Steward Training Empowers New AFSCME Activists

It was by all accounts an empowering experience, in which several dozen members from across Council 36 dedicated themselves on a recent Saturday to learning more about the role and responsibilities of a union  steward. Stewards are often called "the heart of the union" because they play such a vital role in the enforcement of union contracts and throughout the grievance process.  

The participants were of mixed experience levels. Some are already acting as stewards while others are still deciding whether they are able to make that committment. But all succeeded at honing their grievance handling and advocacy skills. 

One psychiatric social worker with Local 2712, who asked not to be named, was motivated to attend this workshop because of her appreciation to the union, which she says assisted her through difficulties she was having at work. "I'm here because I feel stronger with my union," she said. "This day has been so interesting and informative."

For Lorena Arellano, a vehicle operations supervisor with Local 3634, the training was energizing and educational. She says it "definitely has encouraged me to be involved" in the union's advocacy activities and campaigns.

Council 36 gives a huge shout-out to every member who participated. They represented a diverse array of Locals, including: 119, 143, 773, 800, 809, 858, 1271,2626, 2712, 3061, 3183, 3302, 3634, Anaheim Unified School District, Anaheim Managers and Confidentials, and the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts.