I attended the CWA convention in Las Vegas in late June — with side trips for IAPE membership meetings in Chicago and San Francisco — and I wanted to share a few thoughts.
First of all, the CWA convention spent a good deal of time dealing with internal politics, much like the February meeting of The Newspaper Guild in Providence, Rhode Island.
There are more on the details on the proceedings of the CWA convention at the CWA website.
Based on our membership numbers, IAPE is entitled to a six-member delegation for both the CWA and TNG conventions. In years past IAPE had made an effort to maximize the size of its delegation, spending roughly $2,500 per person for such trips: a practice I, and the current IAPE Board, ended as we took office in 2005.
The Board has determined there is no need to send any more than one delegate to the meetings, convinced that the size of the delegation adds nothing to our influence among Guild or CWA leaders and that the expense of a six-member delegation can not be justified by either the information generated by the meetings, themselves, or the "networking opportunities" of the conventions: the most common past-arguments for expanded delegations.
I believe there is a legitimate argument for IAPE's attendance — and active participation — in both the CWA and TNG conventions. I also believe IAPE needs to take an active role in both of our parent unions — but we have to always remember that we're spending the money of the membership — and the leaders of your union have a responsibility to ensure that your money isn't wasted.
As always, if you have any questions — or need any help, let me know.
IAPE CWA 1096