Lindsay Conners

Nominations due Friday for NewGuild-CWA’s annual service award

Nominations are open through Friday, May 15, for the Charles B. Dale Guild Service Award, TNG-CWA’s annual recognition of excellence in local leadership. The nominations must be received at TNG headquarters by that date in order to be judged by the Executive Council.

Given annually for outstanding service to the Guild at the local union level, the Charles B. Dale Guild Service Award is open to local members who serve in an unpaid capacity as local officers or in other responsible local positions.

Lindsay Connors of the Albany Guild receives the Charles B. Dale service award in April 2014 in Orlando, Fla.

Lindsay Connors of the Albany Guild receives the Charles B. Dale service award in April 2014 in Orlando, Fla.

Its purpose is to recognize and encourage the development of local Guild leadership, and it may be viewed as a counterpart to the Guild’s Heywood Broun Award for journalistic achievement. Although both awards are premised on the principle of recognition by one’s peers, the procedure for the Charles B. Dale Guild Service Award is somewhat different in that individuals may not nominate themselves.  They must be sponsored by their locals and nominated by the local executive board or representative assembly or a general membership meeting.  This authority may not be delegated–to units, for example–as some locals have sought to do in the past.  Nor may one local nominate a member of another local.

The importance attached to the award by the Guild is second to no other award.  TNG-CWA’s Sector Executive Council has urged: “every local to give serious consideration to the possibility of nominating someone from its ranks who has demonstrated that quality for which the Award is given–outstanding Guild service on the local level–in order to make the contest a meaningful competition among deserving local leaders.”  Emphasizing the same theme, the judges and Guild conventions have specifically urged more small locals to consider submitting nominations for the Award.

WHAT DOES THE WINNER RECEIVE?

The award is a scholarship of up to $2,000 for a course in trade union education “appropriate to the winner.”  Typically, there are no fees, or minimal ones, for short courses; basically, the scholarship is applied to the costs of room, meals and travel, plus lost time.  In some cases, locals have supplemented the scholarship with funds of their own to cover expenses, particularly for a longer course.  Recent winners have attended residential courses lasting a week at the AFL-CIO’s National Labor College in Silver Spring, Md. just outside Washington, but arrangements can be made for the winner to attend other appropriate labor-education courses in his or her area when available.  Note that “up to $2,000” means that the cost of instruction, room, meals, lost time, etc., up to that amount will be covered by the scholarship.  Any lesser costs will not result in a stipend to the winner of the balance.

Judges will be selected from among TNG-CWA Vice Presidents.

Among the rules:

*          Eligibility is reserved to local Guild members who, during the past year, have held office or other responsible positions such as unit officer, steward or committee member.  In special circumstances, consideration may also be given to persons who can reasonably be expected to assume such office or positions upon completion of their studies.  Paid local officials and employees of locals are not eligible.

*          There are no academic requirements.

*          Nominations must include–or be accompanied by–a detailed description of the achievements and qualifications of the candidate.  In the past, some locals have neglected to provide the information, with the result that judges had insufficient data on which to evaluate the candidate.