Over the past few years members have been requesting that they be provided new and improved ways of accessing information and services with the Union, and as our current membership and dispatch software systems are not as stable as they once were it is time to act.
A little over a year ago two software providers (UnionWare and QTrades) were approached to demonstrate their systems and provide a quote to Lodge 359, both providershave excellent products that can be tailored to suit our needs. Once the Lodge staff made the decision to accept one vendor over the other then the next step was to seek membership approval. A motion was put on the floor of the March membership meeting to make the purchase, the motion was accepted and subsequently approved by International headquarters.
On Thursday April 30, 2015 Lodge 359 signed a contract with software developer UnionWare (www.unionware.com) to provide the Boilermakers with UnionWare Enterprise Core, Dispatch Module, Memberlink Module, Transferlink Module and Online Dues Payment Module. These will be the programs that run the Lodge 359’s membership database, our target is to go live with the software change on February 1, 2016.
Although all of the components listed above are integral to the operations of the Union office, the module that will be of most interest to members is Memberlink, a web based portal accessible from any device with internet connectivity. For those members without internet connectivity you will still be able to post through the Posting line and perform any other business as you do now. Memberlink will be built into the 359 website which will also be redesigned this year and hopefully launched by the end of September.
Below is a summary of Memberlink’s features.
- Memberlink is secure and encrypted, using industry standard security protocols.
- Member link handles all aspects of registering for a new account,logging in,changing your password, retrieving a lost user name, and retrieving a lost password.
- Members can see what information the union has on file for them : name, address, phone numbers, email addresses, registration number, status, etc.
- Members can request an address change.
- Members can change their phone numbers and email addresses.If an email address is provided, dispatch information for jobs accepted will be emailed directly to the member once the member is dispatched.
- Members can see their work history.
- The union can target any type of content (news, forms, FAQs) to the entire membership or to a specific membership group.
- Members (Field and Shop) will be able to post their names to the out of work list on line. They will have to specify;
- Which board they want to post onto;
- What day they were laid off;
- What shift they were working when they were laid off;
- Whether or not they worked 40 hours or more.
- The dispatcher will be informed of all members who post in online; allowing the dispatcher toreview the postings for accuracy and compliance, any member found posting before they have finished their job will be subject to established disciplinary procedures.
- Members will be able to see their position on the out of work list and whether or not they are currently tagged out, you will not be able to see other members on the list.
- A member will be able to tag out sick or on vacation. In order to remove the tag, the member must call the general office posting line.
- Members will be able to view open job opportunities.
- Members will be able to see their payment history and how much they owe (if any).
- Members will be able to make payments on line using their credit card.
Members will be able to upload a picture of themselves for the union’s records.This is another large undertaking similar to the opening of our new building. A step into the future providing better service and interactive tools for the entire membership of Lodge 359. With any change there will be bumps in the road, we expect that it will take some time for the members and staff to become comfortable with the new systems, but fully believe that all will served well by making this move.
Fraternally, Lodge 359 Staff