We have accomplished a lot
Greetings Bargaining Unit Employee!
My name is Andrea Berry. I am the Chapter 72 President. I was elected in October 2016 and my first year as Chapter President has been rather interesting, to put it mildly. During my campaign, I focused on establishing a better channel for all traffic of communications from Chapter 72 leaders. We have redesigned our webpage with the desire of establishing a better means of communicating with you. While this was a personal obligation at the time, now a little over a year as Chapter President, it has become a necessity as well. As President, I was ready to begin implementing changes, yet, unbeknown to me and extremely important to point out, this Chapter was not accustomed to embracing changes. Improving this Chapter is a challenge, yet I enjoy solving problems. Did you know there is no transition or mentorship of any kind once elected as Chapter President? Nope, not even a manual.
I embraced it as an opportunity to use my business and project management education to accomplish a greater good. One of the first lessons I learned as a Six-Sigma student is to look, learn, and listen first. With that perspective, I began sorting through what I had inherited, the entire Chapter 72 portfolio; financial statements, organizational blueprints, membership records, contractual opportunities and legal obligations, our overall resources and discovering our stakeholders. This is the structure of the Chapter. However, there is an entirely other side to managing this chapter. Managing designations, answering questions adhering to our grievance process, and determine the strength of a case for arbitration. Today, the dust is settling.
There were a lot of people scratching their heads during the beginning makeovers, today with the help of team members and fulltime stewards, we have a lot of positive examples and information to share. Today we have quantitative and qualitative data where we had nothing before. Today, we have a check and balance procedure where we had none before. Today we have a modern foundation established within our chapter bylaws. We have structure and order where this was an enigma before. We are establishing a stable presence with all levels of management. Our high leadership turnover has been a crippling factor of this chapter I am working to overcome. Our motto “Members Matter” plays a role in the idea of unity. Our offices have been remodeled to communicate real change and a welcoming presence. Yes, about 97 percent of our stewards are new. I gave most of the stewards from the past the opportunity to embrace the course this chapter is now traveling. Some remained while some have not. I will not compromise our obligation of fair representation or my standard of high quality and truthful customer service because someone has held the title of union steward at some point. Your job is your livelihood and I take all inquiries and concerns seriously and my stewards reflect this foundation.
Today, Chapter 72 is not perfect however, we do our best to represent empathy, sympathy and a commitment to being better than we were before. Yet, the irony is our lack of employee volunteers and here lies the hemorrhage of our Chapter. If only to attend meetings and take notes, we need employees to volunteer to help.
Here’s our portfolio: Did you know this Chapter governs over 4,000 bargaining unit employees? We cover five (5) independent locations. A majority body are seasonal employees, with four different shift types. During peak season, we have over 140 teams on the dayshift and about 80 teams on the nightshift for maybe 25 volunteers split between both shifts to cover. During the non-peak season from October through December, these numbers turn into half. We are the quintessential example of workplace diversity. We represent employees from grade three to grade fifteen; Clerks, Tax Examiners, IT Technicians, Project Managers, Analyst, Revenue Agents, etc.
Consequently, I speak with twelve (12) different Directors. Everyone, here is your networking opportunity. Another end to accomplishing a promotion. Your opportunity to mingle with peers in your area of interest both personally and professionally. I took the extra time to share this with you because details are important. My hope is that you find ease with knowing where we were in the past compared to our standing now. Moreover, its equally important that you know, we are doing our best and I am just getting started.
Everyone has a role to play. Those who have volunteered have allowed me to create a synergy team that keeps this Chapter functioning and manifesting to its full destiny.
What we do is larger than one person. Members matters and “this place only works when everyone becomes engaged”.
Andrea Berry, Chapter 72 President