President’s Corner: January 2024
Happy New Year to all! In 2024, we’re building on last year’s successes, including securing significant wage increases and updating our dues to reflect our vision for a vibrant future. This year, our focus will be on resolving outstanding contract issues and adapting our structure to align with current trends in telework and the needs of our members.
Congratulations to Kristin Kirchoff-Franklin
I want to congratulate Kristin Kirchoff-Franklin, MAPE’s newly elected statewide Secretary. Outside of her union duties, Kristin is a senior analyst at the Pollution Control Agency. Kristin was one of our Negotiations Committee co-chairs for our 2023-2025 contract. Also, Kristin was awarded the Distinguished Member of the Year at last year's Delegate Assembly. I’m looking forward to Kristin’s leadership as a constitutional officer.
Evolving Our Structure for Modern Challenges
I recognize that the shift to telework and hybrid work environments, while beneficial in many ways, has also brought challenges in communication, connectivity and work-life balance. Our goal in adapting our structure is to directly address these concerns, ensuring that every member feels supported and connected, no matter their work setting.
Workplace Changes: Addressing shifts to telework and hybrid schedules and regional office closures due to the pandemic.
Revisiting Past Initiatives: The Board of Directors started reorganization discussions in 2018, but we must now adapt to our changed work environment.
Adapting to a Flexible and Agile Approach: Ensuring our structure aligns with the evolving needs of our members.
Embracing Innovation: Change can be difficult, particularly when moving away from familiar routines and structures. It’s important to proceed thoughtfully and recognize the need for adaptation.
Comprehensive Review: We will thoroughly analyze our union’s governance and organizational structures to ensure their effectiveness for the 2020s and beyond.
Member Participation: Placing a high value on member engagement, ideas, and experiences to shape a responsive and relevant union. Your personal contributions are crucial. A recent example is a new member’s idea that greatly enhanced one of our bargaining proposals, demonstrating the impact of fresh perspectives. I encourage everyone to share their thoughts and insights, as your participation is key in developing solutions that cater to our diverse needs.
At the end of 2024, I hope to have a member-approved plan that ensures our structure meets collective needs. A successful restructuring will ensure that each of the 16,500 professionals we represent feels valued and sees MAPE as evolving effectively, particularly in strengthening our grassroots organizing capabilities.
There will be ample opportunities to contribute to this effort in the coming months, including at local meetings. If you have ideas or experiences you’d like to share before that, please email email@example.com using the subject ‘restructure.’
As we step into 2024, let’s embrace our shared vision of growth and adaptation. This year is about seizing opportunities to enhance our union for every member. Our collective strength will be our guiding force, uniting us in our mission to evolve and succeed.
I look forward to working with all of you on this journey.