The last few months have been buzzing with activity for PROTEC17 staff and members! As part of a new initiative to engage members in their union, PROTEC17 is embarking on its first ever strategic planning process to create a three-year road map for our union, which includes goals and priorities that come directly from member feedback. In addition, both our Steward training and our political action program have been revamped, offering new leaders the opportunity to get more involved.

Back in July, a survey was emailed to the entire membership with questions about the future and direction of PROTEC17. Over 1,400 members completed the survey, which was rich in constructive feedback that will directly shape the Strategic Plan for 2020-2022.

In September and October, Executive Director Karen Estevenin and other PROTEC17 staff traveled around the region to get additional feedback from members about the Strategic Plan at 15 different focus groups (Spokane focus group pictured above). These groups were usually two-hour working sessions held in the evenings. The members who participated provided more in-depth insight into the issues they think are important for their union to address.

The PROTEC17 Strategic Planning Committee, along with the Executive Board and the Regional Executive Committee, will be taking the feedback of the thousands of members who participated in the survey, and the hundreds of members who participated in the focus groups, to craft PROTEC17’s goals and priorities, which we will begin working on starting in January 2020.

Simultaneously, the new PROTEC17 pilot Steward training program was launched in September. This program aims to help current Stewards become more active advocates in the workplace, as well as to recruit new Stewards to fill roles that have been left open as long-time member leaders have retired. So far 10 different trainings have been scheduled, mostly in the Puget Sound area, with more to come in the new year.

New Steward Cathleen Buzan, who works in the King County Roads Division as a Project Manager III, attended the training on Sept. 18 and feels well equipped to advocate for her co-workers. When asked why she decided to become a Steward, she said:

“In this political climate, I want to ensure that our union remains strong by welcoming all members, educating our members on important workers issues, and ensuring all voices are heard.”

Buzan also attended the revamped politcal action training on Aug. 29 and the political candidate interviews on Oct. 5 – read more about both of those on p. 12.

“The political action training gave me a clearer understanding of the many ways we can demonstrate our collective power to change the lives of working people,” said Buzan.

Check the PROTEC17 events calendar for upcoming training opportunities near you!