What is a MAT?
Simply put, a Member Action Team is a tool to communicate with members and mobilize members around issues they care about. The communication is a two-way process, allowing Union and bargaining leadership to relay important information to the members, and allowing members to send feedback and suggestions back to the leadership. When the decision is made to have a Union Action, MAT will ensure strong turnout and member participation for the event.
MAT Coordinator(s): one or more individuals who work directly with Union leadership and the bargaining team. MAT Coordinators relay member feedback to leadership, disseminate important information to members through MAT Captains, and plan and mobilize members for Actions.
MAT Captains: leaders in the actual worksites who relay information to and from a specific group of coworkers. To avoid overwhelming any one MAT Captain, the goal is to have each captain be responsible for roughly ten of their fellow Local 88 members. In order to achieve this goal, we will need roughly 290 MAT Captains throughout Multnomah County.
Stewards & Chief Stewards: Stewards have an important place in the MAT Structure. While not all MAT Captains need to be Stewards, all Stewards should be MAT Captains. Since Stewards know the members in their worksite best of all, they will be tasked with recommending people they think would be good MAT Captains to the MAT Coordinator to help us reach the goal of 290. This has the added benefit of reducing the burden on individual Stewards, especially for ones in big worksites.
IMPORTANT: The MAT Captains should represent the diversity of the workforce. This includes not only race, gender, and age, but also worksite, job classification, shift, and so on.
Types of MAT Communication
- MAT Captains are an essential part of the chain of communication between leadership and membership. This communication includes:
- Listening to co-workers issues, problems, and concerns and communicating them back to leadership.
- Distributing written communications such as Union newsletters, flyers, etc, to the members on their team.
- Educating and informing workers on issues that affect them.
- Relaying updates on contract negotiations from the Bargaining Team.
- Asking workers for ideas on Member Actions.
- Motivating and mobilizing members to participate in Member Actions, including relaying materials (balloons, fliers, signs, etc) that may be necessary for the action.