Shop stewards play a pivotal role when it comes to defending the rights of union members at work. IBEW 1245 prides itself on ensuring that our shop stewards receive the training and resources they need to be the best stewards they can be, and the union holds periodic conferences and trainings to help the stewards hone and refresh their skills and knowledge.
This February, Local 1245 hosted a series of day-long conferences for our shop stewards in the public and private sectors. 44 public-sector and private-sector stewards attended the Reno shop steward conference on Feb 3, and 89 stewards attended the Vacaville conference on Feb. 5. The agenda covered a wide variety of important rights and laws that shop stewards ought to be familiar with, as well as key skills that can help them service the members and the contract in the most effective way possible.
“IBEW 1245 shop stewards are second to none in the representation of members,” said IBEW Local 1245 Business Manager Tom Dalzell. “Our shop stewards set the standard.”
A team of Local 1245 Business Reps, along with Assistant Business Manager Ray Thomas, worked together to develop and present an engaging and useful curriculum. The conference kicked off with an overview of Weingarten and Garrity Rights, presented by IBEW 1245 Business Rep Sheila Lawton. Business Rep Al Fortier highlighted important shop steward “Do’s” and “Don’ts,” and Business Rep Sam Glero went over the elements of Just Cause. Business Rep Pat Waite presented a session on “What is a Grievance?” and Business Rep Jennifer Gray followed it up with a detailed description of grievance handling. Business Rep JV Macor discussed the workplace protections enshrined under FMLA and CFRA, and Business Rep Charley Souders explained the union’s Duty of Fair Representation under the law. The training also included a presentation on Local 1245’s peer safety program, along with a briefing on the Friedrichs v CTA case currently pending in the US Supreme Court.
Additionally, 14 shop stewards from IBEW 1245-represented manufacturing employers came together on Feb. 16 in Vacaville for their own shop steward conference. That training was facilitated by Business Rep Cruz Serna and Assistant Business Manager Ray Thomas. Local 1245 Business Manager Tom Dalzell kicked off the training by emphasizing the need for more, and better quality, manufacturing jobs in the United States. The rest of the day-long training featured sessions on shop steward roles and responsibilities, understanding the contract, legal rights of shop stewards, grievance handling and possible legal issues. The day concluded with an open discussion where the stewards could ask questions and learn from one another.
Ray Thomas contributed to this report. Photos by John Storey, Ray Thomas and Cruz Serna.