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Updated: Dec. 11 (01:02)

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Committee Information

Communication Committee - Standing

Purpose: Inform and educate members, potential members and the
community about union issues, successes and the union’s point of view.
Consistent, effective communication — to inform and educate the
members as well as increase union visibility in the workplace and community
— is key to building a strong local union. The communications
committee can:
• Produce a traditional or electronic newsletter, ideally on a monthly
basis. The publication may include:
- information on topics of concern to members
- grievance victories and other success stories
- regular columns such as “know your rights”
- notices of upcoming meetings and events
• Create and maintain a website and consider using social media
such as Facebook;
• Produce leaflets, flyers and fact sheets on “hot” issues and problems
affecting the members;
• Establish a connection with the local media to communicate to the
public the union’s point of view on issues impacting both the general
public and union members, specifically;

• Issue news releases to communicate the union’s position on
relevant topics and publicize the local’s major activities.

Elections Committee - Special

Purpose: Assume the “responsibility for the conduct of the election
in accordance with [the] Constitution” (Appendix D, Section 2, of the
International Constitution).
The duties of the election committee include:
• Conducting nominations for an election;
• Providing notice of the election to the membership;
• Preparing election ballots;
• Supervising voting;
• Counting the ballots and certifying results;
• Hearing and deciding any protests filed over the conduct of the
• Reporting election results to the membership.

The AFSCME Constitution specifically prohibits candidates for
office from being members of the election committee; this restriction
helps establish the election committee as an independent body, one that
can protect the members’ right to democratic elections.

Health and Wellness Committee - Standing

Health and Wellness
Purpose: Protect workers’ health and safety at the worksite by
identifying and recognizing hazards and devising strategies to address
any health and safety problems.

Many contracts have language that establishes a joint labor-management
health and safety committee. However, even in these instances, and
clearly when there is no joint health and safety committee, local unions
have found it valuable to have an internal health and safety committee
whose responsibilities may include:
• Gathering information on workplace health and safety hazards;
• Educating members and helping stewards write effective grievances
concerning health and safety issues;
• Mapping risks and investigating accidents;
• Recommending to management ways to prevent accidents
and injuries;

• Maintaining records on hazards, accidents, illnesses and complaints;
• Being familiar with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
regulations as well as state or local health and safety regulations;
• When appropriate and necessary, filing formal complaints with OSHA,
the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or the proper state or local

Contact: Sheena Dickerman
Negotiations Committee - Special

Purpose: Negotiate a collective bargaining agreement and develop and implement a contract campaign that actively involves members in the bargaining process to win the best possible contract for the membership.

Pre-bargaining tasks include:

  • Conducting research on bargaining topics (wages, healthcare, etc)
  • Determining the memberships wishes through surveys, meetings, etc
  • Reviewing the current contract for areas to improve
  • Establishing priorities and preparing contract proposals

Bargaining tasks include:

  • Exchanging proposals with management and bargaining over those proposals
  • Maintaining records (notes) of what was discussed and intended during contract talks
  • Making decisions on what to accept, and not to accept, in the contract
  • Communicating with members about trends and progress in negotiations
  • Mobilizing members to participate in support of actions
  • Reaching a tentative agreement on new contract

Post-bargaining tasks include:

  • Making a recommendation to the membership on wether or not to ratify the tentative agreement
  • Informing and educating the membership about the new contract
Steward/Grievance Committee - Standing

Purpose: Work together to identify opportunities to make improvements
in the workplace, develop strategies to enforce workers’ rights and
build power in the workplace.
The chief steward usually chairs the steward or grievance committee.
In some locals, the vice president chairs the committee. Ideally, this
committee should meet once a month, and stewards can:
• Discuss current and potential grievances and share ideas on how
those cases should be handled; 

• Learn what’s happening at different worksites in the local and
develop strategies to address current challenges and opportunities;
• Increase understanding of the contract, work rules, policies and
• Celebrate victories and decide how to publicize those victories in
the workplace;
• Sharpen skills and build the confidence of new stewards, and
provide ongoing education for all stewards.

AFSCME Local 2909
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