Sunday, April 22, 2012

Washington report

Carol, Jen, Michelle, Ole and I flew to Washington a short 4 days ago but it feels like a lifetime of change has occurred.

We met with our congressional leaders, our national union president, and leaders and members of locals from across this country.

We attended classes on health care and organizing issues, we received updates on AFT’s involvement in communities in this country and abroad, we heard of the struggles of our brothers and sisters in Wisconsin and listened as our own president, Randi Weingarten, told everyone of our struggles at Backus.

We were lovingly mentored by members of other locals who have been where we are now.  We built and reinforced the special bond between the locals that make up AFT Connecticut.

We received pledges of support from Randi on behalf of the 1.5 million members of AFT and from our congressional leaders.

We proudly marched with local 25, hotel workers, who have been without a contract for more than a year.  Today, management agreed to local 25’s proposals. When told, a cheer rose from the assembly of AFT Health Care and we marched to the lobby, with it’s massive, rotunda style ceiling, proudly singing union solidarity songs, our voices echoing though the halls of this grand hotel!

Throughout our stay, in all our meetings and in every casual conversation, we received the same message……

Stay strong, we stand with you, we will prevail!

More than just the information learned, more than just the strengthening of the bonds with other AFT locals, more than the commitment from our AFT president and our legislators, more than the fact that we stood in solidarity with local 25 as they prevailed in their long contract struggle...... the Backus Federation of Nurses has become a full, participating local in the AFT family and I am honored to serve and represent you.

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