Leadership / Shop Steward Guide
Empowered and well-trained shop stewards are the backbone of successful local unions. The OPEIU Leadership/Shop Steward Guide provides comprehensive training materials for local union shop stewards, staff and emerging leaders. Most of the content can be customized and adapted to fit the unique training needs of each local union. The Leadership/Shop Steward Guide continues to develop, so be sure to check back often as we add content to the chapters below.


  • Message from Our OPEIU President
    Coming soon…a letter to shop stewards from OPEIU President, Richard Lanigan. Local unions can also include an introductory message to stewards from local union officers, a steward committee, or a chief steward.

  • Why Unions Matter
    Coming soon…a section with pictures and testimonials from OPEIU stewards about what their union has meant to them and how, as leaders, they’ve made a difference in their workplace or community through union action. Local unions can modify the section with their own members’ voices and pictures. Links to other materials will be provided to help illustrate the connection between union density and a better quality of life for working people and the middle class.

  • Tips for Shop Stewards (Doc Format)
    What a union leader needs to know (i.e. contract, polices, co-workers, labor law and other examples); what a union leader needs to do (i.e. greet new members, educate, advocate for all members,  organize, look for ways to agitate…and other examples); the concept of stewards as equals to management and the duty of fair representation.

  • Talking One on One to Co-Workers
    Coming soon…ways to have persuasive conversations with co-workers to build unity and member participation. Sample Q&A’s and tips will be provided.

  • Steward’s Role in the Weingarten Meeting
    Coming soon…Weingarten rights and tips on how best to represent members. 

  • Assertive Grievance Handling
    Coming soon…the difference between a complaint and a grievance; typical steps of a grievance; the importance of timelines; just cause standards; the right to information checklist and what to ask for to prepare; good investigation questions and presenting the grievance.

  • Building Workplace Unity
    Coming soon… a union visibility checklist; the importance of new member orientation; organizing to solve grievances; beating apathy; organizing opportunities.

  • Common Labor Terms
    Coming soon…a glossary of common labor terms a steward may need.

  • Where to Turn Resources
    Coming soon…links to various sites to help stewards best represent and advocate for members.

Know Your Weingarten Rights


Local Union Newsletter Template

OPEIU is pleased to provide all local unions, guilds and directly affiliated groups with the attached Local Union Newsletter template for your use at the local level.

Any local union that doesn’t already have a newsletter or is looking to revamp its newsletter can now use this template to create a personalized way to communicate with members, as many times per year as you’d like. We all know regular communication with our members is a vital part of our role as union representatives, and hope this template makes that job a little easier.

The template is in an easy to use Word format with suggested sections, photograph placement, etc., that can be easily customized for your local. You can insert your local number and logo in the masthead, add article headlines, photographs of members and leaders, contact information, your local’s social media sites, etc. It’s as easy as pointing, clicking and saving! The newsletter can then be printed and mailed or emailed directly to your members.


The OPEIU Store is open and ready for business, and is filled with exciting products for order by our local unions and members. All items are union made and include a union bug.

View items for sale and place your order directly online at https://opeiu.imagepointe.com/opeiu/.

For phone orders and questions, call 800-408- 2388.

Note that items can be customized to include your local union number and slogans. Call 800-408- 2388 to discuss customization.

About Us

Office and Professional Employees International Union was chartered in 1945 and with more than 104,000 members (representing 110,000 employees) strong, we’re one of the larger unions of the AFL-CIO.  OPEIU has locals in every state, Puerto Rico and Canada. 

More Information
Contact Us
President's Office 
80 Eighth Avenue
(entrance at 265 West 14th Street)
20th Floor
New York, NY 10011
Phone:  (800) 346-7348