Good evening, blogees. I’m back.
It’s after five p.m. on Friday, the polls for union officers have now closed, and I can officially post once again. Tomorrow the ballots will be counted and I will either win another term, and be a presence here for the next three years … or lose, and post until December 7th, at which time I commence searching for a new job and vanish from this site.
Win or lose, here’s what I’ve learned (once more) about running for union office ...
Spell words in your candidate statement correctly.
A simple rule … which I did not do. (Proofread the thing! Then proofread it again!). My election statement in the printed Peg-Board had a dumb typo – “elegted …” Arrgh! -- Recording Secretary Jeff Massie corrected no errors in any candidate’s statement and mine was no exception. Pissed me off, but it’s my own damn fault …
Give members a lot of face time.
I’ve been doing this biz rep thing for awhile now, and the single most important activity I do as a union official is tramp through studios on a daily basis. It gives people a chance to ask questions, allows me to see what’s going on, and keeps the lines of communication open.
Always run scared.
Over the years, I’ve seen a number of union representative at other IA guilds and unions act as though the union is them, that they were impregnable, that no way could they lose.”
And then, they lost.
Tomorrow, in the early afternoon, we will post the winners and losers of the 839 election for 2010, and I get to see if my studio visits and sunny good cheer carried the day, or I go down in "The year of the anti-incumbent."
Either way, please know that my attitude is: I’m a guy who works for the Animation Guild. I report to TAG’s President and Executive Board. If they want to go East while Yours Truly prefers to go West, I swallow and go East. I’ve enjoyed the job, worked to succeed at the job, but I don’t assume I’m the king, or the position is mine by right, in perpetuity.
Enough already. Whoever sits in this office during the next 36 months will have plenty of challenges. The IA will shortly be moving into industry-wide negotiations, and we will follow. I doubt the talks will be easy or pain-free. The Animation Guild will be rolling out a new website and adding some additional bells and whistles to our internet presence. And TAG will go on being a representative of animators and technicians in the industry, policing contracts and filing grievances just as before.
Animation is as big and lucrative in the global marketplace as it has ever been, and Los Angeles and California remain where much of the product is centered. Whoever is at the helm, the Animation Guild, Local 839 IATSE will have new opportunities and challenges. With fresh effort from the Guild’s members and officers, TAG will meet them.
-- Steve Hulett