Friday, July 31, 2015

Can I get a High Five?

I received an email yesterday that the Mansfield town council had passed a resolution asking Hartford Healthcare to maintain it's critical care unit at Windham Hospital.
I was thrilled!
I ran out to Anna, one of the office staff and showed her.
I know it is a result of the work done after Hartford's announcement that they would be closing services and the response of the legislators, our members and the community.
Nearly one month ago, State Senator Mea Flexer contacted me about having a press conference with legislators on this issue.
What followed was remarkable.
Within a week we participated in a press conference with several area legislators and the union presidents from the hospital.
That was soon followed by a meeting at the union office in Willimantic with area legislators and representatives from our federal legislator's offices.
We had overflow crowds of union members at both events.
On the 16th, at the monthly Willimantic street festival, hospital union members collected over a thousand signatures of support.  That petition is now online.
Shortly after all this, the hospital agreed to bargain over the changes.

Collective action works!

The reason I wanted to tell Anna is because she, and so many others in this office were critical in pulling it off.
We had discussions about what to do (stickers, robocalls, petitions, tables at the street festivals, staff coverage, etc, and then I thought, how am I going to get it all done?)
Then I realized, all I had to do was go back to my office and stay out of the way.  Occasionally one of the staff would come in and ask if this was what we were looking for on the petition, or the stickers or such, but THEY were the one's who got it done.

When I showed Anna the resolution she thought it was great but also thought, I don't know, like......
That's kinda what we do here John.

Isn't that the case so often?
The people who "actually get it done" feel like "no big deal, its what we do."
It is a big deal.

I was reminded of this in a you tube video I watched on Face Book last night.
Its a parody of a sports center show, but instead of athletes getting all the attention, its about teachers.
I remember as a nurse saying we should high five each other when we got a difficult IV start, its the same idea.

So how about it?
Can I get a high five for those who "get it done."
Maybe we can start with the teachers, who will be soon enough back in the schools, setting up their classrooms, often on their own time and often decorating out of their own pockets because.......

"Its what they do."
High Five!

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