Friday, November 14, 2014

Guest blogger AMAPCEO Director Theresa Anderson Butcher: Engaging the Membership An Argument for Adequate Resourcing of the Chapter Executives Part 2 of 2

This is a continuation of Theresa Anderson-Butchers blog post on Membership Engagement.  You can read part 1 here

Moving Forward – How to Address the Gaps

How many of you saw benefit last year with the resources we allocated to mobilization? Was there better engagement of our members? Did we get value for those expenditures? Did our members provide positive feedback on our efforts and those of staff?

Do you believe, as I do, that maintaining a higher level of funding and providing more leave to Chapter Executives to engage and educate members would reap a positive benefit?

Let’s look at this more practically. I am going to make some assumptions as follows:

1.     AMAPCEO staff is responsible for the preparation of all training and communications materials.
2.     Each chapter has full access to a teleconference line to conduct Chapter Executive meetings.
3.     Leave time for chapter business can be allocated to any members of the Chapter Executive Committee.
4.     Leave time can be requested on a more flexible schedule based on sufficient notice to the employer.
5.     The Chapter Executive puts together an annual plan for outreach and member engagement. The plan can be template and then adapted for individual chapter needs.

Regardless of chapter size, number of members or geography, both time and resources will be required for appropriate outreach. For example, a regional chapter represents a smaller population, but covers a larger geography; a ministry chapter represents a larger population over a smaller geography. Are the costs the same to engage members equally? I would say that they’re close but spent on different items. For example, higher refreshment/meeting room costs for ministry chapters, and higher travel and teleconference/videoconference costs for regional chapters.

If we can allocate leave time to Chapter Executives, the travel time for regional chapters could be significantly reduced allowing Executive members closest to the membership to engage as opposed to having the Chapter Chair travel longer distances. This would be the same for ministry chapters as well.

It takes time and resources to build and engaged membership. We have four years before the next OPS collective agreement is negotiated. This is the largest population of members and we need to use the time between now and then to build engagement and a sense of community within the membership. We need to provide the resources to do so.

If you truly want an engaged membership and if you truly want to be supported by the Association so you can personally more actively engage, then I ask you to vote for those candidates who are committed to giving you the resources we need to make sure every member, if they choose to become more active in the Association, is able to meaningfully engage regardless of their geographic location, family status or accommodation needs.

We cannot allow the continuance of systemic barriers that prevent members from engaging with each other or participating in the leadership of the Association should they choose.

If this is a concept you would like to see explored, built upon and implemented, please vote for candidates like James Dawson, Dianne Colville and Theresa Anderson-Butcher who are committed to making this happen.

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