ORIGINALLY POSTED JUNE 10, 2015
It’s no secret – times are changing and labor unions across the nation are facing a level of distrust not seen in decades. Union power is diminishing, and meanwhile, the middle class is evaporating. We talk about it at work, at union meetings, in our homes and at town hall meetings.
The attacks are so frequent, they’ve been successful in keeping us on the defensive.
“It seems like there’s one urgent thing after another. We don’t have time to take a deep breath and say ‘what can we do to build?’” Vice President/Chief of Staff Andy Potter said at the May Central Committee meeting.
With these challenges in mind, the MCO Executive Board and central office staff have devised three initiatives to connect with members and ensure future strength. They are:
• a membership listening campaign
• a military members’ outreach program
• corrections fatigue research and advocacy
The listening campaign got under way in May. Executive Board members are leading small group discussions at all chapters to better understand members’ hopes and fears about the direction of MCO, our state and our country. Chapter presidents have been scheduling meetings and recruiting members MCO doesn’t usually hear from. The Board hopes to hear from 5 percent of the membership, roughly 325 people, by Labor Day.
The military members program will address how MCO can better serve the membership’s large number of active military members, veterans and their families. Board members Ray Sholtz and Ed Clements are heading this effort. The union is planning a meeting, possibly this fall, for interested members to gather and tell MCO how the union can serve our servicemen and women. Email us to get involved in the military campaign.
MCO wants to be an industry leader on the area of corrections fatigue. We’ll start by compiling and studying research on corrections fatigue, and from there, we plan on taking a formal position and possibly funding new research. We will educate members on how to detect corrections fatigue, and we plan to advocate in the media and with MDOC administration for real solutions to this problem. Work on this initiative will launch later this year or early next year.
We won’t be able to transform MCO or the condition of unions in our country overnight. But with persistence, we can improve. MCO leadership is taking concrete steps to better understand our members’ needs in these changing times and how the union can better serve all members.
We encourage you to get involved with these initiative and we welcome your feedback. Email your feedback now.
We’re stronger together.