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Staff and Political Roles

Defining & understanding the differences

Approved by the NEC December 14, 2010

Principle

Union work is a collaborative, cooperative effort between CMG staff, political leaders and activists at all levels of the Guild.  CMG’s effectiveness as a union relies on regular two-way communication and discussion between elected officers and staff to ensure that goals are understood and objectives are met. We all have roles to fulfill within the organization but none of those roles should become silos.  It is the expectation that the political leaders of the Guild will appreciate and welcome the views of its experienced and capable employees, while those employees look forward to engaging in informed discussions with elected officers. Understanding what others are doing creates a stronger network that can ensure support and backup is available when necessary.

Roles

National President

– Has authority to direct staff

– In consultation with other elected officers and staff, develops strategy for future development of the union

– Is the spokesperson for the union on all national issues, in collaboration with relevant branch presidents and staff

– Has the authority to make agreements binding to the union

Branch & Location Presidents/Executives

– Branch political executives are the ultimate decision-making authority on all branch issues

– Determine priorities and develop union’s positions on workplace issues within their branch

– When dealing with branch/location matters, the staff representative and the branch/location executive shall work collaboratively.  If agreement is not possible between the branch/location and the assigned staff representative, the issue must be referred to the National President.

– Has authority to make some localized agreements on some issues that do not change the meaning or interpretation of the collective agreement, as long as it is in collaboration with a staff representative.

Staff

– Perform an advisory role to political leaders at all levels

– Primarily responsible for interpreting and administering the collective agreement for the CMG, in collaboration with the appropriate elected officers

– Must be aware and consider the union position on emerging workplace issues;

– Actively support, encourage, guide and help location, branch and national executives fulfill their roles

– Build constructive relationships with employers and serve as the main contact with employer’s central (national) HR/IR departments;

– Make agreements binding to the union as a whole, after consultation with relevant political leader during decision-making process when a) case is precedent-setting; b) case impacts a group of members or c) case changes the status quo

– Participates in collective bargaining as assigned, while ensuring member participation is maximized.

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