The OEA Organizing Department has developed a Local Self-Assessment Tool that can aide your local in targeting crucial areas of growth. Many locals have already begun to use this tool in order to assist them in strategic planning and goal setting. An active and strong local is always assessing their members’ needs and looking for ways in which to grow collective power. The OEA Local Assessment Tool looks at several key indicators that a well-rounded local should take into consideration for increased growth and strength. These are the following: Advocacy, contract negotiations, organizing and strategic planning, community organizing and engagement, communication, political action and lobbying, leadership development and governance structure/finances.
The tool is very useful for locals and provides them with an accurate reading on their overall organizational effectiveness and readiness. The process walks the self-assessment team through a number of steps to target areas of growth. Once this is achieved, the findings are discussed, and a consensus is reached, the real work begins.
Once the areas of growth are identified the local should develop a plan that sets up short term and long term (measurable or S.M.A.R.T.) goals. What should be achieved right now? What should we attempt to tackle in the long term? Resources and finances? Responsibility and accountability for the established outcomes? These are all questions to think about as locals plan for the future. You need to know where you are going before you figure out how to get there. One step at a time and strategic planning is the key.
This is also a great opportunity to engage and involve your members to participate and take ownership of the locals’ direction and vision. It provides them with a stronger voice and by doing so, they build a stronger local and union alongside their leaders.
I suggest that smaller locals take “smaller” steps so that the tool does not become cumbersome or overwhelming for them. The Organizing Dept. is now developing a shorter “field version” of the original tool. The Local Assessment Tool can be requested by sending us an e-mail or a hard copy can be obtained from your LRC.
Thank you for all you do and remember to keep ORGANIZING!
OEA Director of Organizing & Member Engagement