Stewards are mentors and advocates for union members with questions or concerns at work. We organize members to address issues as a group instead of dealing with them alone. We accompany and support members in meetings with management or state licensors to ensure a fair process in which everyone is heard. Our training program gives stewards the skills, knowledge and resources to make us effective advocates and organizers at work.
On-line resources for Stewards:
The Stewards Manual
The Stewards Book outlines stewards’ various duties and responsibilities in the workplace. Chapters range from “Dealing with Management” to “The Steward as Political Activist.” The book also provides a handy checklist of things stewards need to know, have, and do. For a hard copy, contact SEIU’s Fullfillment Center at (202) 842-9872, or e-mail email@example.com.
The Stewards Book
» Your Role As Steward: The Basics
Get the basics about what you need as a steward, what your protections and duties are, and how to welcome new workers to the job.
» Talking to Your Co-Workers
The how-to of explaining SEIU and how we work as a union, explaining our dues system, and what a difference the union makes.
» Problem-Solving 101
What do you do when confronted with a problem. This section teaches how to identify problems, what you have a right-to-know as steward, how to analyze the problem, and working with management to resolve issues quickly.
» Your Role As Steward: In-Depth
So, you’ve got a dispute in your workplace that’s not going away easily. Stewards wear many hats, and have lots of tools at their disposal to resolve issues short of filing formal grievances.
» Disputes and Grievances: Rights, Procedures and Best Practices
For the occasions when meetings between management and a member can lead to discipline or a grievance, read the step-by-step of the members’ (and your) rights, and how to formally craft grievances to reach the right resolution for workers.
» Glossary and Bibliography
Read about SEIU’s terminology and supporting information to find out more.
Safety and Health
SEIU’s deep commitment to workers and their families extends to their safety and health—on and off the job. That’s why we’ve put together several booklets (listed and described below) outlining the risks and detailing what you need to protect yourself. Some of the booklets are available in PDF format. Others can be ordered from SEIU’s Fulfillment Center by calling (202) 730-7872.
In addition to the booklets, note our fact sheets on smallpox and our comprehensive list of safety and health sites below.
|Is Your Building Making You Sick?
This 35-page training workbook (pdf) provides SEIU members with an understanding of the causes of indoor air quality problems, and the tools to persuade employers and building owners to make indoor work environments safe and healthful. This workbook teaches workers how to work together and organize their co-workers to solve sick building syndrome problems. Hard copies available at no charge.
|HIV/AIDS Protecting Ourselves, Protecting Our Patients and Residents
Health care workers are sometimes frightened by the many stories and rumors about HIV/AIDS. This colorful and highly illustrated 15-page booklet, designed so that it can also be distributed to workers with low English literacy skills, conveys the message that we can still care for our patients and residents, and protect ourselves at the same time. The concise, straightforward information in this book will put health care workers in control of the facts about HIV and AIDS. Hard copies available for $1.00 each, prepaid.
|The HIV/AIDS Book: Information for Workers
The fifth edition of this comprehensive 68-page book was written for local union leaders and staff, who provide education and information about HIV and AIDS. The book provides answers to real questions union members ask at workshops and training sessions. Hard copies available for $3.00 each, prepaid.
|SEIU’s Guide to Preventing Needlestick Injuries
This 1998 36-page booklet (pdf) helps health care workers collect needlestick injury data, actively participate in product evaluation committees, work with hospital administrators, file health and safety grievances, and file complaints with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) when necessary. Hard copies available for $3.00 each, prepaid.
Workplace safety and health sites:
General Health and Safety
National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
OSHA’s Electronic Compliance Assistance Tools — Helps workers and employers identify and address potential occupational hazards in nursing homes or in hospitals by describing standard requirements and safe work practices.
OSHA worker rights under the OSH Act of 1970
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
NIOSH guidelines for worker safety and health (pdf)
Premier’s safety topics A to Z
The National Network of Committees on Occupational Safety and Health
Sustainable Hospitals Project
Bloodborne Pathogens and Preventing Needlestick Injuries
OSHA’s needlestick info
CDC guidelines for managing occupational exposure to HBV, HCV and HIV
NIOSH alert on preventing needlestick injuries
NIOSH lessons learned: safer medical device implementation
Training for Development of Innovative Control — Technologies Project (developing safer needlestick technology)
International Health Care Worker Safety Center
Tuberculosis (TB) and Control of Airborne Pathogens
NIOSH and CDC guide
CDC guidelines for preventing TB transmission of mycobacterium
Safe Patient Handling and Lifting (including no-lift policies)
Department of Veterans Affairs Patient Safety Center
Violence in the Workplace
Fact sheets on Smallpox:
Smallpox Disease, Vaccine, Vaccination: FAQs (pdf)
The Vaccine Program: Weigh the Facts Before You Volunteer (pdf)
Should You Volunteer? A Chart to Help You Decide (pdf)
Vaccination Safeguards: A Checklist for Health Care Workers (pdf)