Shop stewards are the foundation and pillars of the Union; they are elected from the general membership at a workplace. It is through shop stewards that nurses / midwives are able to air their grievances. Shop stewards are committed, hardworking, disciplined and progressive members.
In executing their functions, it expected that shop stewards play various roles ranging from being organizers, representatives, monitors, leaders, learners and educators.
Through Shop Stewards, RNMU is committed to represent its members at all times more so in challenging moments such as outbreak of disastrous pandemics like COVID – 19.
Attended by shop stewards in Gasabo, Kicukiro, Kamonyi, Huye, Gastibo, Kirehe, Rwamgana, Kamonyi, Gisagara, Nyanza, Burera, Nyamasheke, Rusizi,Gakenke,Karongi districts, the meeting coordinated by the regional coordinators in their regions sought to strengthen and review the roles of shop stewards aimed at serving members better and efficiently especially during this trying moments of the Covid – 19 pandemics.The remaining districts shall hold meetings before the end of the month of June 2020.
According to a new report by researchers at the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, it is expected that Covid – 19 will persist for a longer time, therefore RNMU is carrying out a working conditions and satisfaction survey for this period of COVID 19 period. The survey shall be used as a basis to inform RNMU while advocating for provision of protective equipment to nurses / midwives during this period of the Covid – 19 pandemic.
Shop stewards further reminded themselves of their purpose and responsibilities of which some are:
- Give daily and monthly updates and reports on issues pertaining nursing and midwifery at their respective work places.
- Give regular updates on the total number of nurses and midwives, number of RNMU members and the total number of members making monthly contributions.
- The Shop Stewards are the primary link between nurses / midwives with RNMU at their respective work places.
- The Shop Stewards should negotiate for fellow members or nurses/midwives at work place level in terms of social welfare and legal matters.
- The Shop Stewards are required to make reports concerning social and legal cases that are being handled at their respective work places to RNMU headquarters.
- Shop stewards are further mandated with;
- Recruiting new members at their respective work places;
- Make sure that all the members are paying subscription to the RNMU;
- Hold regular meetings with the members at their respective workplace;
- Develop and encourage a spirit of unity amongst nurses / midwives;
- Take up worker’s grievances with hospital management;
- Negotiate on all issues which concern nurses / midwives;
- Effectively report back to members the decisions of nurses / midwives to the hospital management;
- Report back to members after each meeting with management
- Represent the views of nurses / midwives in RNMU structures
- Represent the views of members in communities and in political structures.
- Shop stewards must make sure that hospital management sticks to agreements which have been negotiated with members
- Listen to and act upon grievances and opinions of members
- Offer guidance and direction to members
Shop stewards were reminded of the ongoing online CPD about COVID 19. The link is found on the RNMU website: www.rnmu.rw at the education portal.