Sunday, May 17, 2015

They shouldn't have taken the peanut butter

The last few days have been amazing!
On Wednesday the Backus Nurses reached a tentative agreement on a 3 year contract and on Friday our membership overwhelmingly ratified it.
Yesterday our team was elected to the leadership of AFT Connecticut:
Jan Hochadel as President
Myself as Executive VP
Jean Morningstar as 1st VP
Ed Leavy as Secretary/Treasurer
Tomorrow I'm off to Chicago for the AFT/NFN Professional Issues Conference/Labor Academy.

I won't lie.  My voice may have been steady as I gave my speech before the convention, but my hands were not.  
Nerves, excitement, maybe both?
I told the story of the house visit to a nurse who decided to vote to unionize because the hospital had taken away the peanut butter that she used to feed her chemo patients, if they felt they could tolerate food.
It wasn't all they had taken from her, it was what they took from her patients that mattered.

I told the delegates that I would never stop fighting for people like that nurse.
In Jan, Jean and Ed, I have found 3 people who feel the same.
But then again, we are not only a union of professionals, we are a union of professionals who understand the frustration of my nurse and stand in solidarity with her.
It is an honor to be elected with Jan, Jean and Ed and our executive board VPs and to represent the 29,000 caring members from education, public service and healthcare.

Tonight I spoke with Glen Scott, the organizer who was with me when we visited the "peanut butter" nurse.  She remembers that visit too. Amazingly, she is visiting Chicago and we may get to see each other tomorrow.  That would be cool!

So many people and so many events have played a part to get us to this point. (including the peanut butter)
The future looks exciting.

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