Local Leaders Learn to Empower Members at WFSE’s Inaugural Leadership Summit

WFSE leaders from 41 different locals across Washington gathered on May 31 and June 1, learning the best ways to organize for success within their locals.

Mike Yestramski, WFSE's president, speaks at the opening of WFSE's Leadership Summit

Officers learned everything from creating an iconic brand to organizing effective meetings to getting their finances in check, and they’re excited to bring this wealth of information back to their members!

All of these resources are available on our home for WFSE locals, WFSE.org/locals

What is a Local Union?

WFSE members in a workshop at WFSE's first ever Leadership Summit

WFSE’s local unions are what drive our union forward. They group members by geographic area, the particular kind of work their members do, and more.

Through their local unions, members can take action in their particular region or area and pass resolutions for action to WFSE’s Executive Board, our statewide governing body.

Some of WFSE’s locals are older than WFSE, actually, as you can learn in our history here.

Communications Plenary: Logo, Website, Social Media 

Jeanette and Marge, presidents of WFSE Local 443 and 889, speaking at the Communications Panel

The weekend began with an introduction to new branding and communications guides available to WFSE locals and a panel featuring the presidents of WFSE Local 443 and WFSE Local 889, one of WFSE’s oldest and newest locals, respectively.

“We want to ensure our local is on the rise and make sure members feel like ‘That’s my local, that’s my union; that’s what we’re doing,’ and be proud,” said Marge Clevenger, president of Local 443, during the plenary.

One of the summit's goals was to encourage more frequent communications between local leadership and members. With tips on logo creation, using social media effectively, and launching a website, members walked away from the plenary with new tools for improved messaging.

“We want to communicate that we are the union and we want to communicate with members that we can’t get anything done if we don’t work together,” said Jeanette Obelcz, president of WFSE Local 889. “We want members to have more buy-in and be able to share their ideas.”

Workshops Covered Running a Local, from A to Z

WFSE members attending a workshop at the Leadership Summit

Ideas were shared between leadership at breakout groups throughout the Summit, encouraging intentional and impactful collaboration. Workshops included refreshers on running local elections, organizing conversations, keeping finances tidy, and how to use the power of politics to accomplish our goals.

 The workshops were: 

  • How to Run a Local Election
  • How to Have a Great Meeting
  • Money Matters Finance Workshop
  • Dynamic Data 
  • Politics as Power: What Unites Us
  • Talking Up Your Union

All of the resources shared at the summit, plus information on how to find and follow your local, are available on WFSE.org/locals.

Leaders Flex Knowledge at Trivia Night

WFSE members participate in Trivia Night

On Friday night, locals divided up into teams for trivia so they could test their recall and put into practice what they’d learned during the day’s sessions. The competition was stiff. The mood was raucous. Only one team could emerge victorious.

A picture of the winners of Trivia Night, Fight Club!

In the end it was Fight Club, a team made up of leaders from locals 443 (Thurston, Mason and Lewis Counties) and Local 793 (Western State Hospital, Child Study Treatment Center, Special Commitment Center, and Oakridge.)

Looking for your local, or resources for your local? Visit wfse.org/locals!