Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Consulting the Bylaws

Our local union has bylaws. It's helpful to understand the bylaws as you work as part of your union in order to represent the members well. I highlighted a number of bylaw lines, I want to focus on in the days ahead. For the most part, the bylaws outline the specific tasks and expectations of union roles, responsibilities, meetings, decision making, and communication.

"Develop and promote the adoption of such ethical practices, personnel policies, and standards of preparation and participation as distinguish a profession."
This is a good focus as we think ahead to our salary and working conditions work. What are the ethical practices, personnel policies, and standards of preparation and participation that distinguish our profession?

"Unify and strengthen the teaching profession and secure and maintain the salaries, the retirement, the tenure, the professional and the sick leave, and the other working conditions necessary to support teaching as a profession.*
In some ways, this serves to prioritize the contract efforts.

"It goes without saying that both parties should be firmly resolved to live up to the provisions of the agreement. To this end, all of those responsible for administration of the agreement, either on the employee or on the employer side, should be carefully and thoroughly instructed in the terms of the agreement and in their respective duties and responsibilities."
It's important that our contract language is updated and in some cases, revised, since some aspects of the contract are now outdated and other areas are not carried out for many reasons. When the contract is clear there will be less issues for debate.

"To enable members to speak with a common voice concerning matters pertinent to the teaching profession."
To speak with a "common voice" requires sustenance, communication, and good strategic process. Together we are better, and coming together takes both time and skill.

Our bylaws have many more important words and phrases, but the ones above are those I'll focus on in the weeks ahead.