Unions provide solidarity to workers and help uphold their rights. Running for union office has many similarities with running for any elected position. You do a lot of campaigning, traveling, and getting to know many people—workers, civilians, officials, etc. You need to have not only the mental and physical capability, but also the determination, dedication, and integrity to hold a Union office. If you’re planning to do so, here are pieces of advice on how to run for union office.
- Be a member of the organization. First and foremost, you have to be certified member of the Union and follow their own set of membership requirements and obligations.
- Attend every meeting. You need to establish your being a member by attending the general membership meetings. Being present in meetings also guarantee that you’ll be updated about every issue concerning the Union. It’s also a good time to get to know fellow members and the officers.
- Be an active participant. Be active and be seen. Let fellow members know of your interest and willing involvement with the Union. Work on being approachable, reliable and someone with integrity. Show them that you’re always ready to serve the purposes of the Union. This will earn you the respect and trust of fellow members and those higher up.
- Build connections. Get to know your fellow Union members better especially during meetings and activities. Engage in conversations. Work on building healthy, peer relationships with them.
- Decide on a position. When deciding on which position to run for, choose one that you’re most interested in and that allows you to make full use of your knowledge, skills, and abilities. For example, if you’re good with handling money, go for the position of treasurer. Or if you’re good in dealing with people, go for a liaison or PR officer position.
- Follow the charter or bylaws and clause. Unions as with any important organization, have a charter. You need to know what’s required of you as a Union representative. Follow the rules and fulfill the requirements stated.
- Submit your name for office. Wait for the notice from the executive board regarding the upcoming election. Follow the protocol when submitting your name for office. Observe requirements and deadlines.
- Campaign and promote your strengths. Brainstorm or ask someone you trust for creative input when composing your flier. Bank on your strengths and put them at the forefront. Your campaign details should include your motto or slogan, a photo, relevant personal information, and career accomplishments. Put up your own website if you have the time and resources to maintain it. Publish your goals and public address to your website.
Running for Union office works almost the same as running for any elected position. You have to invest time, effort, and also a bit of money into your campaigning methods and paraphernalia. But most importantly, you have to promote your goals of what you can and are willing to do for the Union, along with your strengths and integrity as a Union member.