During the month of October, the NRLCA National Board designates the week of October 16-22, 2017 as “National Steward Recognition Week.” We use this week – and month – to say, “THANK YOU!” to the stewards who serve our union so faithfully. Their dedication and commitment to enforcing our contract and protecting their fellow carriers, and their perseverance in making the Postal Service a better place to work are the backbone of this Association. We acknowledge that fact far too infrequently. All rural carriers owe them a debt of gratitude and we hope you join us in showing them, especially this month, in a meaningful way. Sometimes, it is the smallest expression of appreciation that encourages them to carry on their work, even when they are disheartened about the effectiveness of their efforts. We know that they will continue to represent rural carriers in your post office and across the country to the best of their abilities.
Your stewards are not responsible for route adjustments, parcel volumes, late-arriving mail, a shortage of relief carriers, or changes in management initiatives. We ask that you consider the fact that your Steward listens to nothing but criticism and complaints daily. Moreover, he/she has every desire to resolve the issues in your favor and works diligently to do so.
Often, we see carriers who are frustrated by poor treatment from management and as a result project their anger – rashly and injudiciously – onto their steward. It is our hope that, by taking the time out to acknowledge the tireless commitment of our stewards, carriers in the craft pledge to be more mindful of such behavior. We hope that you realize how difficult a job it is to be a steward. We have lost far too many valuable stewards as a result of abuse inflicted by the carriers they serve whole-heartedly and without compensation.
Another noteworthy factor to bear in mind is that these dedicated carriers are conducting steward work on their own time after carrying a full day’s mail on their own route. We encourage you to lighten their burden by educating yourselves about your rights and responsibilities, adhering to the contract, and striving to provide the very best service to your customers.
Be the impetus behind your steward hearing words of praise just as frequently as he hears your complaints. Keep in mind these individuals put themselves on the line for you every day to help ensure the best working environment possible for you and your fellow carriers. The time spent researching references and our contract to resolve your grievance is certainly worth the time it takes to say thank you to the steward in your Post Office, District, or Area.
Stewards in post offices around the country deserve the utmost appreciation for their commitment to improving the work environment for you. Please use this week, especially, to show your appreciation and recognize the stewards who work so unrelentingly for you. Additionally, thank them for volunteering their time to benefit not just you, but all rural carriers!
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