Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Washington DC

Monday was an unbelievable day!
I testified in Washington at the National Labor Relations Board in support of proposed changes that would decrease unnecessary delays to a union vote.
I told them that after 17 years at Backus I felt I could no longer take care of my patients or family properly and how, after discussing our concerns with one another, we began organizing with AFT CT. I told them management fought us all the way, delayed the vote, and used that time to create a high pressure anti-union atmosphere. I told how they gave us only vague contact info on bargaining unit nurses, how they cornered us to express their views. I told them I supported the proposed changes so that other nurses would not have to wait for their rights to be recognized.
David Linton, professor at Marymount Manhattan College, also spoke for AFT.
Then I was interviewed by the Washington Times and Union News Service.
We walked over to the national headquarters of the AFL-CIO for a reception. David, myself, and Brandii Grace, a film teacher from California, were introduced. Brandii was fired during an effort by an AFT affiliate but has a strong case and will win.
They asked me to speak. I said how unbelievable this experience had been. A year ago I wasn't even thinking union! I told them how we banded together at Backus, stood strong, and prevailed.I told them I was taught that if a man has two coats he should give one to the man who is without. I agreed with another speaker that the middle class and unions are under attack but that today, in Connecticut, there are 425 new union members, proud affiliates of AFT and the AFL-CIO.
When I finished, they stood to applaud.
I was also taped for an AFT /AFL-CIO video.
I did all this Monday, but in reality, YOU DID ALL THIS!  When this all started I knew we could win because I looked around the room and saw nurses who I trusted and respected saying they would stand together.
I may have been the one with the sweaty palms before the NLRB, and the one getting the applause, but it was all of us at Backus, along with AFT and our sister locals across the state, who put me there, without you, I would not have been there.
  I knew I had the support of my team back home and that is what got me willing to go but when I got there I met working people from across the country all with the same purpose and all standing together in solidarity.  We are a strong group with many individuals ready, willing, and able to step forward when needed. Monday was my turn, but we all have had or will have our turns.
As long as we put the good of our local above our varied individual interests, we will continue to remain strong and united.

1 comment:

Reg T said...
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