Public School Employees of Washington and its members have weathered the economic storm of the past several years. It was a painful time for many in our union – with job cuts, reductions of work hours, and increased costs for everyone. Fortunately, our most difficult days are behind us. It’s now time to put our collective resources together and build the strongest future possible for all education employees and also for our union!
In this spirit, the PSE Board of Directors began discussions around a 3-year strategic plan in October 2013. What they drafted is the most ambitious, forward-looking plan in our union’s history.
The Board quickly rallied around five critical goal areas:
- Education and Training
These goals focus on what the union can do to better equip our members and leaders, how we can rebuild the union movement, and how we can better position our union through stronger relationships with other community groups.
Since October, a significant amount of work has been done to fine-tune these general goal areas into specific action steps to be taken over the next three years. Now, is the time for us to bring member leaders like you into the conversation. We would love to get your feedback on these goals and find out what work areas you would like to plug into.
Please keep in mind there is still more work to be done. And remember, these goals cover a three-year duration. We want to make steady progress on each goal over the next three years.
Please join us in this important conversation. Now is the time for a bold look forward for the 26,000-plus members of our union.
Monday, March 10, 2014
Goal – Advocate
PSE’s signature strength is advocating on behalf of classified education employees on campuses all over the state. We excel at negotiating fair contracts for our members at the bargaining table. And we’ve built a solid reputation lobbying on behalf of classified k-12 and higher education employees in Olympia. Now we’re striving to do even more!
We believe we can unite our members, our chapters and allies around our shared values to create greater cohesiveness and alignment toward a common goal. One message, yet many voices! All pulling in the same direction to make our education system stronger. Improving the lives of working families.
We believe in the power of solidarity. In fact, we’re thinking of creating a statewide PSE “Blue Day” to unite all of us and celebrate what we have in common.
We’re also looking to build our infrastructure from the bottom up. We see the need to strengthen our local affiliates through high-quality internal chapter communications. The more members are connected with each other, we believe the more you will be willing to commit to volunteering, serving, and leading.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Goal – Education and Training
Our experience as a union tells us that knowledge is power and the more people know the more powerful they can be. We’re going to steadily re-vamp our union training curriculum. In doing so we plan to make all of our PSE leadership tools widely available regardless of where you live or work.
(for education training and deliver through various channels (web, print, app-based))
We are excited about this saying, “Let’s do more with you and for you!” It all starts with a progressive, keep-moving-upward training component for member leaders. It continues with the belief that everyone in our union can advance in leadership, as long as the tools and constant encouragement are provided. Throughout your PSE learning experience, we’re going to commit connecting knowledge to action in order to strengthen our union. That means once you have the knowledge you are going to be challenged to empower others around you to continue to build a stronger union.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Goal – Growth
More than ever before, the global union movement needs to grow. At PSE we’re launching an aggressive approach for internal and external growth. We intend to grow our statewide union by a measure of our membership numbers and also of our existing combined strength. PSE has a vision to bring about a resurgence in unionism by setting concrete goals of real numbers of workers we expect to bring into our union. Are you ready to make room for these new faces and new voices?
We’re also dedicating ourselves to growth by continuing to build an organizing culture within PSE – a separate Organizing department, including a budget and staff, and a clear mission and plan to bring new workers into the union.
Growing also involves looking internally at those key benchmarks of what makes our union strong. What does it mean to be genuinely involved in the union? Expect to hear us asking that question repeatedly and to pushing initiatives that further develop member leaders and create opportunities for members to get involved and shape the larger work of the union.
Thursday, March 13, 2014
Goal – Voice
PSE prides itself on being a member-driven union. Members lead and make decisions at all levels of the union. We want to take that notion to greater heights by expanding opportunities for us to listen to the membership. We see this happening through additional membership surveys, including print, email, phone and social media.
We’re also very interested in creating member forum opportunities at all PSE events so that member views and ideas can be voiced. This could be something like “open mic time” that we might institute at convention, Legislative Conference and other union gatherings, and perhaps even Zone council and chapter meetings.
Finally, for those who want more information on-the-go, we will be looking into a mobile application or a mobile form of the website to include leadership tools, union resources, and other key information.
Friday, March 14, 2014
Goal – Perception
In order to win greater funding for schools and universities, increase compensation, and improve benefits, we first need to be better recognized, understood, and respected in our communities by promoting the PSE Brand. We can’t do this alone. We understand that we must connect with others, including key community groups. We have to first define the relationships we want to have then go about building enduring relationships of mutual benefit. Our PSE brand is more than just a logo and a color – it’s a perception by others of who we are.
To aid in gaining respect in our communities, PSE is looking to develop an “I AM …” public relations campaign to celebrate accomplishments and connection between work in education and our communities. By personalizing and attaching a face to our membership, we will better capture the public’s attention and support for our members and the work they do and the quality services they provide.
This goal also includes internal promotion of our own perception. We can do a better job of orienting and greeting new members into the union at the moment they are hired.
We also want to go beyond public relations. We know our members are already contributing to their communities; we intend to do a better job of recognizing where PSE members are currently plugged in or volunteering in community work outside the union.