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Getting Down to Business

Once the committee is established, it’s time to move forward with its work. Here are some tips to keep in mind for committee meetings:

  • Decide on a convenient place and time to hold meetings and meet on a regular basis. Lunch, evenings or weekends are all potential times for committee meetings. You’ll need to find out from the committee members what time and place is best for them. If members need child care in order to attend meetings, you should figure out how best to meet their needs. The surest sign of an ineffective committee is one that seldom, if ever, meets. On the other hand, don’t meet just for the sake of meeting. 

  • Make sure that all committee members get information on meeting times and location early enough for them to make plans. Also, most women’s committee meetings are open to all members, so make sure that you get the word out throughout the union. Remind members about the meeting with a phone call one to three days before the meeting. Find out who is coming and if anyone needs transportation. 

  • Choose someone to chair the committee (or this person may be appointed by the union leadership). You may want to choose other officers such as a secretary to keep notes of your meetings. 

  • You may want to write a short mission statement so that the purpose and goals of the committee are clear. But remember that your real mission is union action, so don’t spend too much time writing a statement! 

  • Establish an agenda prior to the meeting and stick to it. If meetings are interesting and if real business is accomplished, committee members will want to remain active. 

  • Set priorities and goals and review your progress toward these goals periodically so you make sure you achieve them. 

  • Don’t let the committee become a clique. A women’s committee can be a great place to make friends, but make sure that current members welcome new members who want to participate. 

  • Before the next meeting, follow up with everyone who agreed to do something. Check on their progress and ask them to report briefly at the next meeting.

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