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Theres no trick to being a good shop steward says Dave Rice.

Rice, chief steward for CUPE 569, representing municipal workers in St. Johns, NF advises new shop stewards to concentrate on the basics.

If youre going to put a grievance in, youve got to make sure you have your facts, says Rice, a steward

for 25 years and chief to 569s eleven shop stewards.

Rices style of getting directly to the point earns high praise from CUPE rep David Reynolds.

Ive seldom met anyone with Daves ability to cut through the BS and get to the heart of the matter, Reynolds says. Ive been at meetings where hes been able to rhyme off seniority numbers faster than the

employer could get them up on the computer.

While Rices knowledge and his great sense of whats do-able are assets when defending members, he says it all boils down to remembering there are two points of view to everything.

Management has a point of view. The union has a point of view. Theres always a happy medium on both sides to be satisfied.

Youve got to work with these people, says Rice.

Doreen Meyer

If you have a stewards experience that youd like to share, send us a note or an e-mail to comm@cupe.ca. Or if youre having a problem and youd like some help, send us a question and well ask others for their advice.