Tools for Leading Change
Volunteer Member Organizers Attend Special January Delegate Assembly
The special January Delegate Assembly took place in San Francisco on Saturday January 27, with more than 100 members in attendance. The special Delegate Assembly was called to swear in the newly elected Executive Committee members and recognize the outgoing members for their service.
More importantly, with Janus v. AFSCME looming on the horizon, it was time to provide more tools for Volunteer Organizing Team members who have answered the call to duty and are on the front lines asking our co-workers to recommit to our union. With news that the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Janus v. AFSCME in February, the urgency is even more profound.
Paul Shearon, IFPTE’s Secretary Treasurer, attended the Delegate Assembly to swear in the newly elected Executive Committee members. He spoke eloquently about the threat of Janus and echoed Executive Director Bob Muscat’s remarks on members being the only force that can defend our union against “Right-to-Work” attacks. He said, “If it can happen in Wisconsin, it can happen in California.” Shearon said that IFPTE Local 21’s plan of action is the best he has seen, and is even sharing it with other IFPTE locals as an example of best practices.
It’s clear that IFPTE Local 21’s role in the fight against the effects of Janus v. AFSCME, and the ensuing attacks against workers’ rights extends beyond our union. While Local 21 has been a leader in organizing fellow public employee unions around Janus tactics, the real test will be what kind of results we get from our Cards and Conversations campaign. That comes down to the Volunteer Organizing Team (VOT) members.
VOT members were recognized at the Assembly who have already collected gold cards, with some VOT already getting 20, 30, or even 50 or more cards. Those members then attended workshops that honed their organizing skills. For anyone new to the Cards and Conversations campaign, an hour and a half long “Getting Started” session helped with the basics of how to talk to fellow members about recommitting to their union. Other workshops for more experienced VOT included “Getting Past ‘I’ll Think About It’,” “Going Deeper into Organizing Conversations,” and “Developing Union Leaders.”