Sunday, November 15, 2015
I will be in Las Vegas this week at the AFT/NHP Organizing Conference.
Ole and I have been asked to tell the Backus organizing story as a small part of this conference.
This has caused me to look back and reminisce.
What we did was pretty remarkable.
370 nurses with little or no union experience came together and stood up to an administration willing to break the law and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to stop us.
We did it because we had lost the thing that is most important to a nurse or any healthcare worker, the ability to advocate for our patients without fear of reprisal.
As I read through old emails and posts, I recalled the courage of individual nurses and how we helped each other became stronger and stronger.
But we would have been nowhere without the professional organizers who we worked with.
They showed us how to gain a voice.
More than just tell the story of Backus to the organizers in Las Vegas, I would like to find a way to convey to them what an organizer means to a worker.
To be successful, a worker and their organizer must trust each other and when that happens, a bond is created.
The book of Daniel says, "And those bringing many to righteousness will be like the stars forever and ever."
Organizers bring many to righteousness.
If Healthcare workers are "angels" as some people claim, then organizers are our "guardian angels."