I am the President of my local (unionized members of my government-funded employer.). I also do my regular job with my employer. I get thousand dollar honorarium and some expenses paid.
I communicate constantly with my members. Enquiries about their rights and responsibilities under the collective agreement. I also proactive approach members if I sense something may be “off”. The contact is constant 24/7 and the expectation is I will respond immediately. My contact, especially email, must be diplomatic and shared beyond my initial contact. It can also be brought into legal proceedings so have to be really careful in what says and commit to. This has been my steepest learning curve.
I schedule, chair, create agendas for and minute meetings about once a week. The meetings can be collaborative or confrontational. I have to do a fair amount of hand-holding for other members on committees. I organize social occasions as well.
I stay on top of current legislation relating to labour law, health and safety, and human rights. I have to be aware of proposed legislation and lobby for/against as it serves my community/members. I also communicate the changes/proposed changes to my members.
I market my union and what it offers to both current members and the community.
I file paperwork and am expected to have a photographic memory of documents that were created decades ago.
I oversee the books – I finally delegated to day to day handling.
My resources have to managed effectively against the greater resources of the employer.
Delegating tasks and ensuring the tasks are done correctly within the timeline. This is a challenge as I have no “stick” so have to spend a lot of energy on “sugar”. If the delegated tasks aren’t done I have to do it, usually on a really tight timeline.
I try to be proactive versus reactive from challenges both small and large. There is a lot of politics to navigate – both personal (inside and outside the membership) and through all four levels of government.Add to favorites