Friday, May 9, 2014

From Baltimore

I am in Baltimore at the AFT Healthcare Professional Issues Conference with 5 other Backus Federation of Nurses.  
My VP, Melissa Hunter posted on FB:

"In Baltimore, just listened to Randi Weingarten give an amazing speech. I am so proud to be a leader in my Union and feeling incredibly empowered surrounded by such amazing individuals. To our members: we are a part of such an amazing group of people who also care about our patients. They recognize what we need "STAFFING" to care for our patients and community safely and appropriately. Wish you were all here to see what we are a part of. Proud to be your VP."

It's hard to express the level of pride I feel when I watch our VP interacting with the likes of Randi, AFT Healthcare Director Mary MacDonald, and all the other leaders of AFT.  
When I see our political liaison, Carol, with the governor. When I see our new newsletter editor, Dave, publish his first edition. When I am reminded of the incredible job our treasurer Donna and secretary Marji do in keeping the books and finances in order. When I see how our delegates stand up for our members and how our members are learning to stand up for themselves.

What we have done in a few short years is incredible.
It may have taken the Backus Nurses a long time to find our voices, but now that we have found them we are using them.

Melissa is right, we are part of an amazing group of people who also care about our patients.
AFT is more than a "union of professionals", we are a major player in a movement dedicated to the principal that all people should be treated equally, with respect and dignity. 
A movement made up of AFT, other unions, community groups, faith groups and more.
A union with incredible leadership and staff, as dedicated as we are.

Melissa is proud to be a leader in this movement.
This movement is proud of her.

I cannot close with a thank you to another wonderful leader, Mary MacDonald.
She is and always will be a big part of the Backus story.
We will miss her.
 I will miss her.
But she leaves knowing that leaders like her replacement, Kelly Trautner, and Melissa Hunter will carry on her work.

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