Sunday, August 14, 2016

Will Bennett, General Council Observations

Will Bennett attended SEIU 503 General Council (GC) as one of the three delegates that Forestry is allowed.  GC is the supreme governing body of our Union and was held between August 4-6 at the Linn County Fairgrounds in Albany.  Being able to attend is allowed for all delegates by Contract but in reality it is difficult for Forestry to field a full delegation due to wildfire activity or readiness so it was great that Will made some time available to participate.

Being his first GC, it was interesting listening to his observations, like when Oregon Governor Kate Brown arrived “didn’t realize that this was such a big deal that a Governor would show up”.  Within the three GC days the direction of our Union is decided along with the budget to fund that direction.  There is a lot of talking and sometimes ideas are presented at the last minute.  Even though the meeting is run using parliamentary procedure that can take a awhile to get the work completed to which Will commented “no fights or protests, just orderly discussion, (delegates) heard things through even if it didn’t make sense”.

Out of the meeting often comes an increased sense of involvement and a recognition that our Union is run by the members who show up.  With Union operations on display it is easier to see where one might want to get involved.  Will saw that and ended with “looking forward to getting more involved and seeing what committees are open”.