Stewards help ensure that the provisions contained in the collective agreement are adhered to and applied by the employer.
The steward must deal with complaints, advise members on their right to file a grievance and represent members in meetings with management. The steward also liaises with the Regional Directors, Branches, Groups, Sub-Groups and staff.
As a communicator, the steward must be able to explain Institute policies and programs to members and keep members informed about the progress of collective bargaining, meetings and issues about which the Institute has voiced an opinion.
The steward also plays an important role in educating the members by being able to answer to know where to obtain answers to questions concerning terms and conditions of employment which are not contained in collective agreements.
Stewards are often called upon to attend union/management consultations. These consultation meetings are designed to develop and maintain sound and harmonious union management relations and to provide members with greater participation in the decision-making process of the employer. Stewards are also called upon to represent the Institute on occupational health and safety committees.