Building Strong Worksite Representation
Steward training program developing new advocates and leaders
Local 1000 stewards are the building blocks of the collective power of our union. Up and down the state, nearly 1,000 of our members have stepped up to take a pledge to enforce our contract and improve workplace conditions, while engaging their coworkers to become active and support our Union’s pursuit of social and economic justice.
In 2015, just over 150 new steward candidates successfully completed our Leadership Apprentice Program for Stewards (LAPS) program. In 2016, we want to triple the number of LAPS graduates.
“We’re building a grass-roots network of passionate, effective stewards by giving our members the tools to act as advocates in the workplace,” said Tamekia N. Robinson, Local 1000 vice-president for organizing/representation.
LAPS is an exciting, six-month apprenticeship program that includes orientation, mentoring, education and on-the-job training. Stewards in training are first exposed to an intense combination of online and/or classroom coursework – which provides the foundation for success. Then, steward apprentices get hands-on experience, spending time with a Local 1000 field organizer and also with our representational staff at the Local 1000 Union Resource Center.
LAPS graduate G Perdigones (DSH, Vacaville), speaks about being a steward. “The LAPS program has enabled me and my fellow stewards to protect the hard-earned rights of all Local 1000 members. We’re providing better representation and building stronger workplaces with the skills we’ve learned.”
All Local 1000 stewards are continually supported with ongoing Advanced Steward trainings. For example, after Local 1000 negotiates and ratifies a new contract later this year, our stewards will be updated about contract changes that affect our membership.
More than contract enforcement
President Yvonne R. Walker says, “Our stewards do more than the important work of contract enforcement. They connect members to their union and to one another. They amplify member voices in the workplace and in the community, and they harness the energies and talents of Local 1000 members to build power across the state.”