Gear up for fall with ideas from this tweetup

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.

NYSUT activists will be tweeting from 7-8 about how to engage members at the start of the school year. Use hashtag nysutchat… and GO!

MahopacTA nysutchat we actually have two meetings scheduled on the 1st day this year. A welcome back breakfast early and then a gen membership later

MahopacTA MahopacTeachersAssoc nysutchat having that time on day one for the entire organization to come together is a must. Set goals for year, send message to all .

MahopacTA MahopacTeachersAssoc nysutchat I think CWA strike gives us opportunity to teach about connections to other unions, bargaining, WI, etc…


SaranacLakeTA Members tend to be a bit overwhelmed with mtngs on first days back. What are different ways to engage/reach them?nysutchat

DMaxMJ nysutchat we will be negotiating new contract and APPR. engaged and involved members is a must

MahopacTA MahopacTeachersAssoc nysutchat last year we also started tradition of a family BBQ at a local camp two weeks after start of school. Social, not business

SaranacLakeTA Our officers our planning to visit buildings in our district; outreach to members; meet ‘em they “live”. nysutchat

NYSUT We’re fans of using social media to reinforce face-to-face meetings. And vice versa. nysutchat

MahopacTA MahopacTeachersAssoc nysutchat we also have point person for VOTE COPE speak and we complete all paperwork at meeting on the first day, obviously set a goal too

zillyg nysutchat our local’s site is open but part is pw protected for the board. We also have a retires section, and calendar of upcoming events

SaranacLakeTA Members seem to like when our local spotlights/supports accomplishments of fan members; sons, daughters, etc. nysutchat

mspetter nysutchat – Last year, I sent out a video to my members containing important messages. This was handy for those with busy schedules.

mspetter nysutchat We also created “Portraits in Professionalism” to highlight one member from each building in our district

MahopacTA MahopacTeachersAssoc nysutchat we also started doing raffles at meetings last year and attendance skyrocketed. Amazing how far a $25 gift card can go!

MahopacTA MahopacTeachersAssoc nysutchat ever try the “five min. meeting?” Teachers from Syracuse that every other month hold this instead of full meeting to respect time

DMaxMJ @ nysutchat @SaranacLakeTA 5 min meeting seems fast. Done 10 min. Great if you spread word and 1/2 item agenda to focus comments & discussion

SaranacLakeTA Spreading the word about #CWA could raise awareness of issues facing labor. Plus they deserve our support! nysutchat

MahopacTA MahopacTeachersAssoc nysutchat I agree that activists are over extended, this is why we need more people involved, engaged and acting to lighten load

BetsyS48 nysutchat union meetings must be fun. Love @MahopacTA idea of prizes just for showing up. How about working in union history with contest?

zillyg nysutchat could people who tried something new at opening day also report out on effectiveness

NYSUT It’s 8! We’re going to officially wind down, but unofficially the hashtag is always available. nysutchat

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