How to take part in local meetings

In AFSCME’s International Constitution, The Bill of Rights for Union Members states: 

“Active discussion of union affairs shall be encouraged and protected within this organization. … Members shall have the right to full participation, through discussion and vote, in the decision-making processes of the union.”

At the local union level, membership meetings are where this democratic expression takes place and members make decisions on what they want their local to do.

Membership meetings serve several purposes, including:

  • Conducting union business
  • Making decisions on the actions that the union will take on issues important to the membership
  • Providing information to the members on issues and topics of interest. Information can come from such sources as local leaders, staff representatives, guest speakers, etc.

To conduct the union’s business in a democratic, effective and orderly manner, it is important to have a set of rules to go by. AFSCME’s Constitution and the constitutions of almost all locals and councils specify that “Robert’s Rules of Order” be used to govern our meetings. Following are some guidelines to help you take part in your local union