First of all, welcome to our union.
Though you've certainly heard your fair share of unprecedented moments, unanswered questions, and unconventional solutions, we hope you find solace in our union which has been a part of the Wichita community for the past 25 years.
In order to make your first year just a little bit less confusing, we've compiled the following resources to help you understand who we are, what we do, and how you can get involved. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but we hope it's enough to get your feet wet.
Beyond this document, your number one resource is your Building Pro-Rep. We recommend you find yours and communicate with them regularly (maybe even run to be one someday!). Can't find your pro-rep? Send us an email and we'll happily find them.
Getting Started Video Guide
Why are we represented by AFT-KS and KNEA? Click here to find out.
Follow this link to see all of our UTW leadership and their contact info.
Our executive team is composed of a President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, and 10 At-Large Executive Board Members. They meet once a month (any member may watch) and work to enact the vision set forth by the Representative Assembly.
The Representative Assembly is composed of pro-reps from each building, and together they are the major deciding body for most UTW operations. They meet once a month (usually in the Machinist Union Hall, but they will likely be virtual for the moment)
The notable exceptions are when we vote on our contract, and when we elect officers. In those instances, every member has a vote.
Here is a link to our Constitution & Bylaws that goes over this in much more detail. We highly suggest that you read through this at least once. (you'll need to sign-in to our website in order to access this link)
How to Sign-in to UTW-KS.ORG
Username: Your 259 Employee ID
Your first time on the site, you'll need to set-up your account by following this link.
How to get help with contract questions, grievances, and disciplinary hearings?
You may contact either of our representatives from our parent organizations. Both of them work here in our office.
- AFT-KS Organizational Specialist: Bill Mason (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- KNEA Uniserve Director: Greg Jones (email@example.com)
How does the Contract Negotiations Process work?
Here is a lengthy, but very useful article that goes over this in great detail.
In addition to legal representation and contract negotiations, there are plenty of benefits to being a UTW member. Here is a list of the standard benefits you get for joining, but pay attention throughout the year because we are always looking for more ways to reward our members.
- KNEA Discounts
- NEA Discounts
- AFT Discounts
- Peer Consultant Program (intensive one-on-one assistance for most first year teachers)
- Member Newsletter
- Professional Development (varies)
- USD 259 PD Points for attending any non-political UTW meeting.
How you can get involved
- Problem solve with your building pro-rep(s).
- Try and recruit new members (here's a link to our online form).
- Join the Building Committee in your building to work with other members to resolve issues alongside your building administrator.
- Submit an opinion article to our newsletter.
- Run to become a pro-rep for your building.
- Join one of our standing committees (here's a link that shows the current chair and objectives of all standing committees)
- Represent UTW on various USD259 task forces/committees (Here is a link to the current task forces where we are allowed representation).
- Take part in various district level activism (protests, letter writing, social media blitzing, etc.)
- Run for one of our local elected offices.
- Join a KNEA committee.
- Run to be a delegate at the AFT-KS RA and/or the KNEA RA. (It's like a state level Pro-rep meeting where we vote on budget, resolutions, and policies, but we only meet once a year).
- Attend virtual conferences and workshops.
- Run for state elected offices.
- Run to be a delegate at the AFT RA and/or the NEA RA. (It's like a national level Pro-rep meeting where we vote on budget, resolutions, and policies, but we only meet once a year).
- Attend conferences on professional development, organizing, advocacy, and more.
- Run for national elected offices.