MAPE membership blitz yields new members and new platform

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For the first time, MAPE leaders used a combination of texting and the Microsoft Teams platform to reach out to non-members during a membership blitz last week and collected roughly 80 new union commitments over the two-day event last week.  

Local 401 President Jeff Gintz, Local 401’s Lee Sullivan and Local 1001 President Kent Barnard

Members contacted hundreds of non-members via text or Teams with a check-in request to learn about their union experiences which resulted in 320 follow-up phone calls. “This was the first time we used the Teams platform to reach out to colleagues and it was an ideal way to reach more people. I would send five messages at a time and several seemed to respond each time – all locals should use Teams to contact people,” Local  401 President Jeff Gintz said.  

Local 701 President Ajeet Yadav also raved about using Teams for the first time for membership drives, “The Teams platform works well – you can see if their calendar is green and they’re free. Using Teams is also a good conversation starter. My plan is to have our local use Teams to do more member outreach.” 

Local 1001 President Kent Barnard said Teams makes it easier to “reach out to a larger number of people who can respond at their leisure. Messages seem to be more important if it comes on Teams.” 

Local 701 President Ajeet Yadav uses Microsoft Team’s to reach out to future members.

He added that this membership drive “was not as time-consuming as MAPE-tober where I drove all day from Roseville to Centerville and Blaine to speak with people at their homes.”  

Local 401’s Lee Sullivan said she thought that non-members seemed more willing to engage this time and she tried to put things in perspective when they spoke. “I don’t think people understand how they are benefitting from this contract, so I just laid it out: the contract we negotiate depends on the strength of the union and just like any organization, it needs money in order for it to grow and fulfill its mission. I always liken paying union dues and benefiting from the contract to going to a potluck – you don’t show up to enjoy a potluck without bringing a dish. How would everyone feel if they all brought dishes and you didn’t?  

“A non-member told me that this was actually the best part of our conversation and when he realized all this time he hadn’t been contributing, he thanked me for putting things in perspective for him, and signed a card and became a member,” Sullivan said.     

Organizing Council Chair Zac Echola said more membership blitzes are being planned throughout 2024. “The Organizing Council is meeting this week to discuss best ways to  continue to work with membership secretaries and how to help plan local organizing campaigns and events.”   

Gintz said Local 401 is already on board, “This membership blitz was so successful that our local is now setting up quarterly membership blitzes using Teams.”