Retreat Focuses on New Strategies, Effectiveness

Share This

AFT-Maryland President Marietta English convened members of the AFT-Maryland leadership and staff for a special training retreat in October, at the Mount Washington Conference Center in Baltimore. The retreat was devoted to a review and analysis of the federation's operations, and the identification of specific strategies and practices capable of increasing the federation's efficiency and effectiveness.

The retreat placed special emphasis on four key areas: legislative and political power; organizing and mobilization, communications, and community engagement.

Dr. Lorretta Johnson, Secretary-Treasusrer of the American Federation of Teachers, provided a history of AFT-Maryland, chronicling its growth and development from its origins until the present day. AFT Senior Associate Director of the Union Leadership Institute, Carol Kurtz, served as facilitator for the retreat and led participants in the identification of new models of practice and procedure.

AFT Director of Communications, Kris Havens, and AFT-Maryland Lobbyist, Brian Shepter, provided special presentations on the latest and most effective communications tools and the processes necessary to influence legislators. The leadership and staff divided into groups to explore each of the major areas of concern, detailing strengths and weaknesses and proposing operational changes to increase the federation's success in each key area.

Participants in the retreat included: BTU and AFT-Maryland President Marietta English; MCEA President Linda Day; Maryland Professional Employees Council President Maria Mathias and Vice President Jerome Davis; Montgomery County Federation of Teachers President Joseph Monte; AFT Healthcare-Maryland President Debra Perry; Baltimore County Federation of Public Employees Vice President Bill Eaton, and Baltimore County Federation of Public Health Nurses President Karen Pilecki. Also in attendance were Yvonne Rice, Executive Vice President and Delores Powell of the City Union of Baltimore; Yvonne Macklin Vice President of the Baltimore County Federation of Public Health Nurses; Sandra Davis who represented PSRPs, Kenya Campbell, representing K-12 teachers, Gerri Bohanan, representing Higher Education, and Carolyn Caulk Smith who represented BTU retirees.

The findings and recommendations compiled during the retreat were presented in a final report that was distributed to all attendees. Participants have reviewed and analysed that report and have approved its findings. The new strategies  now are being incorporated into the federation's practices and operating procedures. AFT-Maryland affiliates will be more self-sufficient and better able to operate autonomously as a result of the new strategies' implementation.