NASA Wants You – Consider Becoming a Union Steward!
What is a NASA Union Steward?
Since the Steward Program began in 1995, Union Stewards have been NASA’s recognized representative in the workplace. A Union Steward is appointed by the Chief Steward of NASA to act on behalf of other members.
What does a NASA Steward do?
Always working in conjunction with an assigned Labour Relations Officer (LRO), a steward’s most important job is to attempt to resolve issues and concerns at the lowest possible level in the workplace. However, a steward is more than just a problem-solver; they are also an organizer, a communicator, and a sounding board. On a daily basis, a steward comes in contact with many different people – other members, supervisors, management, students, members of the general public, etc., and accordingly is expected to be an ambassador for the Union. A steward is never alone and always has the ability to contact their LRO to discuss issues and concerns and receive advice and/or mentorship.
What makes a good Union Steward?
A Union Steward needs to have a keen interest in people and a desire to help others.
In addition, a good Union Steward will:
Be Fair – listening to all points of view carefully.
Be Friendly – approachable and easy to talk to; be willing to discuss issues, concerns, etc.
Be Enthusiastic – able to involve people in the Union because of your own involvement.
Be Courageous – know when to tell members they are wrong and do so diplomatically. Also know when the member is right and be able to converse respectfully with management on the matter.
Be Knowledgeable – know and understand the Collective Agreement as well as the Union’s Policies and Bylaws. Also know when the information/advice being sought is beyond the steward’s ability to provide and know where to refer members for additional help.
Be Efficient and Effective – gather facts and information quickly to consult with the LRO.
Be Responsive – never let a member feel ignored by waiting for days to get back to them.
If you feel you have, or could develop, any of the above qualities, and you have a sincere desire to help your fellow members, we would like to hear from you. To obtain further information on the steward program and the roles and responsibilities of a NASA Union Steward, please contact the NASA Office at 439-3181 or firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to be directed to the LRO responsible for your area.