Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A look back at 2014

My mom took ill this year and went to her eternal reward. I share a rich belief with her that we will see each other again and that helps, but there are still times when I think,
"I can't wait to tell mom this," and I have to catch myself.

We started the year fresh off an illegal lockout of Nurses and Technicians at L+M hospital.
Over the course of the next few months, these workers would come to a contract agreement and be repaid what they were owed.
In July, their three presidents would be honored at the AFT National Convention in Los Angles.

The AFT Small Union Task force wrapped up it's work with a January meeting in San Diago, many of it's recommendations would be adopted at the July convention.

A Connecticut AFL-CIO "We are not Wisconsin" rally would lead to a successful get out the vote campaign, involving so many people, so many house visits, so many phone calls.

The Home Health Aides of the VNA of Southeast CT and the LPN/Techs of New Milford/Danbury Hospital organized with AFT CT, gaining a voice in their practice.

One VNA HHA, Donna Miller, testified in Washington before the NLRB about the difficulty organizing on an unlevel playing field.  Later in the year, the NLRB made some much needed rule changes.

We had another successful Healthcare Professional Issues Conference in Baltimore, AFT CT Convention, Connecticut Small Unions Conference, and Connecticut Healthcare Conference.

Our Political Liaison, Carol Adams, attended "boot camp" in Philadelphia and worked on the get out the vote campaign.

Meriden Fed of Teachers President Erin Benham was named to the State Board of Education.

Harry Rodriguez and I took part in Ebola training and planning in Cincinnati with leaders from several unions.

We teamed with the Backus security and support staff union to help at and walk in the United Way Walk Against Hunger.

We deepened old friendships and made new ones.
We started Hope Unions (Windham, Natchaug, Backus) with the other AFT Locals of Hartford Healthcare.
We started Norwich Rising with other unions and the community.

We said happy retirement to Fran Lawrence, AFT Executive VP and welcome to Mary Cathryn Ricker: happy retirement to Mary MacDonald, longtime AFT Healthcare Director, and welcome to Kelly Troutner.

I had the opportunity to sit front row while Harry, Lisa, and Stephanie were honored in Los Angeles, house visit with some of the nicest people during the campaign and tour Ellis Vo-Tech School with my SVFT friends.
I was impressed by the pride shown in the work by the students and instructors and I told them so at their after school meeting.
Education and Healthcare work is more alike than not alike.

In California, Michelle and I came to know two fine young men, the Johnson brothers, and then Michelle and I got some much neeeded R+R as we drove up the coast

We stood up for safe staffing, proper Ebola preparation and training, and against workplace violence.

We started preparations for contract negotiations this spring.

Our Executive board, delegates, and members took a more active role, testifying, taking part in meetings with management, politicians, and other unions.
Our members are our strength. Our members involvement makes us strong.

So, that's a look back.
Tomorrow, a look ahead.

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