NFFE Forest Service Council Holds Training for Local Officers, Stewards in Wisconsin


Twenty-seven NFFE Forest Service Council (FSC) officers and stewards met in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, April 10-12 for basic training in labor relations. A blend of new stewards and officers, in addition to a few, let’s say “seasoned” veterans, provided a great mix of energy and experience. Attendees came from Regions 3, 6, 9, and 10.

Trainers Machelle Lang (FSC Training Committee Chair), Melissa Baumann (FSC Secretary/Treasurer), and John Obst (NFFE Vice President) kept the attendees on their toes with intensive lectures and exercises. Topics covered included Union Structure and Governance, The Role of the Union Steward, The Labor Relations Statute, ULPs, Grievances, Statutory Complaint Processes, Settlement Agreements, Special Topics from the NFFE-FS Master Agreement, and an Introduction to Negotiations.

All of the attendees felt the training was well worth it and one new steward remarking:

“I just can’t believe how much there is to learn – now I have the tools to address many of the problems that employees face.”

Another steward who was taking this training for the second time stated that he learned even more the this time around. Baumann said that it probably works best to retake this training a couple of years or so after taking it the first time. That way, after being in the trenches for a while, stewards and officers are better able to understand the workings of labor relations and can better represent employees.

Mary Scheuerman, President of Local 2165, hosted the training and had the thanks of all for contributing to the success of this session.

For Helpful Training and Guidance on Serving as a NFFE steward, visit the Stewards Toolkit.