Dear UAW Community,
My name is Irene Nexica and I’ve been working for Local 2865 since January to develop and streamline ways of communicating with members and supporters outside the union. I’m working on a few different projects, and I’d like to let you know about a major improvement in sharing information about the Local.
Soon after I started my job I proposed to the Executive Board that I completely redo the Local’s website. This proposal was based on my experience as a member trying to use it and find out what was going on with the Local, coupled with my experience as a web designer in terms of best practices around sharing information. The E-Board accepted the proposal I presented them, and I have now transferred/reconfigured information from the old website to an entirely new one that recently launched. You’re looking at it!
While the site has a new look and is organized differently, all of the important information from the old site has been moved over. I’m working to enhance and expand the amount of information there, particularly in terms of orienting new members and people unfamiliar with the union to how the union works and what it does, and how they can participate. The new website has kept important content, while improving organization and functionality.
Some notable benefits of the new website:
• More intuitive navigation
• Top-level pages have full info on sub levels
• Bylaws and contract as a single page – the information is much more visible than the linked PDF files on the old site
• Maps to campus offices
• Much more interlinking of information than the old website
• Ease of entry for current news items and required items for the recording secretary
• Better calendaring, including integration on the front page and the option of including a map
• Ease of updating and editing for members in charge of the website
• Better integration and easier editing of campus pages for campus units
Part of what I will be doing before my position ends in August is training people on how to use the new website to enter information so it can be easily found and producing a printed communications manual with basic steps and information regarding the use of the website for the next team of members that will do communications work, to help keep things moving and act as a baseline for any proposed changes after I’m gone.
The website is designed with independent pages for each campus unit that can be accessed by people in the unit to spread information in whatever way you would like. I’ll be working with people from each campus and providing written documentation on how to do that so that the units have access to post on the website as a way of staying in touch with members.
Another project related to the website is to recruit and train members for an editorial board that will collaborate to post information about the union using Facebook, twitter, and on the website. The project of this editorial board is also aimed at “democratizing” the union’s communication and find ways to more efficiently communicate to the membership during the contract campaign and the like. Brenda will be also working on this with me. If you are interested in being part of this editorial board, please e-mail me at communications@UAW2865.org, and let me know your campus so I can balance the group.
I encourage you to check out the new website, which is still somewhat in process behind the scenes (i.e.: I’m still checking for bugs and adding new text and functionality). If you have comments or feedback, you can send them to me at communications@UAW2865.org. I’d like your respectful input! I will pass those suggestions on to the next crew working on the website.
Best, Irene Nexica
Communication and Research Director, UAW 2865