As you may have heard, Local 88 will be starting negotiations for our contract in the early part of next year. The tentative start date is February 1, 2011. While that might seem far away, it’s not too early for us to prepare. While our bargaining team will represent our interests at the table, they’ll need our help to win a strong contract- especially since the economic forecast looks especially grim this year.
In order to support our team, we need a communication network that carries important information to and from the negotiating table – both during bargaining and before it starts. To do just that, we’re beginning to build what are called “Member Action Teams” in the workplace, and we need your help to make sure every one of our nearly 3,000 members is included in the program.
A Member Action Team (MAT) is a simple way for us to keep information flowing to and from the bargaining team. Think of it as a modified phone tree, where volunteers in every workplace become “point people” for 10 of their co-workers. It’s simple, effective, and the least we can do to ensure our team has the support they need when they fight for us this Spring.
We’ve volunteered to be the two lead MAT Coordinators for Local 88. But we can’t coordinate this project alone. We need a dedicated team of co-workers to step up and help us lay the groundwork for this communication network. It’s not a “forever” commitment we’re asking for, just some focused time for the next couple of months as we develop and implement the program. We need representation from every building, every department, every job classification in Local 88- and the more hands we have, the lighter the load will be for everyone.
Think you can help? Please join us at our strategy session and dinner on Thursday, October 28th, from 6:30 – 8:00 pm at the AFSCME Office (located at 6025 E Burnside St, Portland: http://bit.ly/AFSCMEPDX).
Please RSVP (email to: firstname.lastname@example.org) no later than noon on Wednesday, October 27th, so we can know how much food to get. Spread the word to co-workers, ask if they will come with you, and/or will provide their personal email accounts to us so we can keep everyone in the loop!
Thanks so much and as always, please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.