With the current climate and posture that technicians are working and all of the secondary, tertiary, and whatever comes after tertiary duties that are continually thrust upon us, finding time to be a good steward or officer gets harder and harder.
Still, being involved and active is the most important thing that you can do for your chapter and its members. The reason ACT works is because we are able to speak with one voice and that voice carries the weight of many. The best way to avoid a situation in which only one or two officers end up doing most of the work or even worse, the membership not feeling like their voice is being heard, is to communicate.
Share, not only the work load but the information. You are privy to many conversations that you would not normally be and you owe it to your members to communicate what you are doing or what issues are pressing on the chapter. Some chapters have Facebook groups which they make “secret” (meaning that only people who are invited can participate or even see the conversation) allowing a private forum to discuss issues and communicate. Some chapters have email distribution lists which allow information to flow back and forth. There are many ways to accomplish this and you shouldn’t feel bound by any method, just so long as the method is effective. All chapters should be having regular meetings which are allowing their members to be heard.
Once an effective method for communication has been established the chapter needs to begin recruiting. Our voice is effective because it is the voice of many, recruiting from the whole of the bargaining unit to have the largest voice possible makes a chapter stronger and more financially robust. One chapter gives every member a pocket knife, which is engraved with the chapter name, when they join and then enters them into a drawing, at the end of the year, a name is chosen for a custom rifle. The names not chosen remain in the “hat” for the next year. Other units have evenings out with spouses as a civilian pseudo dining-out. ACT National conducts an annual recruiting contest every year (a form is included in this edition or it’s available on actnat.com). There is no shortage of creative ways to recruit and we would love to hear them and help you share them, what is important is that we are recruiting and expanding our voice.
Train your young stewards and officers and give them exposure to the process in action. If you have a meeting or forum bring along an inexperienced member to give them some exposure to the process and possibly even gain some new ideas and perspective.
Lastly, ensure that you are being active and working in good faith for the membership. Keep The Faith