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(updated 1/12/18)

What do Stewards do?

Stewards provide a link between their worksites and the Union, assist and represent coworkers who file complaints or grievances, and maintain an active Union presence at their workplace. A Union Steward has three main areas of responsibility:

Communication and Education     •     Representation     •     Organizing

Stewards take on a number of roles in the union: providing leadership in the workplace; organizing co-workers to take collective action; communicating with workers, union leaders and management;and representing members.

Steward Application

Chief Steward

Cindy Harlin



Liz Cabral (CEO)



Maxe Cendana


Animal Care and Services

Todd Dauzat


Animal Care and Services

Kevin Johnson


Animal Care and Services

Carlos Murillo



Ranak Majmudar



Jaime Fonseca



My Vuong



Robyn Zamora


Fire Communications

Brenda Jaime


Fire Communications

Marie Steinbach


Information Technology

Desiree Gezzi



Dan Gibson



Jamie Marcil


PRNS – Happy Hollow Park

Katie Oxnam



Maria Miller



Gary Muraoka



Steven Solorio


Police Communications

Jennifer Hern


Police Communications

Karoline Ngo


Police Communications

Sandy Leffler


Police CRU

Alyssa Stupi


Police CSO

Peter Bell


Police CSO

Kellie Carroll


Police CSO

Roberto Franco


Police CSO

Nick Rovetto


Police OSSD

Darleen Aiello


Police OSSD

Cindy Harlin


Police OSSD

Edgar Padilla


Basic Rights & Responsibilities of Stewards and Members

Members – Rights

  • Right to be free of discrimination/intimidation for Union activity
  • Right to be represented under the contract.
  • Right to have management follow the contract, Civil Service rules, other policies, and the law.
  • Right to be represented in investigatory procedures.
  • Right to pre-disciplinary due process.
  • Right to view and copy personnel file.
  • Right to safe and healthy workplace.
  • Right to advance written notice to their Union of changes in policies, rules or practices that affect wages, hours or working conditions.

Stewards – Rights - All of the above, plus

  • Right to be treated with respect by management, free of discrimination/intimidation or coercion in carrying out Steward duties.
  • Right to represent members under the contract, rules, policies.
  • Right to represent members in investigatory procedures.
  • Right to inspect/copy employee personnel files, with written permission, and other appropriate discovery.
  • Release time to attend to Steward duties.

Members – Responsibilities

  • Do their job responsibly.
  • Report problems/seek Union assistance and advice promptly. Don't respond in writing (e-mail or memo) to counseling or written materials without consulting a Steward).
  • Ask for Steward representation in investigatory situations.
  • Be honest and straightforward with Steward regarding their issues.
  • Treat Steward with respect, as member would wish to be treated.

Stewards – Responsibilities - All of the above, plus

  • Treat workers and their problems with respect, equally and fairly
  • Communicate: seek member input on any issue referred to the Steward by the Union.
  • Help members clarify rights and responsibilities,identify options, give responsible mature advice.
  • Due diligence in investigating, timely follow-up on member problems.
  • Enforce the contract, and educate members about their rights.
  • Get advice from Chief Steward or Business Agent where needed.
  • Organize: assure that co-workers are Union members, assist them in working together through the Union.

Shop Stewards Have Weingarten Rights, Too

By Christopher Hammer

Union members have the right to the presence of a union representative at an investigatory interview that the employee reasonably believes may result in disciplie: this is the Weingarten right, named after the U.S. Supreme Court case of the same name. The legitimate role of the union representative includes providing assistance and counsel to employees who may lack the ability to express themselves or who may be too afraid or inarticulate to raise extenuating circumstances. Importantly, representatives are not required to merely be a "silent witness." They have the right to:

  • Be informed by the supervisor of the subject matter of the interview;
  • Take the employee aside for a private conference before questioning begins;
  • Speak during the interview;
  • Request that the supervisor clarify a question so that what is being asked is understdood;
  • Give the employee advice on how to answer a question; and
  • Provide additional information to the supervisor at the end of the questioning.

The law also, however, recognizes the employer's right to investigate an employee's alleged misconduct without interference from union officials, and to insist on hearing the employee's own account of the matter under investigation. How far can a union representative go in representing a member in a Weingarten interviewwithout losing the protection of the law?

The NLRB addressed this question in a decision issued in March. In Howard Industries, Inc., 362 NLRB No. 35, the shop steward, during the employer's investigative interview, tapped on his notebook to draw the attention of the employee and then held up the notebook for the employee to read from verbatim. Prior to the investigatory meeting, the steward had met with the employee and took notes of the extenuating circumstances the employee described. When the steward refused to close his notebook at the employer's request, the employer threatened to suspend him.

The Board found the steward’s conduct remained protected because the use of the notebook provided the employee “clarification and counsel” by reminding him of his defense. The employee was entitled to be reminded of his defense at that point in the interview when it was most useful to both employee and employer. The Board concluded that the union representative’s conduct did not interfere with the integrity of the employer’s investigation, and therefore, the employer’s threat to suspend him was unlawful.

Notwithstanding this decision, shop stewards are reminded that assistance to a member in a Weingarten interview that interferes with the employer’s legitimate right to interview the employee will not be protected and will subject the steward to lawful discipline.

As of today, the Weingarten protections only apply in a unionized setting. But the NLRB in the past, before reversing itself, has extended these protections to non-unionized employees as well.  It is possible the current Board, dominated by Obama appointees, will revisit this issue, and if so, perhaps all employees will once again have a right to representation in investigative meetings.

The Weingarten protections for union representatives during employer investigatory meetings are a dynamic area of labor law. Beeson, Tayer & Bodine is a California law firm that represents unions and their members, and routinely practices before the NLRB. The reader might find this related blog article intereting where we highlight the union representative's rights to insist on knowing the purpose of an investigatory meeting in advance,Weingarten Reprentatives Have Rights Too.

Source: Beeson, Tayer & Bodine, 4 May 2015

Stewards Handbook


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Created 13 February 2009 • Modified 12 January 2018