From left, Guild recruiter AJ Connelly meets with members Mark Carlson, Danny Pollock, Terry Tang, Matt Reed and Amanda Kwan in Phoenix.

I used all of my skills as a trained observer to discover that it’s hot in Phoenix.
I expected it to be warm, but 96 degrees in April wasn’t on my radar. And our colleagues at the Phoenix buro and the West Desk told me I was there during the “nice” weather.
I’m glad the recruiting drive wasn’t planned for August!
During my visits to the Phoenix buro and at an after-work social gathering, I heard a lot of concern about discipline _ negative evaluations and the growing use of “Performance Improvement Plans” or PIPs.
This highlights one of the most important roles of the Guild _ we back up our members in difficult moments.
If you receive a negative evaluation or any threat of discipline, you are allowed under the contract to have a Guild rep with you in any meeting to discuss it with your manager. Your shop steward and the Guild staff can also help you prepare the response you’ll need to submit for your personnel file.
If you’re placed on a PIP, never NEVER go into meetings to discuss your performance alone. In addition to providing moral support when you’re under pressure, Guild reps can ask questions to clarify points made during these meetings, and serve as a witness to any comments made or instructions given.
I can attest from experience as a rep in many of these meetings that having the Guild present makes a big difference. It’s one more way we help each other.
And one more reason to join the Guild.
On to LA for a visit with the buro and some time to kick back with members on Wednesday!
– AJ Connelly, NMG recruiting coordinator