Local 401 celebrates MAPE Week at Revenue
More than 300 members and non-members alike participated in MAPE Week at the Department of Revenue.
Last week, Local 401 held a different event each day beginning with ice-cream on Monday and ending with a popcorn social on Friday, with a financial planning session, contract information meeting and happy hour in between. The contract information meeting drew the biggest crowd with 160 people attending, and although the presentation from MSRS about planning for retirement was limited to 50 people, it proved popular with members of all ages and may be repeated.
“We saw the opportunity to ground MAPE week with contract information because we want members to know what they’re voting for,” Local 401 President Sally Wakefield said. “We always try to attract non-members. We let people know they needed to be a member to vote on the contract –it was a heavy talking point throughout the week.”
Sam Sant, a senior tax specialist, volunteered at several of the events and said he saw new faces throughout the week. “The events create exposure and lets people know we’re here – if you have questions, stop by and ask your local MAPE leaders.”
“We have a very active local with really engaged members who want to belong to something greater than themselves. We also have a lot of really experienced local leaders which is fortunate for me since I’m a fairly new local member,” Wakefield, a GIS analyst who maps revenue data, said.
Sant agreed that many more Revenue members are becoming more active in the union but cautioned that it doesn’t happen overnight, “Over the past few years we’ve been working on getting volunteers, doing more one-on-one conversations and developing events to get more people involved. It’s easier to organize when we’re all in one complex and don’t have the challenges locals in Greater Minnesota have because the offices in their locals are more spread out.”
Sant added that he has “gained a lot from MAPE: the benefits from the contract and learning to organize helped to encourage me to run for public office.” Last year Sant was elected to the Robbinsdale School Board.