Last month, fourteen Local 21 members spent a Saturday at the downtown Oakland office attending our newly revamped union steward program. Oakland members learned about the history of the labor movement, trained on workplace issues and representation rights, and learned how to identify and handle employee grievances.
After attending the training, Julian Ware said, “Participating in the steward training provided me with a valuable experience that will help me effectively represent my co-workers as a steward for Local 21. We’re stronger when we know our rights and when we protect each other as a team.”
Danita Lee said, “The Steward training was enlightening for me. I have been an IFPTE Local 21 member for over 13 years, and I have never been so inspired to get involved as I have been this year. The energy among the union members is motivating. I am looking forward to working in our union team to ensure the City of Oakland’s mission statement that ‘citizens and employees shall be treated with fairness, dignity, and respect,’ is not just written, but enforced.”
The steward program is meant to empower Local 21 union members; our union is only as strong as our membership. When we come together as a team to make improvements at our workplace and making sure everyone is treated fairly, we all benefit.
Research, Communications, and Training Director Ken Page facilitated the training with Kat General (Interim East Bay Senior Representative/ Organizer) and Sharon Jenkins (Staff Representative/ Organizer).
Trainees also enjoyed a surprise yoga session with instructor Anthony Williams, who lead them in de-stressing and relaxation exercises.