NYSUT’s second tweetup had locals sharing how they plan to engage members at the start of the school year.
Of course, you don’t have to wait until the start of the school year. Several locals organize events well before school starts. They offer new-member breakfasts or luncheons, and other events such as voter registration drives and book giveaways. Some locals actually wait a few weeks for the first “official” union meeting to get past the September rush of events. It’s all about what works for your members and it’s more important what you do at the meeting than when you have it.
Here are some ideas for that first member meeting:
The CWA and IBEW strike against Verizon offers a good opportunity to educate and engage members this fall. Talk about the connections to other workers, public, private, blue collar, white collar or no-collar in this state, in this nation and others, and how we must join together to push back against those who choose the wealthy over the working class.
Consider giving members items with your union logo — pens, pencils, coffee mugs are always welcome. Some locals give out t-shirts with the union logo. The Westhill District EA gives a flash drive with “The future is in your hands” inscribed.
Whenever you schedule your union meetings, have fun with them. Consider a union history contest to help members learn how fair the union has come, or what kind of proposals the union has beaten back in the past. Consider prizes for attendance.
What about bringing in guest speakers to union meetings? Obviously someone from another union, like CWA, or how about a community group like the American Cancer Society or United Way?
Consider a phone bank to welcome members back, provide information about events and allow for them to ask questions. This can be done any time of the year.
Consider sending out a video of important messages to members. Consider the content, if appropriate for the general public, tweet about it and post on Facebook.
Share your creativity on the It’s What We Do website. The public needs to see how what YOU do matters.
Consider a Personal Learning Network for advice. Here’s one example through Twitter.
Remember to check with your NYSUT Labor Relations Specialist for more information and guidance.
Highlights from #NYSUTChat
There were more than 300 tweets shared during the Twitter chat Sunday night. Here are a few highlights.