The MEA had to initially convert 17,000 members off of payroll deductions to EFT or credit card payments for dues in the first year. In the second year, they had to convert an additional 70,000 members.
What would you do?
In September, when political debates were still taking place and Tuesday, November 8th, still felt far enough away, we sat down with:
- Gretchen Dziadosz, Executive Director of the Michigan Education Association
- Larry Doyle, Deputy Director at the American Federation of Teachers and
- Ron Krouse, a labor consultant and expert
We asked them an abundance of questions regarding loss of payroll, the impact of RTW and how their organizations are coping with the changes legislation has brought.
Top Takeaways & Lessons Learned
Gretchen – “One huge caution I would make to anyone thinking of getting in this or who is forced to get into this, is don’t let the first time a member hears from you in years be you asking them to sign up and pay.”
What MEA did: The MEA worked to mitigate any harsh feelings between members and the union by sending seasoned union members or staff into the field to have one-on-one conversations completely unrelated to dues and sign up prior to initiating the sign up and payment information collection efforts.
Larry – “One thing I would have done differently was be able to get in there and actually find a place where you can actually try this [alternative dues] out, where you can figure out some of the integration, where you can experience the challenges and have the lessons learned when the crisis moment hits – that’s one thing. The second is data quality. We’ve noticed that in pretty much every place that we’ve gone [implemented], we’ve really had to work with our affiliates to improve overall quality of their data.”
His advice – Start small. Start with a few locals where you can test the technology, integrations and processes. Instead of tackling challenges such as data quality on a large scale, you’ll be able to hone in, develop a process to handle poor data, then roll it out to others.
Ron – “And by the way if you represent private sector and you think ‘this is not going to affect me’, you probably should think again”
Social proof – Private sector unions in Michigan have lost the ability to collect political contributions through payroll deductions. Similar legislation has been introduced in other states.
If you have questions on what others are doing to combat this, or about any other situation, let’s chat – no pressure, we won’t sell you!
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