Local 21 Members Take the Lead on New Employee Orientations

With the Janus vs. AFSCME decision coming, members are stepping up across the city and across our Local to lead and organize our co-workers. On Monday, November 6, Local 21 members participated in a training on one of the most crucial parts of strengthening our union: recruiting new members.

California recently passed a law that guarantees unions access to New Employee Orientations. These orientations are our best chance to show new employees that the union is an important part of their job and life. With anti-union forces growing stronger and preparing to take advantage of the upcoming Janus vs. AFSCME decision, it’s even more important that we’re there and showing the importance and power of the union.

Eight members from departments across the City learned how to communicate what the union difference is and what we’ve won win by standing together. The training focused on members’ personal stories of how being a union member impacted them personally, and the differences in workplaces that had union power and those that didn’t. They’re now planning on recruiting members at every orientation held in their department.

Rosie Scott from the SF Water Department said, “These New Employee Orientations are the first impression that new employees have of the union. It’s important for new members to be represented and engaged. As a union member, the more I’m involved in union efforts; activities, meetings, trainings, etc., the more it enhances my knowledge and interest in the union. I want to share that with other potential members. I’m also a believer that there is strength in numbers, so the more new members we sign up, the better!”

Lorelei Patricio of the SF Water Department agreed with Rosie, “I agree about us having strength in numbers. Our Local’s members are committed and willing to share our knowledge. New employees will learn from the present members by participating and bridging info with other departments. I also enjoy meeting other members, and engaging in activities, meetings, and trainings, so the New Employee Orientations are great!”

“I’m glad we’re having more New Employee Orientations; it’s important that new employees hear from their colleagues about our union, and the important work that we do. The more informed and involved our membership is, the stronger our union is. It’s also important it is to have NEOs so members can sign a membership cards!” said Deanna Chan of the Department of Human Services.

The more member leaders we have across the city and across the union that we have, the stronger our union will be. If we have members stepping up in every department to educate and recruit their co-workers, our ability to fight off attacks on our benefits, win good contracts, and build the movement we want will increase tremendously. When we all choose union, we all win.