A cornerstone of union membership is protection from abuse on the job. Keeping your protections intact requires us to maintain and grow our union’s power. It is through the determination and dedication of our Union Stewards and the actions of our members that we keep our union strong.

SEIU 721 Stewards are selected by their co-workers as their representative in the workplace. Shop Stewards undergo extensive training and development to build a strong union through representation and organizing. So how does this journey begin?


Once a Represented Member submits the required documentation and is approved to begin training, they must attend a New Steward Orientation and a series of classes (Workshops I, II and III). These trainings comprise the Core Trainings for Steward Certification and are offered monthly.

Upon completion of the core training, prospective Stewards will be certified and will receive a letter welcoming them to Stewardship! The Union will notify the department HR that the member is a Steward, consistent with the Memorandum of Understanding with the Employer.

If you are a newly recruited Steward, or if you are Veteran Steward that wants to nurture and grow new Stewards, there is no better time to do trainings than now!

Course Schedule

New Steward Orientation – Provides new stewards with an understanding of what their roles and responsibilities are as worksite leaders. Participants also review SEIU Local 721’s history and structure.

Weingarten Rights/Informal Problem Solving (Workshop I) – Weingarten Rights/Informal Problem Solving (Workshop I): Members gain knowledge and skills in handling Weingarten meetings.  Participants also learn the basic skills involved in the informal problem-solving process.

Grievance Handling Training (Workshop II) – New stewards learn how to analyze problems and determine the merit of a grievance. Participants also learn steps and skills involved to properly investigate and resolve a grievance.

Organizational Leave Training (Workshop III) – New stewards learn the basics about the Family Medical Leave Act so that, as stewards, they can properly determine when and how to use it. This session also covers Pregnancy Leave, Return to Work and Employee Assistance Program guidelines.

Courses for Continuing Development

Labor Management Training (Workshop IV)  – Offers new stewards best practices on managing Labor-Management meetings, including how to evaluate problems to determine which are appropriate for Labor-Management resolution.

Member Organizing (Workshop V) – Participants will be trained on the steps required and skills necessary to reach out to union members, to activate co-workers and to organize a workplace.

Building Our Political Power – Stewards will gain insight on how politics impact our jobs and communities, and they will learn the importance of building political power. This training is held specifically for stewards who will be actively recruiting for the Committee On Political Education (COPE).

Conflict Resolution – This workshop focuses on building relationships in the workplace and dealing with difficult people. The session is designed to develop the skills of stewards who are emerging activist leaders in our union.

Advanced Grievance Handling – Provides stewards with skills to handle advanced level grievance procedures such as arbitration, Skelly hearings and discrimination claims. Participants must have handled grievances prior to attending this training and they must have one year of grievance handling experience.

Workers’ Compensation Training – Participants examine workers’ compensation guidelines and learn how to build a case. This course is conducted by the Law Offices of Victor Manrique.