Councillor for Membership
Vicki J. Schaeffer, DM
What is Career Development and Support in the post-grievance era?
The Committee on Career Development and Support is primarily concerned with employment-related topics of interest to our members. Ongoing projects include:
- Periodic review of the AGO Code of Ethics, Professional Standards and Discipline
- Producing resources such as information useful in seeking employment and in employment negotiations, and advice in dealing with conflict in the workplace
- Providing assistance to regional and local officers and members in planning employment-related activities and in dealing with employment issues
Career Development and Support, sometimes called Professional Concerns, used to refer almost exclusively at the regional and chapter levels to investigations into unfair discipline and termination by employing religious institutions, with the AGO Grievance Procedure prohibiting Guild members from accepting employment at churches found to have treated members unfairly. In 2013, faced with members’ concerns about the Grievance Procedure, the National Council voted to discontinue its use. As a result, the emphasis of Guild support for aggrieved members has shifted to a more proactive campaign to teach local chapters and members the skills needed to maintain a healthy workplace environment.
There is a definite and positive role in this post-grievance era for regional and local Professional Development officials to provide support and skills to chapter members. It has long been suggested that local chapters plan annual activities which assist members in the employment aspect of their professional lives, including skills in seeking employment, negotiation with potential employers, conflict resolution, copyright law issues and performance evaluation. The national Committee on Career Development and Support has posted a list of suggested program topics devoted to these areas of our professional lives at https://www.agohq.org/careers/career-development/.
The Committee plans to encourage communication and the sharing of ideas among regional and local PD officials, and eventually to provide a system for training local and regional officials in the skills needed for clergy-musician conflict resolution.
Suggestions and ideas are most welcome and may be submitted to the Committee on Career Development and Support.