By BONNIE MORR
Alternate Vice President, Bus Department
Bus Department workshops at the San Antonio and New York regional meetings were among the most informative in many years, and reflect the promise of President Futhey to beef-up and place greater emphasis on those workshops.
The workshop on solidarity and uniting of our membership focused on how labor, beginning at the local level, can make a difference at the bargaining table and in state and congressional legislative chambers.
Local and general committee officers found significant benefit in a technical workshop on how to write more effectively in grievance proceedings.
The new cell phone ban and other safety issues was timely and punctuated with videos of actual accidents, allowing discussion of causes and accident avoidance.
Officials from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) presented essential information on labor law affecting collective bargaining and grievance handling under the National Labor Relations Act.
An especially fruitful workshop opened the floor to discussions of issues facing individual locals, allowing a collective sharing of ideas and solutions.
Bus Department members also benefited from several workshops dealing with transportation issues and labor challenges that affecting all crafts and organized labor in general.
Legislative breakout sessions provided information state-specific legislation affecting Bus Department members and working families. The role of the UTU Collective Bargaining Fund and UTU PAC in turning back anti-labor efforts by political extremists and electing labor-friendly candidates was most informative.
The Bus Department intends to build on the success of these workshops at our 2012 regional meetings in Portland, Ore. (June 18-20), and Memphis, Tenn. (July 23-25), and we encourage that you begin making plans to attend one of those meetings to improve your skills as effective leaders and trade unionists.