I never anticipated becoming a Labor leader at this point in my life.
I thought I would quietly ease into retirement, travel, take it easy.
But sometimes life has other plans for us.
I found myself being looked to for leadership at my hospital.
I found myself giving testimony in Washington and Hartford.
I found myself speaking in public, being placed on committees, and recognized by other Labor leaders and politicians.
Not so much because of who I am, but because of who I represent.
I was not prepared for this.
I receive great support and guidance from my union's professional staff. They truly are the best at what they do.
That's the science of Unionism.
But what of the art of Unionism?
What about how to manage the expectations from members and others?
What about learning to balance work, union, and family?
What about someone who's been there before me?
With whom I can let my hair down (if I had any).
I have been blessed to have become friends with three of the finest people I have ever met, all of them great Labor leaders, and they have mentored me and supported me.
Harry Rodriguez, Lisa D'Abrosca, and Stephanie Johnson, the three union presidents of L+M hospital were recognized today by AFT.
In a union of 1.5 million people, they have been honored as the Heathcare Everyday Heroes.
The official reason will be because of the fantastic leadership they exhibited with the L+M strike and lockout.
But there's more to it than that. They are my heroes because without them, I would not be me.
My Everyday Heroes.