A couple of weeks before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Janus v. AFSCME, public employee activists, leaders and staff took part in an AFT-sponsored mobilization and organizing training in Baltimore. Dozens of AFT stalwarts, including some from Connecticut and New York, went to Maryland for a week in mid-June to help the City Union of Baltimore and AFT Healthcare Maryland build power by increasing membership.
Participants were trained on the AFT organizing model, which included topics such as having one-on-one conversations, making house calls, and how to map and chart membership. The goal of the mobilization training was to have personal conversations with agency fee members and convert them into full dues-paying members.
There were four teams assigned during the training. Each was tasked with holding daily work-site meetings, which included leafleting and lunch sessions, within their turf as well as making house calls to agency fee payers in the evening. By the end of the mobilization training, participants had converted 115 fee payers to full membership and had assessed 224 bargaining unit members. As a part of the training, the AFT will give the local affiliates support with an “aftercare” program for the next 18 months.
The AFT has provided training on mobilizing and organizing to our local affiliates since 2003, as part of a larger effort to help them build density by moving members to become activists and activists to become leaders.
[Adrienne Coles/photo by Jennifer Porcari]