Ask your Local's volunteers to distribute copies of AFGE flyers calling for action on an issue to AFGE members or potential members on the way to or from work or at lunch. Ask them to sign a postcard or letter. Ask them to use their personal cell phone to call their lawmaker before or after work, or during a scheduled lunch break. The key is off the clock and not with government resources.
Time off the clock, lunch breaks, or union meetings can also be used to discuss issues and encourage members/potential members to contact their lawmaker.
Announce that you are holding a meeting during lunch to discuss a particular legislative issue for informational purposes. Assuming it is otherwise permitted by a collective bargaining agreement or past practice, the invitation or announcement flyer can be distributed over government email, posted on government bulletin boards or handed out to employees at the work place if it does not support or oppose legislation or include a plea to take action. It is simply information inviting potential members and members to a informational meeting. Don't forget that if your worksite operates around the clock then you should also hold meetings on the second and third shifts.
At the meeting, employees are "off the clock". If you provide the members with union bought paper and pens then they can write a brief letter or fill out a fax to their member of Congress during the union meeting. It is also permissible during the meeting to pass around a personal cell-phone to permit members to call lawmakers right then. Your Local union may pay for postage to mail the letters to Congress and/or the cell-phone bills. The Local may also use a non-governmental fax machine to fax letters to Congress.
AFGE members can and should contact their lawmakers from home using personal computers, email, faxes and phones. Each AFGE Local should collect home phone numbers and email addresses and use these lists to inform members about issues and what they can do about them. Remind members that most email providers such as hotmail and even AOL allow for free accounts. An AFGE Local can also mail action information to the home addresses of AFGE members and use union dues to pay for the postage. It is very important for Locals to regularly update home addresses in My Local.