In 2012, the SHRM Advocacy Team (A-Team) has made its strongest impact since its 2010 inception, both on and off “the Hill.” From A-Team training sessions held in target states to legislator office visits conducted by Advocacy Captains and HR Advocates, the SHRM A-Team has been active and effective in the first four months of this year.
More than 900 additional SHRM members have been trained this year on how best to support the A-Team initiative. Advocacy Team information and training sessions were held in the 2012 target states of Colorado, Georgia, Maryland and Oklahoma. A number of target states from prior years also hosted sessions. These included California, Florida, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia (where members later traveled to the state capitol, pictured below with legislators on the Senate floor) and Wisconsin. Additional programs for other 2012 target states are scheduled for Georgia (Atlanta, June 26 and August 23), Idaho (Boise, Sept. 14) and Wyoming (Cheyenne, Sept. 21). Other states hosting A-Team programming include Maine (Rockport, May 8), California (Sacramento, May 17), Illinois (Springfield, June 20), North Dakota (Fargo, Oct. 2) and Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh, Oct. 9).
SHRM members remain engaged and ready to advocate. During the 2012 SHRM Employment Law & Legislative Conference in March, over 200 members “hiked the Hill,” which marked the highest percentage of attendees to ever meet with members of Congress and/or their staff to share their story of how public policy impacts the workplace. Additionally, SHRM members have been active in monthly A-Team webcasts and advocacy campaigns. The monthly educational webinars, typically held the third Thursday of the month at 4 p.m. ET, average between 150-300 A-Team Advocacy Captains and HR Advocates in attendance.
Among the numerous advocacy campaigns launched in 2012, one of the A-Team’s most impressive results derived when SHRM was seeking co-sponsors on a House Concurrent Resolution to protect employer-sponsored retirement plans from taxation. Proponents of the legislation (including SHRM) were seeking 100 co-sponsors in early February to move the resolution to introduction phase. SHRM engaged in coalition activities and notified A-Team members of the need to make phone calls and write to their members of Congress. Within two weeks, the number of co-sponsors more than doubled, totaling 106 when the resolution was introduced in mid-February. The A-Team was also activated regarding proposed rules by regulatory bodies, such as the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) “quick election” rule, which was up for a vote in the Senate in April and by commenting on changes proposed to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
New Advocacy Captains were formally announced in the 2011 states of Delaware, New Mexico and Texas, with additional Captains from these states and other states to be announced soon. Also, be on the lookout for A-Team programming later this year in the remaining 2012 states of Connecticut, Indiana, Iowa and Tennessee. Should your council or chapter wish to learn more about hosting an A-Team session (which has been pre-approved for recertification credit by the HR Certification Institute), please contact David Lusk, SHRM’s Senior Associate for Member Advocacy, at email@example.com or 703-535-6158.
Not certain what the A-Team is all about and interested in learning more? See fellow SHRM members discuss their efforts at http://bit.ly/A-TeamVideo or read more about the program at http://bit.ly/AboutSHRMA-Team. You too can join the A-Team today by signing up online at http://bit.ly/JoinTheA-Team.