VMOs Run an Impressive Organizing Blitz - Bringing Over a Hundred New Union Members to AFSCME Local 232

Cincinnati, Ohio – AFSCME Ohio Council 8 VMOs (Volunteer Member Organizers) were out in full force signing up over a hundred new AFSCME Local 232 union members, sharing information about upcoming contract negotiations, the importance of becoming a union member and getting involvedMembers from across the state came to Cincinnati to train on how to have one on one conversations with non-union members and then received first-hand experience by knocking on doors and signing up new members.  

Tyler Ackison (VMO from Athens) and Joe Risby (VMO from Akron) knock on CPS employees doors during the VMO Blitz. 

Melinda Cook, a brand new VMO shared, having a real conversation and showing people their power when they join a union was an amazing experience . Cook, who is from the Akron area, was one of ten VMOs that came to Cincinnati to learn and practice one on one conversations with workers about joining a union. She was paired up with other VMOs and AFSCME Ohio Council 8 staff as they went out into the city to talk with Cincinnati Public School employees. VMOs had literature that outlined the wage increases their union had negotiated as well as a list of other benefits leadership had been able to win.  

Shaundale Green, a VMO from Cincinnati, spent time stressing the urgency for school employees to get involved right now AFSCME Local 232 was able to win a nearly 12 percent increase over three years because AFSCME members came to the table united; and that is exactly what they need to do this time as well. AFSCME Local 232 needs everyone to get involved. Shaundale is a member of AFSCME Local 250, the City of Cincinnati Public Works Union, and it was important for him to come out to this training and blitz to sharpen his organizing skills. “What we learned and practiced this weekend is helping to strengthen AFSCME Local 232, but it is also giving me the skills I need to continue to build my local as well. This is a valuable learning opportunity, said Green. 

While the blitz was an important event to build strength and solidarity for AFSCME Local 232, Volunteer Member Organizers were also honored to have the opportunity to talk with everyday educators who were truly making a difference in the lives of young people across Cincinnati. Uriah Langmeyer, a VMO from the Dayton area, recounted talking with an Assistant Teacher who was also a volunteer wrestling coach about his work and why he is so committed to his students. The member we signed up was never home, but we were able to reach him by phone and he shared that when he’s not at work he is at the local high school coaching wrestling. We could meet with him there if we had the time. We saw first-hand the impact this educator was having on children, and it was inspiring to know that joining his union would help him and the students he cared so much about. 

AFSCME Ohio Council 8 will continue to hold VMO training opportunities and blitzes across the state. If you are interested in learning more or becoming a VMO please contact Corissa Niday at [email protected] or click here to learn more