(This article first appeared in the Sept-Oct 2017 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)
By Organization Director Anna Smith
How can you stay informed and be involved? It’s not as hard as you think. Bulletin boards are a way for us to not only communicate with our current members, but also can be utilized as an avenue to reach our non-member coworkers.
Article 22 of our Collective Bargaining Agreement provides, “The Employer shall furnish separate bulletin boards for the exclusive use of the Union party to this Agreement, subject to the conditions stated herein, if space is available.
“If sufficient space is not available, at least one will be provided for the Union signatory to this Agreement. The Union may place their literature racks in swing rooms, if space is available.”
As a local leader, if you do not already have someone to update the board, try recruiting someone within the installation. Any reliable member who will keep information current and be a contact for when new information needs to be posted will be helpful.
How does your board advertise that there is new information? If you simply just change a piece of paper on the board once a month, that’s not enough to catch someone’s eye. Typically, if they looked at the board last month, and nothing appears to be different at a glance, chances are they are not stopping to read it.
The dull brown background, simply put, isn’t inviting. Use background paper that is noticeable, such as seasonal decorations, a specific theme, or pictures of a current event (picnic, pizza party, local barbecue, rally signs). Create a plan to update the board regularly, set a schedule and stick to it.
Here are some suggestions for content:
APWU News Service Bulletins, which are designed to help keep our members informed of important news updates,
Local happenings notices,
Local MOUs/settlements that affect those in specific installations,
General membership meeting dates,
Local officers and stewards’ contact information,
Members-only benefit information/fliers,
PSEs brochures/benefit information,
APWU Health Plan information.
Consider doing shout-outs when members have great news they don’t mind sharing, a “Member of the Month” section or membership drawing winners.
Make it an avenue for non-members to join. There is nothing wrong with having 1187s available. Be sure to make note letting them know what to do with the form once it is completed.
Do NOT include USPS postings, which should and/or could be posted on bulletin boards that are main- tained by the Postal Service. Examples include wage and hour postings, scanning requirements and USPS policies.
These boards are for the exclusive use of the APWU, so we, as members, are responsible for their upkeep, or lack thereof.
If you have a great looking bulletin board in your facility, we want to see it! Please email pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org.