What does a UNISON steward do?

Talks with members about any workplace issues they may have, for example to offer guidance and advice in relation to terms and conditions of employment (e.g. leave or sickness entitlement). See the University’s terms and conditions of employment.

Represents and/or accompanies members at formal grievance, capability, sickness or disciplinary meetings, if required. See the University’s grievance, disciplinary and other dismissal procedures.

As part of the recognition agreement with the University, members are entitled to seek guidance and meet stewards during normal working hours.

Meetings can take place in our designated Union Room (Laver building) to facilitate one to one meetings in a confidential and private environment.

Members can also access Unison Legal Services directly for non-work related queries or via stewards for work-related issues but please note that you must have been a registered member for at least 4 weeks to be eligible for this assistance and it should not be a pre-existing issue (before joining the union). See the legal services information on the UNISON website.


Stewards provide a vital link between members and the employer and act as mediators in order to seek resolutions to any issues whenever possible. As a consequence the more stewards we have the better represented the members are throughout the University.

Full training is provided free of charge (run from the Exeter UNISON Office located at the Exeter Business Park) and fully accredited by the TUC (Trades Union Congress).

See the UNISON stewards webpage for more information on the role of the steward in the workplace.

As stated: the recognition agreement with the University allows stewards reasonable time to conduct union business within normal working hours.

If you are interested by all means contact Jo Hamilton.