Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year

The end of one year and the beginning of another is a natural time to pause and reflect.  That's good.  Too often we are so caught up with life on a moment to moment basis that we fail to take the time to reflect.
Last year was a full one for me.  I started the  year out meeting and getting to know my fellow Backus nurses in a way I had never known them before.  I also meet and became friends with a wonderful group of people from AFT, people who's job is more than a job, like nursing, it is a calling.
In May this all culminated in a successful election and the forming of our local.  It also started a new phase of the work, a long process of preparation and negotiation which still continues.
In March, with Ole's guidance, I started this blog as a way to release some of my bottled up feelings. As the year ends I am closing in on 100 entries.
 That's a lot of bottled up feelings.
In June I testified before the NLRB in Washington about abuses we suffered during our campaign to assert our constitutional rights to organize and collectively bargain.  I also spoke at the AFL-CIO.
In August, Michelle and I travelled to California for a reunion with my cousins.

It was a year of loss too.
Here at home our family dog, Dylan, passed away. It surprised me how much that hurt.
My mother in law lost her battle to cancer, my brother in law lost his mom, and my Uncle John just before Christmas.  They are all missed, but they are not forgotten.

What will the new year bring? Only God knows. We can only imagine and hope.
I hope negotiations with administration will continue and we will sign a contract fair to both sides and things will settle down so Backus can become the hospital it should be. I hope administration comes to understand bedside nurses speak for the patient and it is not in conflict with our mission but it IS our mission. I hope they see our will to work in cooperation to improve Backus.

I do see some encouraging signs.
I think the addition of Karen Knight to the Human Resources department is promising. Although it is still early in our relationship, I have hope we can work with both her and Theresa Buss. Though undoubtedly we will not see eye to eye at times, I think there can be a partnership based on mutual respect. I think we all welcome her to Backus.

In the fall we will have an important election.  I hope for high voter turnout.  I encourage all to register, consider the candidates, and vote.  I know at times that the choices seem poor and it can be frustrating, but I have seen this year how important it is.  As just one example, the NLRB makeup changes by who is in the white house, a pro-worker president means a pro-worker board and greater rights for working men and women.
 For myself, I will continue to write as long as the words keep coming to my fingers.  I will continue to fight for and defend the rights of nurses at Backus and workers elsewhere in whatever capacity I am needed and wanted.
I would like to lose some pounds and get back to a little running but it seams every year that becomes harder. Time with Michelle and my sons and grandchildren is on my list of hopes.
Simple things.

I have seen enough New Years come and go to know that what I think will happen and what will happen this year will vary greatly. The only thing we can do is trust that God will see us through whatever comes our way.

That is really all we need.

Happy New Year

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