Our union’s Steward Council is an elected body of representatives that make high-level decisions and shape our union’s identity. Stewards are not just conduits of information, they are leaders in their departments and are responsible for organizing their fellow workers at OSU. We strive to have one (1) steward per every ten (10) workers in each department at OSU to make our union strong. Here are some of the things CGE Stewards do:
- Start Campaigns, Propose Initiatives, Develop Training and Workshops. In 2017-2018, our Stewards were responsible for initiating campaigns for fighting tax bills that would treat our tuition waivers as income, developing workshops for helping our members who deal with trauma from sexual assault, and creating a housing committee that advocates for affordable and accessible housing in Corvallis. Our Stewards are empowered, as well as our members, to propose projects that they believe will advance the mission and goals of our union.
- Represent their departments/academic areas within the union. Stewards are in a position to know the priorities and needs of the members of their department and can also help plan events that are relevant and accessible to members of their department. This includes representing their department by attending CGE Steward Council meetings twice per quarter.
- Talk to non-members about joining CGE. High membership leads to a better contract, which leads to better working conditions. Making sure everyone has the chance to make an informed decision about joining CGE is essential.
- Maintain a visible CGE presence. Keep CGE materials on hand, maintain your department’s bulletin board, and distribute information and materials to CGE members.
- Bridge the gap between members and officers. This includes being able to answer basic questions about the contract and the union, keeping members informed about what the rest of CGE is doing, identifying members interested in being more active and connecting members with involvement opportunities.
- Help conduct fall orientations. Orientations are often the first contact incoming grads have with CGE, and it’s important that they know that CGE is both here and relevant.
Steward Communications Committee
- Steward Communications Officers to serve on our Steward Communications Committee: In 2017-2018, our Stewards created a layer committee to help coordinate the communications between Stewards. These are our Steward Communications Officers (SCOs), and they take on additional communication responsibilities, facilitate our Steward Council meetings, and ensure that our Steward Council is involving all Stewards equally in the process. Stewards nominate and elect the new SCC in Spring term after Winter elections. The body is made up of ten (10) representatives; 2 reps per “clustered” departments.
Steward Council Elections
Steward Council elections are held each Winter Term. The elections are conducted online and proceed through a few phases.
- Areas. The first week of every Winter Term, a list of Areas for representation is distributed by the CGE Executive Council (EC). Any member may appeal to the EC if they don’t feel that their Area is represented.
- Nominations. Nominations are accepted in writing to email@example.com, online submission, or from the floor of the Winter General Membership Meeting (GMM). When nominations are opened (on December 1 this year), every CGE member will receive an email letting them know their area for representation, how many stewards they are entitled to, and details on how to make nominations. Members may nominate themselves or any member from any area as a Steward. However, members may only vote within their assigned Area. If a member objects to the Area they have been assigned for representation, they may appeal to the EC. Nominations close January 30.
- Elections. Elections are conducted via a secure, anonymous online platform. At the opening of elections (January 31), each member in an Area where a nomination has been received will be sent an email with the link to the election and instructions for voting. Voting closes February 8.
- Results. Steward Council election results are announced shortly after voting closes. The new Steward Council will take office February 21 and serve for one year and one term (Spring term after election closes until Spring term the following year).