You are one among the lucky minority of workers in Canada to belong to a union. On average, you earn more than non-union colleagues doing the same job. You also probably have more holiday time. You likely even have a solid pension plan, or at least a fighting chance at getting one before you’re doomed to continue working into your 70s to pay the rent. You also have real options to fight The Man if you lose your job, get harrassed or abused, get screwed out of the pay you are entitled to, or if you experience any of the other irritants and transgressions most people just end up accepting on the job.
You’ve probably figured out that this stuff doesn’t get delivered to your desk or equipment on a silver platter. Your colleagues, past and present, have wheedled, cajoled, sweated, shed some tears, and even scrapped a bit for it. Frankly, they could use your help.
So, if you’re delighted with your union, there is a way to give back. Run for a position on your union executive.
If you’re not that happy with what you’ve seen from your union on a particular issue or even in general, don’t walk the other way. You pay dues, you have to live with the collective agreement, and hopefully you give a fig about what happens to your colleagues. Dig in your elbows and fight for change. Otherwise, it ain’t going to happen.
There are tons of ways you can get involved. Today, we’re talking about running for union office. The CMG national elections will take place in mid-November. Nominations open on September 27. Watch your email for the official announcement and details.
Perhaps you have never considered it, but it could be the perfect time for you. There’s really only one qualification: a sincere desire to make things right at work for you and your colleagues. You don’t need any union experience, and you’ll have a chance to learn the ropes.
Let’s say you’re a little bored with your job and you don’t see much light at the end of the tunnel. Getting elected to a union executive is a great way to mix it up a little. From creating strategies to deal with burning workplace issues to planning events to get more of your fellow members involved, it gives you a chance to look at the bigger picture and take a break from the every day.
Let’s say you never considered the idea because no one you’ve met from the union looks or sounds like you. There’s really only one way to fix it. Run for a position. Better yet, convince another colleague or two to do the same and help each other during the campaign.
During these elections, you can run for the national executive of the CMG and work with colleagues from other employers to run the overall union and work on issues that affect the media sector; or, you can run for the executive at your employer (known as the “branch executive”) and focus more on issues related to your particular organization and workplace. Either way, you will get to know new people in your industry, learn new skills and contribute to something important.
If you’re still not convinced to become a candidate, please don’t forget to vote during the elections. Find out who is running and why by visiting the Guild website at www.cmg.ca after nominations close on October 16. Talk it up among your colleagues and urge them to vote, too.