Why are we focusing on Best Practices for local unions?

By: 
Charley Wilkison
CLEAT Executive Director

Striking a balance between the guiding principles of your union and providing real services to your members sometimes seems difficult. However, if we simply hold to the premise that it’s the union member who comes first, who’s trust we cannot ever violate, then everything becomes about building a better delivery system for rights and benefits. That’s the description of our unions. Remember, core unions and strongly held beliefs are meaningless if you can’t deliver. If you don’t stand beside the member who is taking incoming fire from management, media and anti-law enforcement activists there is no reason to belong.

On the flip side, if your union becomes a clearinghouse for benefits, then you are an insurance company looking to negate the cost of representation. Insurance companies need to find a way to deny the claim, and pocket the profits, If criminal cases become too expensive or politically ‘too hot t0’ handle then a fraternal organization or a conflicted organization may seek cover. 

Union Best Practices Training at the 43rd Annual CLEAT Convention & Leadership Academy in San Marcos, Texas.

Unions have to draw the line and hold their position, ground zero begins with the member. The focus of this convention is to bring into clear focus the guiding principles of unionism and officer rights and how best to bring those rights and benefits back home to the members who faithfully support us and look to all of us to stand strong beside them in the times of crisis. 

Look no further than the recent cases of Trey Kleinert from Austin or Derick Wiley from Mesquite as high profile cases that didn’t fit well into the Legal Plan Document...but we won the Kleinert case at the U.S. Supreme Court and the Wiley case on the second trial in Dallas.

Let’s use this convention to remind ourselves of the extreme real-world value of belonging to a union with core values and a world-class focus on everyday operations.

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