HEU locals are the cornerstone of the union’s democratic structure, and a key communications link between the worksite and the provincial union.
Every HEU member belongs to a union local, which is the frontline mechanism for dealing with grievances, workplace issues and grassroots campaigns.
Locals hold regular meetings, a minimum of four times a year. Each year, local members elect their own executive officers – such as chairperson and secretary-treasurer. Local executives generally appoint shop stewards and occupational health and safety representatives.
Through their locals, members also elect delegates to attend HEU’s biennial convention, wage policy conferences, pre-bargaining conferences, and other provincial or regional membership meetings.
Local members draft policy resolutions, constitutional amendments and bargaining demands that are then discussed and voted on by HEU’s province-wide membership.
And part of every “union-dues dollar” goes right back to locals in monthly “dues rebate” cheques to support activities, campaigns and events determined by each local’s membership.
Your local needs you!
Your HEU local is where coworkers come together to solve problems, coordinate activities, communicate and advance members’ interests. By participating with your local, you can help and support your coworkers, connect with others across the province and country and build your skills and knowledge.
There are many ways to get involved – you can find a way to participate that will work for you and your life. Interested? Attend a local meeting or talk to one of your local executives to find out more.
When workers unite, they make things better for everyone. That’s why we stand together for fairness, equity and safe workplaces.
Key positions in a local executive
Chairperson: Good listener, organized, fair, team-builder
- chairs and runs the meetings of the union local
- facilitates discussion and conducts motions and votes
- helps motivate others on the local executive
Secretary-treasurer: Organized, motivated, responsible
- takes minutes of all meetings
- creates draft agendas for meetings and posts meeting notices
- does the banking for the local and pays the bills
- submits minutes and other documents to the Provincial and Regional offices
- receives and distributes mailings from Provincial Office.
Trustee: Honest, trustworthy, dependable
- ensures the local is financially sound and accountable to the membership
- examines financial statements and signs quarterly reports
Other local roles may include:
Vice-chairperson: The vice-chairperson (or vice-chair) can be assigned duties as needed, but is primarily elected to support and replace the chairperson as required, either temporarily or until the next annual election if there is a resignation. It is very important to have someone who can step in immediately, if and when needed.
Assistant secretary-treasurer: In many locals, the assistant secretary-treasurer helps the secretary-treasurer with the workload. Other locals split the positions into secretary and treasurer as distinct roles under their local by-laws.
Warden: The warden monitors the door of the meeting and prevents non-members and uninvited guests from entering. The warden provides the official sign-in book, which is used to determine the eligibility of members for elections.
Conductor: Guides new members through the initiation ceremony.
The full definitions of each role can be found in the HEU Constitution and By-Laws or the Chairpersons’ Manual