Sept 2, 2009

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Membership officers learn the ropes


Khalid Siddiqui of Fredonia listens to a discussion on how to use chapter newsletters to sign up members. Also shown, from left, are Jo Schaffer of Cortland, Deidre Kelly of Potsdam and Jacqui Berger of Empire State.

More than a dozen chapter membership officers took part in a two-day training session in August that covered topics from identifying members and building department rep systems, to mobilizing members and effective communication.

Led by statewide Membership Development Officer Edward Quinn, the training sessions gave chapter MDOs—and, in some cases, chapter presidents—the tools they need to encourage members to participate in union activities. Two key points to tell potential members: One, only card-carrying members can hold union office or elect UUP leaders and delegates; and, two, only employees who sign a union card can vote on the contract between UUP and the state of New York.

“People who don’t join the union can’t complain that they don’t like what’s in the contract,” Quinn told the workshop participants. “If they want to be part of the discussion, they need to sign a membership card.”

Several presenters addressed the group, including Quinn, Jo Schaffer of Cortland, Stony Brook UUPers Judy Wishnia and Pam Wolfskill, UUP Director of Communications Denyce Duncan Lacy and UUP Publications Specialist Karen Mattison.

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