Wednesday, May 9, 2012

We are a Team

It was almost a year ago, we sat in the MOB conference room, the election had just finished, we counted votes.  I counted the NO votes and she counted the Yes. 

We won.

Shortly after, she got promoted and I have spent the last year in countless unpaid hours of planning, worrying, defending, being attacked, negotiating and lobbying to bring our young local to life.

It's not fair, it's not just, it's just the way it is.

In a week or so I'm going to speak at our AFT Connecticut convention about the team we have built at Backus.  It will be an honor.  But the real honor has been being part of that team. 
I'll tell them about the organizing committee and the bargaining committee, but I'll also tell them about all the other nurses who have become a real part of our union be it through food drives, blood pressure screenings, negotiations, rallies and informational picketing, signing petitions of support, words of encouragement, and other ways.  I'll also tell them of the members of other health care locals, others unions, political allies, non profit groups, church groups, radio stations, and the public who have joined our team.

A response to a recent blog sums it up:

John,
I am a Registered Nurse, in the field for 24 years. I don't work at Backus, but I have followed your journey through these contract negotiations and am incredibly impressed with how strong your nurses are. It is reprehensible what you have had to deal with, and I admire how hard you have worked and how well you have stayed together. I wish you all the best and hope this is successfully resolved soon. I want you to know that you have the great respect and enthusiastic support of many people that you will never meet. Good Luck to you all... and thank you for having the courage to sacrifice so much of your time to bring into the public eye the conditions under which many nurses work. Nurses everywhere wish you all the best.Good luck!!!

She got a promotion......I got a team.

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