Steward Spotlight: Region 4
As a new steward-turned-chief, Region 4 Chief Steward Ted Snaza dove headfirst into his responsibility to help enforce the MAPE contract. Since his start as a state employee at the Dept. of Revenue in 2008, Snaza has always been involved in MAPE.
“I’ve always been pretty vocal when it comes to employee rights and transparency,” Snaza said. “I got even more involved in the union after, I think like many stewards, I had my own personal issue with management and that made me want to get involved more.”
The opportunity arose when Snaza’s Region 4 chief steward had to step down, leaving a vacancy in his region. Already a steward, Snaza accepted the opening and jumped in to learn everything he could about grievances and investigations.
“Because I got thrown into being chief right away, I went to every investigation and grievance and everything I could for the first few months,” he said. “I got a lot of experience very quickly.”
That collaboration between stewards and members, and steward to steward is what Snaza says makes a great representational team.
“I enjoy being in investigations, helping people be more of an advocate for themselves,” Snaza said. “As a chief steward, I have to be more organizational and detail-oriented now, but that interaction between stewards and all our different styles helps spread the expertise around.”
Snaza’s tip to fellow members is to verify everything with correspondence. He says, “Any time a member has anything they’re not 100 percent on, and even if you are, reply in writing to the supervisor what you heard.”
As for those who may be considering getting involved in MAPE as a steward, Snaza says “go for it!”
“If you have even a one percent inkling to do it, 100 percent go and try it,” he said. “If it’s not for you, you don’t have to do it. You never know, it might be something you like.”
Snaza says that his region, and most MAPE regions, are always in need of more stewards.
“I truly believe stewards are the most important part of our organization because they’re trying to help enforce the contract,” Snaza said. “Negotiating our contract is a close second, but it’s the people enforcing it that give the contract our power.”