Sunday, September 30, 2012

State of the Union 9/30/12

I'd like to start out by saying that our website will be our primary source of information.  It contains much information, including meeting dates and times and contact lists.  Think of it as our online bulletin board.  It is undergoing a revamp now and the new version will be live somewhere around October 11th, but the current version was updated this week.

We now have 16 union delegates on board.  We are looking for more, especially from areas not represented, including A2, E4, and BOCC.  Please speak to one of the delegates if you are interested. 
Another option for anyone not ready to serve as a delegate is to be willing to serve as a communication liaison, a contact person for your area, so that members can stay informed.

There is a very important meeting coming up for all members.  November 15 is the Fall Membership Meeting, where we will vote on next year's budget. Our Finance Committee, lead by Treasurer Donna Callicutt, is in the process of developing a budget proposal, they are looking for members to participate, so let Donna or another delegate know if you would like to be involved.  This is your money, this is your decision.

We are working with the Hospital, though the volunteer department, on the annual United Way drive.  The United Way has strong ties to both labor unions and the business community.  Kara Giroux of D2 is our Community Outreach Committee Chair, and committee members are being sought. Giving a dollar or so a week in payroll deductions isn't even noticed and when added together can do so much good.

It's flu shot time!  I got mine this week and I urge everyone who can to do the same.  If, for religious or medical reasons, you cannot get the shot, then please fill out the paperwork for an exemption.  The Hospital will review your request for an exemption.  We are negotiating an arbitration agreement in the case that there is a dispute over an exemption request.  In other words if you seek an exemption and the Hospital review board disagrees, then an independent arbitrator will rule on it.

Our Political Liaison, Carol Adams, of E3, recently spoke before the New London City Finance Committee, advocating for a budget that protected city services, including the senior center.  Carol also represents us at the SCCLC, the gathering of all the labor Locals of southeastern Connecticut.

Our Secretary, Melissa Hunter, of PACU, is working on our next newsletter.  This is a major project as it is the first one we will publish on our own.  Look for it soon, with periodic newsletters to follow. Melissa is Chair of our Communications and Publicity Committee and is looking for members interested in serving on the committee.

Our State Federation president, Sharon Palmer, has been appointed by Governor Malloy the new Commissioner of Labor.  This is great news for Sharon and the people of Connecticut.  As a result, she will be resigning her position as president of AFT CT.  The state federation executive committee will make a recommendation for an interim president to serve until the next election and the state executive committee will will vote on the recommendation next month.  I am a member of the AFT CT Healthcare Council and will keep you up to date on this. 

Our Professional Issues Conference is April 25-27 in Baltimore.  It's a great conference open to all members, with CEU credits and an opportunity to connect with members from all over the country.  Let me know if you're interested.

Lots going on. I will try to keep you updated though this blog,, newsletters, and our delegates and communication liaisons.  Remember to consider helping on a committee, and remember our Fall General Membership Meeting.

In Solidarity.

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