the Chief Steward Role varies slightly Local by Local. In some Locals, Chief Stewards review all grievances before they are submitted and write many grievances.

In other Locals, the Chief Steward provides information to the ERO who writes all grievances. Chief Stewards should, however, in every Local, be interested in taking on a high level role in negotiating solutions to workplace problems.

Regardless of the culture of your Local, the role of the Chief Steward includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • Be vigilant and monitor the implementation of the Collective Agreement, and issues arising in the workplace. This includes (but is not limited to) contact with the employer, and regular contact and consultation with Stewards and other Local Activists, concerning issues arising out of the workplace/collective agreement.
  • Participation in Labour-Management Committees and other joint committees, when applicable.
  • High level involvement in Local Executive activities, and regular communications with other Local Officers regarding pertinent matters.
  • Recruit and orient Stewards to the Local culture re: collective agreement and complaints.
  • Call regular Steward meetings.
  • Work with the ERO to hold annual Steward training (on Collective Agreement issues) meetings if necessary.
  • Conduct Steward elections at Local meetings.
  • When elections are not possible, appoint Steward subject to ratification at the next Local meeting.
  • Chief Stewards should keep in touch with, and receive reports from, Stewards and be informed about complaints, and potential areas of labour-management conflict.
  • At the request of the Local President, the Chief Steward shall report on his/her activities, bearing mind the confidentiality of grievances and reporting only on the location and subject of the of the grievance.

LOCAL STEWARD

If you’re looking for help with a workplace problem or concern, one of the best places to start is with one of your local’s stewards.

Stewards are active members of your local who are very familiar with your collective agreement and who volunteer to help co-workers and the employer ensure that the agreement is being adhered to.

Stewards are often the first people employees and employers turn to when there’s a problem in the workplace. They can often help settle simple misunderstandings or, if the problem is more serious, help initiate the formal grievance process.

The Steward is either elected by those that they will represent and then ratified at a Local meeting; or elected and ratified at a Local meeting. They can be appointed by the Chief Steward and ratified at the next Local meeting but that is only used in cases where the Local meeting is not happening in time, and the Steward needs to be appointed in the interim (e.g. for education purposes).

If you’re not sure who your local stewards are, contact us (424-4063, 1-877-556-7438, inquiry@nsgeu.ca).

Why become a steward?

Being a local steward is challenging but incredibly rewarding. You help ensure the employer abides by the collective agreement. You are a trusted co-worker who can help advise your colleagues of their rights in the workplace, and conscientiously listen and respond to members’ concerns. You represent your local in the workplace, and you are the person who co-workers will come to when they are having issues at work. Management may also come to you for clarification of their roles and responsibilities.

To be an effective steward, you need to know your collective agreement. You must be a good listener and able to keep co-worker information confidential.

A steward keeps your local chief steward and your employee relations officer in the loop, ensuring they are informed about complaints and potential areas of labour-management conflict.

You will be expected to attend your local meetings as often as you can.

How do I become a steward?

Stewards are chosen by their co-workers, and ratified by the membership at a local meeting. The number of stewards for your local will depend on the size of the workplace and the number of members. Stewards can be appointed by your local executive (subject to ratification at their next local meeting).

Where does a steward go for assistance?

You are not alone. Each local is required to elect as part of its executive a chief steward to assist stewards.  The NSGEU offers courses to prepare you for the challenges of being a steward. And of course, stewards can contact head office at any time for further assistance: 424-4063 or toll-free 1-877-556-7438 or by email, inquiry@nsgeu.ca

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