Secretary-Treasurer’s Report, Summer 2015

Preparing the Next Generation of Union Leaders

Mike Coleman, UWUA Secretary-Treasurer

Mike Coleman
UWUA Secretary-Treasurer

The 30th Constitutional Convention was a very successful event. We heard from numerous energetic and enlightening speakers who addressed the many issues that we face today in organized labor and in our industry. As importantly, there was enthusiastic participation by our membership at this convention. A good blend of senior experienced workers as well as eager younger workers attended the convention as Delegates, Alternates and guests. A common theme throughout the various sessions of the convention indicated the need, and desire, to mentor our younger and future members. Experiences and ideas were shared on ways to bridge the age gap and pass on the necessary knowledge to make sure our next generation of Utility Workers are the best trained, highest skilled, safest and most productive workers on the world. For our organization to thrive, we must acknowledge the experience and wisdom of our Senior Workers while we encourage and cultivate the enthusiasm and new ideas of our Young Workers. We also understand that we have many new local union leaders since our last convention. The National Union is actively updating and preparing new training programs that will give our leadership the tools and insight they need to perform their duties and responsibilities. Our goal is to implement training sessions at our Regional Conferences in 2016.uwuamag-summer2015-sectreas-quote

Financial training

This training will provide the knowledge and information our local leadership needs to be prepared to provide our members with the best representation in investigative meetings, grievances, and contract negotiations. We must be diligent in fighting for, and protecting, our membership’s best interests in all areas, including wages, benefits, and working conditions. Complacency is unacceptable in our industry. Utilizing the National Union’s training and resources will help guide our future leaders. The National Union is also preparing new financial training programs. Fiscal responsibility is of the utmost importance in our organization. Our updated financial training will include proper recordkeeping and reporting requirements as well as proper income and expense documentation. These training programs will reinforce the importance of regulatory compliance and our responsibility to protect the Union’s funds and assets. A strong treasury provides the leverage and resources necessary to secure fair contracts for our members and their families.

DC office transition

2015 has been a year of transition in the Washington, DC office. We are making changes with the goal of finding ways to work more efficiently and prepare ourselves for future opportunities in our industry. We are reviewing and updating our income and expense policies as well as our administration policies and practices. We are streamlining operations and looking for efficiencies and best practices, which includes capitalizing on modern technology. An example of this was the implementation of our first live app at the convention. This app allowed every participant’s smart phone to have current information and live updates. We also utilized the app for interactive participation, including live polling on various topics of interest. Such apps are one more tool for communicating with our membership, and we look to explore more opportunities to utilize them. The National Office has also implemented a new payroll system that provides accurate and timely payments and expense reporting. Additionally, we have made use of new email, electronic data backup and security systems. All of this activity is geared toward ensuring the UWUA continues to fight effectively for our members to improve their lives, their communities and our country.