Guild Exec held a strategic planning meeting with our California Federation of Teachers (CFT) representatives on Friday, October 14th to discuss the ways your leadership can be more effective in membership recruitment and, most importantly, engagement of our members. We’ve been so busy putting out Covid-19 fires since 2020 that it’s been difficult to truly engage our membership in the business of the Guild and the CFT.
I’m sure I don’t need to say it, but this pandemic has made Guild work much more challenging, diverting our time and resources to making sure our members felt heard and protected, more than in ordinary times. While the work is important, it’s also been exhausting. I feel like we’re at a point where the engagement is one-way, where our members keep wanting more from leadership because that’s what everyone has come to expect.
A very super serious laser focus Emily at a
2012 conference in Oakland
This is where we need to shift. We need to reorient from this transactional environment back to the spirit of inclusivity and engagement with the membership. We can all benefit from the curiosity of our members.
I firmly believe in meeting my members where they are whether that’s on campus, on Zoom, or somewhere else entirely, but as we move to more events taking place in person so that the connections among our members can be restored at GCC or beyond with our colleagues in CFT, I’d love to see more curiosity and offers of, “what can I do as a Guild member to become more involved?”
All CFT meetings are open to Guild members, so if you want to see what the CFT is doing on the state-level, these meetings are the perfect place to be. I cannot tell you how great it is to meet fellow CFT members at events that are not solely about Guild business. We get too caught up in our own echo chamber of problems here, so believe me when I say it, we have it really good here. It’s true!
I’ve been attending CFT events since before I was in Guild leadership because I was Guild curious! Once upon a time, when someone asked me what my local number was, I thought they were talking to me in a foreign language (it’s AFT-2276, by the way). We all have to start somewhere – check out the very super serious laser focus at that conference from 2012 in Oakland when I was a union babe in the woods!
Guild Exec is working on a revamping of our Guild Liaison system and other exciting ways to engage our members. Exec is also seeking your 30-second to 1-minute testimonial on what the Guild has personally helped you with as a promotional and recruitment tool. Please submit a phone or computer recorded video to this Google Drive file.
In the meantime, if you have any suggestions to share with how our members can be Guild curious, let me know! My virtual door is always open (email@example.com).
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