AAOC: Collectively, We are Strong

May 2011

The second day of the Annual Affiliate Officers Conference (AAOC) centered on creating an environment of exceptional leadership and teamwork at UNAC/UHCP. The aim was to align affiliate goals with the UNAC/UHCP vision through teamwork.

Nearly every affiliate officer began the day in agreement they would like to do more to reach and engage members within their affiliate. Staff Representative Carol Jones, RN, encouraged the group by saying, "Collectively, you are strong. It takes a team."

With that, affiliate officers attended trainings meant for their particular strengths within their team.

* In the Leadership Visibility session, member-leaders learned to build their affiliate. As the group discussed visibility as a means to strength, availability, and to enforce the collective bargaining agreement, Marcia Schlesinger, NP, Kaiser Sunset Delegate to the Executive Council, summed it up when she said, “We need direction for our mission.”

* The Communications session became serious quickly, as one participant noted, “One false rumor can domino in a facility and it can be disastrous.” On the other hand, there are times when good news isn’t communicated to all the members. The group discussed how to engage all members through various modes of communication. “We need to use communications to get people on board,” said Pam Brodersen, NP, Medical Office President at Kaiser Downey.

* The Legal discussion featured Lisa Demidovich, UNAC/UHCP Staff Attorney, explaining how to best protect UNAC/UHCP members in grievance proceedings. Your union leaders got clarification on many issues and shared ideas about how they defend the rights of their co-workers.

* The Political training focused on volunteerism and activism within the union. UNAC/UHCP Political Director Jimmy Gomez suggested making specific requests, such as asking a volunteer to make a call to a particular legislator or participate in a phone bank for a set amount of time. Karla Bernier, RN, Master Committee Chair at Kaiser Downey, replied, “So not a 12 hour shift?”

* Finally, the Running an Effective Meeting session’s main message was don’t ever miss an opportunity to share information with your coworkers and fellow union members.