Sally Payne from the IBT leads members in strategic planning workshop.

Our Union hall was buzzing on Saturday with members participating in two different events.

New Shop Stewards were here to learn the skills of the trade: grievance handling, new member orientation, and contract enforcement.  

Another group of member leaders filled round tables in the small auditorium. Their job was to engage in a critical analysis of our Union with the goal of building priorities for the future.  Check out photos from the event here.

The meeting was a part of our Union’s strategic planning process. Every three years, we embark on an effort to set strategic goals that will shape our work for the future. For this round, John Scearcy, our Union’s Secretary-Treasurer, has emphasized the need for us to live up to our pledge of becoming a Union that truly puts members first.

“These are not empty words – this is real,” he said as he addressed members at the meeting.

The meeting kicked off with a discussion about what makes a Members First Union.  Based on those values, members asked themselves how our Union measures up. What are our strengths? How can we improve?  The group also surveyed the external political and economic landscape to help us prepare for threats and capitalize on potential opportunities.

The information will go back to our Union’s strategic planning committee to help us develop priorities for the next three years. Members at the meeting will also be heading back to their shops to survey the membership on issues like our Union’s mission and purpose, building unity, and member participation.

Saturday’s workshop was facilitated by Sally Payne of our International Union. Sally is an expert at strategic planning and brings over 30 years of experience from the Training and Development Department at the IBT.

Over the years, strategic planning at Local 117 has led to some of our most significant victories. We achieved a Local Union Strike Fund as a result of the process. Six years ago, we identified interest arbitration for our corrections members as a strategic priority and we recently negotiated it into our DOC contract.

In addition to the meetings at our Union Hall, a conference for emerging labor leaders was taking place just down the road in Georgetown. Teamsters and members from other unions joined together to explore ways to strengthen solidarity though the intersection of race, gender, and community.

“This is what organized labor looks like,” said Secretary-Treasurer Scearcy. “We’ve got three different meetings today for members to be involved in, learn from, and provide feedback. Our goal is to organize more of these kinds of opportunities so we can build a stronger Union.”

You can provide input into our strategic planning process by taking our survey here. If you are interested in getting more involved in our Union's strategic planning process, email [email protected]