Cecilia - That is the same way we members feel , when complaining to Union Stewards and we are no getting help
Mike - Cecilia, I am not sure what takes place in your discussions so I can only respond in the most general of ways. When I have a co-worker come to me with a problem I fully understand that their issue is a grievance as outlined in Article 15 of the CBA, that however, does not mean it is a contractual violation and as such quite often the issue either A - is something your steward can do nothing about or B - is an issue that can be discussed with your supervisor via a step one meeting but can't go beyond step one as the CBA rules at all stages of the grievance process once denied at step one. Sadly the idea that a grievance and a contractual violatoin have become synonymous in many eyes because the stewards tend to have to fight for everything and if it isn't a contractual right, than there is not a whole lot they can do and may brush you off when you speak with them.
I fully understand how this can be frustrating. I first became active when I had two different stewards tell me they refused to handle my issue and that if I wanted a grievance file I should do it myself. I was told I don't know what it is like not having been in their shoes. So, I took my case forward and after meeting with the manager I was told the Union had to be brought in for the resolve as that was their exclusive power (shows how long ago this was, management supporting the union). After the dust settled, I was asked to step up and the rest is history