FAQ: Next Wave
What is Next Wave?
Next Wave is an organization within AFSCME of union members who are 35 and under. The goal of Next Wave is to identify, recruit, and develop the next generation of labor leaders in America – empowering young workers to get involved in the labor movement at large and the issues in their own worksite and union locally, while bringing their own work and life experiences to our union leadership.
So, I can't join if I'm over 35?
You can join at any age! Mentorship and communication across generational lines is an important part of transitioning and growing our union. Keep in mind that the purpose of Next Wave is to give space for new and young members to have opportunities to lead – if it’s essential to the success of Next Wave that members who are under 35 serve in leadership roles within Next Wave and guide the strategy and direction of the organization.
What kind of things would I do if I joined Next Wave?
Whatever your chapter wants to do! Next Wave affiliates do a wide variety of work, generally centering around improving internal organizing capacity, advocating for political change that will better the middle class, and helping build a connection between their union and the local community.
For example, activities within the scope of a Next Wave affiliate would be running a weekend of political canvassing on behalf of a pro-labor electoral candidate, holding a series of brown bag lunch meetings during contract bargaining in the worksite to update members on negotiations and brain storm ways to support your bargaining team, or organizing soup kitchen and first aid relief for natural disaster victims after a bad storm in the area.
Oh... I thought there would be more happy hours.
You can absolutely plan relaxed opportunities for members to get to know each other! There are many dynamic and interesting ways young members can contribute to Next Wave, and a lot of work that remains to be done to address the inequity and workplace issues that our union faces. With all the important work that Next Wave has to do, it’s okay to let your hair down sometimes.
This sounds fun! How can I join?
Email Olga to find the Next Wave Advisory member in your state or region so you can loop in with an existing chapter.