The Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO has published a new and improved version of its Guide to Organizing Professionals.
Organizing professionals is critical to the success of the labor movement. Employment in professional occupations is growing faster than in non-professional occupations and professionals are an increasing share of union members. Unions added 300,000 professional members from 2014 to 2015, while union membership in non-professional occupations declined.
Many professionals understand that standing together to negotiate collectively is in their best interest. Millions of professionals join professional associations to network, advance their profession, and stay apprised of professional standards. However, many professionals have concerns about joining a union to leverage their collective power in the workplace.
Ultimately, while more professionals are becoming union members and realizing the benefits of collective power, unions still face organizing obstacles. Communicating the value of union membership and dispelling misconceptions about unions is essential. Most professionals do not know that the vast majority of decisions about contract negotiations and other workplace-specific decisions rest with the professionals in the workplace and not national union leaders. An education campaign in addition to an organizing campaign may be necessary to win over some professionals.
Organizing professionals typically requires a campaign that is tailored to the needs and concerns of professionals. The DPE Guide to Organizing Professionals is designed to help unions and organizers identify the issues that motivate professionals to join unions, utilize strategies that will be persuasive to professionals, and address concerns professionals may have about unions.
Electronic and printed versions of the guide are available for distribution to DPE affiliates.
For more information, contact DPE Research Director Jennifer Dorning.