Reply – Newly hired business reps, qualifications?
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Newly hired business reps, qualifications?
— by bill lebo bill lebo
I am a steward on a job in Queens, I have been a steward for the better part of 20 years. I like to think I've done a good job for our members and our union as well as for the contractors that I have worked for because I do take pride in my work. A brother asked me yesterday on the job about a friend of his who took all the classes to become a steward, but when he asked when he would become a steward he was told he didn't have enough years in as a journeyman and would have to wait another 3 years. The member asked me if that was right, I wasn't sure since things have changed so drastically, however I told him I didn't think that was possible because I knew of a member who had just been hired as a business representative who was just last year a 4th year apprentice, and they couldn't possibly make the qualifications for being a business rep easier than the qualifications for being a steward.
So, I called the council and spoke to someone in the school and sure enough you must have 5 years as a journeyman in order to qualify to become a shop steward.
So I said to the person I spoke with, so a member with less than 1 year as a journeyman can become a business representative but that same person couldn't qualify to become a shop steward. The person I spoke with laughed and said yep.
Now I agree with the 5 years as a journeyman to become a steward, it only makes sense. However, doesn't a steward have to go to a Business rep for answers on jurisdictional disputes, as well as other problems that may arise on a job? Shouldn't a rep be at least as qualified as a steward if not more so? It seems to me someones messing this whole thing up. I was hoping that after all the crap this membership has gone through in the past things would get better. But if the UBC thinks for one minute that this membership is going to take a fifth year apprentice seriuosly they are in for a rude awakening.
Oh, and since I'm typing, how is it that the UBC can violate our contract by unilaterally wiping out our raises but if you violate the contract you are brought on charges and fined or thrown out? Just a thought.