[caption id="attachment_2812" align="alignright" width="300" caption="LOCAL LEADERS—Local 888’s first leader training session drew members from around the state to learn skills to strengthen and lead their chapters."][/caption]
Local 888 members are ready to lead. That’s thanks to a recent training session attended by more than 25 members and facilitated by the UMass Labor Extension Program. The training was intended to assist members in strengthening their chapters by getting coworkers more involved. Participants also had a chance to practice one-on-one organizing and come up with plans for how to implement their new expertise when back at their chapters. For many of the members who participated, the training provided an opportunity to meet and learn from fellow union activists. Anthony Meeks spends his days trying to connect “hard-to-reach” youth to needed services and resources in Boston. But the training quickly taught him how much he has in common with public servants in more suburban parts of the state. “It really gave me a sense of unity across our chapters,” says Meeks. “By talking to other stewards, you learn that we all experience similar challenges. It’s exciting to work together and find solutions.”
Weymouth van driver Diane Foley says that she arrived at the training believing that the difficulties her unit deals with—lack of member involvement, meetings that aren’t as effective as they could be—were specific to Weymouth. ”I learned that the issues we face in our chapter aren’t unique to us. Everybody is facing similar challenges,” says Foley. For other members the big reward came in meeting other members, all of whom are stepping up to lead their union. “This was the first training for many in attendance,” says Beth Rosenblum, the conservation administrator for the town of Southborough and vice-chapter chair of her unit. “Local 888 is incubating a whole new batch of future leaders. Good job!”
For information about future trainings, contact your Local 888 representative.