"In your mind you have capacities you know
To telepath messages through the vast unknown
Please close your eyes and concentrate
With every thought you think
Upon the recitation we’re about to sing
(*) calling occupants of interplanetary craft
Calling occupants of interplanetary most extraordinary craft
You’ve been observing our earth
And we’d like to make a contact with you
We are your friends" Copyright The Carpenters
Jayne Cravens has a fantastic article on her blog at the moment. Please check it out for yourselves and you’ll find her blog address here. This is what Jayne is saying on Facebook:
“The firefighters union in the USA (IAFF) is against volunteer firefighters. I've blogged today about this incredibly misguided stance, and hope that state and local volunteer management associations all over the USA will also take a public stand on this issue. I encourage others to blog about it, to say something in your Facebook about it, to tweet about it, to put something in your newsletter about it!”
Here is what I posted in response to Jayne’s blog
"Professional and effective volunteer managers simply will not tolerate, at their organisations, any attempt to use volunteers as a replacement for paid labor. It’s almost a given among the colleagues I know. It has become so ethically ingrained into the volunteer management ethos that it begs the question whether the union had any semblance of dialogue with the Volunteer Management sector. Maybe they should if they haven’t.
Here is an issue that a national association for volunteer management can get its teeth stuck into. I am still a little unclear on who that organisation might be in the USA.
I have, throughout my career, talked with unions on the matter of volunteerism with positive outcomes. So have colleagues of mine. It’s amazing what honest dialogue and transparency can achieve.
An effective and professional volunteer management sector need not be enemies with any union movement. Au contraire – they can be their best allies ensuring volunteers are never used inappropriately. After all that is the lifeblood of ethical volunteer management! So, in reality, we need not be alien towards each other. “We are your friends”
Thanks Jayne for raising an important issue – although for me the worrying underlying issue is the lack of action on the part of our the volunteer management sector in combating misperceptions on volunteering as well as the lack of the “recognition factor” in terms of been engaged in dialogue when it comes to these matters.
Too often Volunteer Management is excluded from the narrative. For that we only have ourselves to blame. I would make a fairly safe bet that unions don’t even know that a volunteer management sector exists not to mind a professional body for same!
A first step in addressing this will be professional volunteer management associations around the world taking heed of your call to make a stand on this issue. Let us know when this happens!"