Taking Part, Being Part of WBNG’s Strategic Plan
(June 30, 2009) “Don’t anticipate – participate!”
That was the slogan we repeated during a youth retreat I made more than half a
lifetime ago. The slogan has stayed with me all these years; its
brevity is deceptive.
Your choices are these: Let things happen to you and let events overtake you; or get involved and become the change that you seek.
That’s what the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild has
undertaken with its strategic planning process. We’re making the shift
from the way we currently operate to a more member-driven, participatory
model of unionism. We want to identify the tasks that can be done by our
members at the workplace, freeing our staff to do the bargaining,
organizing and representation work they were originally hired to do. If
this involves training members to become activists, training activists
to be leaders, and training leaders to be experts, then the Guild stands
ready to make that happen.
As with any process, it’s a work-in-progress. But we expect to
have two elements of this process in place by the start of October.
One is a budget that reflects our desire to have greater member
participation in all areas of local life. The other is the drafting of a
document that reflects and underscores those values.
We have a rough draft from which to work. We also have a task
force drawn from our Executive Council members and staff to put more
flesh on the bare bones of the rough draft.
But what value would such a document have if we didn’t give
our own members a chance to, well, participate?
Here are the members of the task force, with e-mail addresses,
so you can offer your suggestions:
Jim Grossfeld, at-large member: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tiffany Heath, AFL-CIO: email@example.com
Miranda Nelson, United Food and Commercial Workers:
Cet Parks, administrative officer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Pattison, CNS, local president: email@example.com
We want to be able to show a revised draft to the Executive
Council before its Aug. 4 meeting for review and comment, and to make
whatever needed changes between then and the council’s
September meeting (date to be determined), so that the local can go into
October with a plan firmly in place. We are also counting on the
local’s budget committee, which includes WBNG’s four officers and
two of its staffers, to set budget priorities that puts the finalized
document’s ideas into action – also by October, which happens to be
the start of a new fiscal year.
The days that we have left for anticipating are dwindling.
It’s time to participate.
– Mark Pattison