MAPE officers participate in annual training
Eighty local and statewide officers participated in exercises, discussions about issues impacting our union and breakout groups during MAPE’s 2024 Officer Training on Jan. 25.
Officers also heard about MAPE’s restructure plan for 2024 from MAPE President Megan Dayton and two leaders who will be co-chairing the effort including MAPE’s new Statewide Secretary, Kristin Kirchoff-Franklin and Adam Novotny. Both also served as the co-chairs of the 2023-2025 Negotiations team.
MAPE now represents 16,919 employees. Organizing is more important than ever and it has become more challenging since many workers are now teleworking and not in the office full-time.
“We are exploring a shift in our structure to better align with remote work trends and member needs. We are embarking on an exciting restructuring journey, aimed at better aligning with the evolving needs of our workforce and the changing nature of our work.
“As we grow, it’s important to look at our processes. What can we do to make MAPE stronger and more nimble? How we work today is different than from just a few years ago and how we talk with people is different, too, since there aren’t many conversations around the water coolers or cubicles now. We want to hear from membership about what is working and what needs work,” Novotny said. “Our goal is to energize and optimize this union.”
Kirchoff-Franklin said the Restructure Committee will be talking with members across Minnesota. “We are starting to schedule meetings to talk with members across the state over the next four months. Transparency and communication are priorities for us. We’ll have a website and there will be a form members can fill out, but the work of the team will be to connect with members to get their ideas and insight,” Kirchoff-Franklin said.
MAPE President Dayton reiterated the Restructure Committee is exploring a shift in the union’s structure to better align with remote work trends and member needs. “We want to build on things that are working well and find ways to do better at the things that are not. We are embarking on an exciting restructuring journey to align with the evolving needs of our membership and the changing nature of our workplaces. Your insights, experiences, and ideas are vital in this process to ensure that our union remains strong, responsive, and member led.”
Breakout sessions broken into the various officers including presidents/vice presidents, treasurers, secretaries, regional directors, membership secretaries and Meet and Confer chairs proved to be especially popular.
Local 1701 Membership Secretary Ryan Patrick is a clinical therapist at the correctional facility in Moose Lake. “Each local has its own individual struggles trying to connect and engage people and at 1701, we have both the Departments of Corrections and Human Services, with each area having its own needs. At Moose Lake, we’re kind of siloed-off from others and hearing ideas about communications from other membership secretaries was really valuable,” Patrick said.
Members also participated in a training to learn how to have conversations with their locals about continuing to grow a strong union and membership recruitment.